I'm back though, with a new update as well as a new lens. A beastly 600mm canon L prime which I'll hopefully be getting to grips with over the coming months.
I've got two new birds this week, both of them thanks to a trip to my sisters in Wales.
While I saw Tawny Owls a few months ago at my sister's house, I couldn't get a good shot of them.
They live on her property, often sitting a foot or two from her window as she does the washing up or watches TV. There are 5 in total, with three of them being juveniles. I didn't take too many shots as I didn't want to disturb them, but I'm happy with the images I managed to get.
Tawny Owls are relatively common throughout most of the UK and efficient, deadly hunters. They are amazingly quiet and it was incredibly eerie to turn around and have one looking at you without even hearing it land nearby. They were waddling about the grass looking for morsels and seemed completely uninterested as I drew close by to them.
It's thought that around 50,000 pairs live in the UK and as a result it enjoys green status from the RSPB. It's obviously a hard bird to see in the day, but sometimes like to sun itself on branches. This now marks the second owl I've seen in the wild, with the Little Owl being the first.
This little fellow was perched roughly 25 feet away from me.
Every time I've visited my sister's I've wanted to see Dippers. After all, they actually nest in the river that runs through the bottom of her property. Every time I go I never see them, so much so that my nickname is Dipperless.
This weekend looked no different and despite seeing one fly across our landrover as we made the horrible ascent over a local mountain, I didn't see one. My brother in law did, prompting me to endure lots of gnat bites and some cold hours in the Welsh drizzle, but after three days it was to no avail.
I stopped off at one more location as we were travelling home and there it was. Sitting loud and pretty and calling out to a no doubt hidden mate. I got my Dipper!
These birds are incredible. They have boney bits on their feet that allow them to grip the rocks of riverbeds so they can hunt for food. They can even swim under water, where the look for caddis fly larvae and other delicacies.
This one is strictly a record shot as it was a good 50 odd feet away and I had to view it through a bridge. It's easily identifiable though thanks to that big white breast.
Here's the record shot. Not the greatest, but that's easily a Dipper!
A bigger crop through a gap I found.
And just to give you a sense of how difficult the shot was.
Despite these two awesome birds, Wales was a little too overcast and wet for anything else.
Luckily I headed off to Blashford on the way home :)
Common Sandpiper. The closest I've got to one.
I forgot my 1.5 TC, so this is a crop. Still happy with the detail though!
Pleased with this crop.
Little Grebes are tiny.
Black-Headed Gulls and a Lesser Black-Backed Gull.