Often when I have done my first cut of culling the weak shots I am left with a few about which I am undecided. Keep or trash.
Here are some marginals from yesterday’s shoot.
This Chestnut-eared bunting shot has grown on me and reinforces the ‘do not delete too quickly’ rule. I like the detail of the orbital ring, the streaking on the upper breast, the chestnut fringe below and the slightly breeze-ruffled feathers.
This is a rather lonely Green sandpiper. Most of the sands at LV are Woodies. I’m not sure the colour balance is spot on. I need to think about this one.
Another of my supermodel from yesterday, the Red-throated pipit. Caught in mid-ruffle. Quite a simple shot but crisp and clean.
This is the much under-rated Passer montanus or Tree Sparrow. This is our common sparrow in Hong Kong. The Tree Sparrow has declined greatly in Britain. Probably due to habitat loss. The Tree Sparrow was a relatively common bird when I was a child. Indeed it is ticked off in my 1969 edition of The Observer’s Book of Birds, the field guide on which so many of us old fogies were blooded in the dark art of birdwatching. So I had seen it although it is stated to ‘avoid the dwellings of man’. And of course the picture was in black & white. Maybe I was confused, but I doubt it. House sparrows on the other hand were in colour and described as ‘very general’. Rather quaint wording. But now even the House Sparrow seems to be declining. I have read many theories including the possibility that vehicle exhaust emissions have contributed to its decline. But in Hong Kong the Tree Sparrow replaces the House Sparrow as man’s urban and indeed rural neighbour. Why have vehicle emissions not asphyxiated them here? Very odd. Or perhaps we have not noticed yet. Whatever the answer, its a very smart bird.
This is a keeper. I mentioned to one commenter yesterday that I am always amazed at how little people really do observe birds today. Maybe its a HK thing, I’m not sure. I am as happy watching as photographing as a rule. I spend ages on our sun terrace (posh for balcony) with a cup of coffee, binoculars and a book or iPad, just reading and watching the bird world go by. It is very therapeutic and relaxing. If you have never been bird watching it does not need to entail walking long distances in difficult conditions. Just sling a pair of bins round your neck when you go for a stroll. Listen as well as look. Yesterday I was struck by the noise of a White wagtail. Deafening. Soon your awareness rises and before you know it you are a birder. Its not difficult and ignore the pompous oafs you often find in hides pontificating about all the rarities they have seen and (mis)identified. Just soak it all up and if you confuse a lark with a pipit. Never mind. So do I sometimes. Just spare a thought for the poor sparrow and pray it doesn’t join the Passenger Pigeon on the extinct list.