The inevitable pull of Christmas has meant that there hasn't been a great deal of time to get out and about, so I've very little to report.
So I'm still on 127 photographed birds with another 145 left to find.
I think in the new year I'm going to have to start going to specific places in order to see the birds I need to tick off my list in order to get back into the swing of things. I've still had a great day today heading off to Longham Lakes for an early look around, but it's not the same when you can spot something new or interesting.
Anyway, here's what happened when I headed off to Longham this week.
I left around 9.30 which is the earliest I've headed off to the Lakes. Unfortunately, it wasn't well-timed, because of the position of the sun. All the action typically takes place on the far side of the lakes, and the sun was directly in front of me, meaning sun glare was a constant issue. By the time the sun was behind me, the birds were on the far side of the lake, which meant taking photos quite problematic. Still, it was a great walk regardless and I saw a fair few interesting birds. The black-necked grebe continues to elude me and I lucked out on seeing any Fieldfares and Redwings, but I'll try and get out again in a few days time.
One of the first things I spotted was this Greenfinch. He got relatively close, so I was able to catch a fair amount of detail on him.
I then spied a Kestrel in a tree. Well actually, I missed him originally, and caught him as he flew to another. The tree was obscuring him, so I waited for him to have a poo. Sure enough, as soon as he made his deposit he took off and I was able to capture this shot of him.
Cormorants were everywhere, but this one got closest too me and he was still a good 50 odd feet away. Still, managed to capture some nice detail and you can see he's still wet from a swim.
Unfortunately, I didn't see this Heron as I had my back to him. It would have been nice to get a shot head on, but that's the break with bird watching sometimes. Your eyes can't be everywhere.
Mallards where everywhere, and were always open to a photo opportunity. I quite like this one as it shows off the brilliant green head and that lovely yellow beak.
Not a bad shot, but Little Grebes are tremendously shy and this one refused to get within 50 feet of me. It's not a 100% crop, but it's not as sharp as I'd like.
Forgot my exposure here meaning there are blown elements on the bird. I guess the composition is okay, but it's not as good a shot as it could have been. There weren't too many Mute Swans around, so I'm guessing they were in the nearby fields.
It was quite far off but I liked the extreme splash landing this Cormorant made as it came in for a rather clumsy little landing.
There's a little island about 40 feet from the sore and this Grey Wagtail was there looking for food. The island was largely deserted, so he had the place to himself.
I now had the sun to my back, but the tall reeds meant I couldn't see birds until I disturbed them. This Gadwall looked rather pretty as the sun really brings his colouring out.
A Tufted Duck, but a lousy shot. Still I like Tufted Ducks, so up it goes.
I wanted to get a Christmas Robin and I was rewarded with this little fellow. It's three days late of course, but a nice touch all the same. I'm impressed with how much better the 7D is at picking out birds in branches compared to my old Canon 600D.
This is when I feel I could do with a teleconverter. There's a nice selection of birds here, including Shoveler, Cormorants, Lapwings and a Black-Tailed Godwit. It's a good 70-odd feet out, meaning this is a 50% crop.
Spotted this Pochards as I was on the way back to the car. I love their red eyes, it gives them an almost alien-look. They were a good way out, but I'm still pleased with the composition.
Caught this Rook as I was heading back to the car. I saw plenty of Magpies, Carrion Crows and Jackdaws, but only this Rook got near enough for a photo opportunity.
The final bird of the day was another Grey Wagtail that I was able to get extremely close to before some other walkers scared him away.