I was up before the lark this morning and on Long Valley a few minutes after 7am. The sun was barely above the horizon. It was simply glorious. There were few unusual birds although the Red-headed bunting was still present. I find it rather odd, or maybe not, that after a week or two the photographers have sated their lust for the fullest frame shot possible and nobody wants to simply enjoy the bird. I was not even expecting to see it today yet it offered me some amazing opportunities in silky-golden soft light. This was the frame I chose to keep.
I picked this one because it was a slightly different pose and the shape of the bill is beautifully captured.
In the same place I watched a Red-throated pipit and it gave me a couple of nice frames of plumage detail:
Water helps to add interest to shots and I was watching all the time for reflections. Nothing too good this morning but a White wagtail (Motacilla alba leucopsis) gave me half a chance.
And flitting behind was a Dusky warbler, Phylloscopus fuscatus.
DW is a garden bird for me but I still find them a good challenge to photograph in the field. An unexpected bonus was a more confiding Chestnut-eared bunting, Emberiza fucata.
Note the cooler tones as this bird was feeding in the shade.
Snipe are a mystery to me. I don’t understand why I can’t see them until I am about to step on them. I also assume that the ones I photograph are Common snipe unless someone tells me otherwise! This one was pretending I couldn’t see it.
Actually I guess it was just too busy feeding to bother. This is a more typical snipe view
And after 2.5 hours the light was getting harsher so I started to pack up and head home for a late breakfast. As if to tempt me to stay, a Pale thrush, Turdus pallidus, popped up and moved ever further away, hoping I would follow. The Lorelei of Long Valley.
I resisted the siren call and arrived back at the car having enjoyed a short stay at Long Valley. I saw only two other birders this morning. Folks, you missed some fabulous light and I am all the richer for it.
To clarify my blogging schedule, it will start to reduce in about 10 days. Thereafter it will be as work permits. I will have little free time but I hope we won’t desert one another completely and normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. Do not adjust your set.