Sunday, 20 September 2015

Dartford Warblers and Dragonflies

Crowded weekends are making it extremely hard to give my new lens a testing. I was able to go out for an hour on both Saturday and Sunday, but not in the conditions I'd like, meaninganother disappointing weekend.

I headed off to Ham Common Nature reserve on Saturday as we were visiting friends at Rockley Park. The bird life was incredibly disappointing with just starlings, wood pigeons, black-headed gulls and a lone Oystercatcher which was too far away for decent shots.

The only real highlight was a Dartford Warbler and a near flying buzzard, but the former was far too close with even 840mm of lens, while the buzzard flew by so quickly I couldn't get a shot of it.

Oh well, there's always next week...

This Red Admiral dropped down about 10 feet in front of me.

A lone Oystercatcher working the beach.

And a cropped shot of him.

Dartford Warbler, a good 60 feet away, so not ideal at all.

And a crop.

I visited Avon Heath today, as it has a hide but it was pretty disappointing.
A lack of budget meant that no feeders were out, so birds were nowhere to be seen. They've also added a huge net as there are bees at the far end of the site and children have started to use the pond for pond dipping. It seems strange why they don't move the bees as the location is now ugly due to netting.

While I didn't see any birds, I saw a few dragonflies, so thought I'd post pictures. Ids would be most welcome. (Thanks to Tim White and Pete Harris for the id help :)

A female Southern Hawker, uncropped from 20 feet away.

Here's a crop.

A Common male Darter resting.

A couple of Common Darters mating.

A male Souther Hawker in flight.

I've been advised to not shoot with the lens wide open as it's sweet spot is apparently F7.1, so I'll hopefully have some better shots next weekend.