Sunday, 18 December 2016

Stithians Reservoir,

During wet and windy days when lots of wildlife has gone to ground I often head for the cover of local hides which I select according to wind directions, Time of day for subject choice and natural light angles at the viewing area,  During November and December this year I worked at the Southern cut off hide at Stithians reservoir,  The attraction was not the feeders that subsidise a large variety of local birds but the opportunity to work at close quarters off the feeders on many otherwise shy and unapproachable subjects.

This fine male Great-spotted Woodpecker, Its mate (  and their young during summer months ) all visit the feeders regularly providing you keep your head and lenses well back from the viewing slots,  The trick is to be ready and capture your images prior to them moving directly onto the feeders

Water Rail have been high on my hit list for the last two years with only limited success on birds that were always half hidden by reeds etc at water margins,  I heard through the Grape vine that they were sighted at this feeding station regularly which has proved to be reliable information as I have worked on this bird on each of my last four visits

Many finches visit this location including this fine pair of Greenfinch

During my visits here I had seen this Sparrowhawk pass though on several occasions and during my last visit it surprised me as it flew onto the feeder frame assembly out of the blue.   At just five meters from my lens I knew it would be gone if I tried to move to avoid the out of focus foreground feeder framework,  I moved only my shutter finger for forty minutes as I watched it preen every feather it had while occasionally looking up with those piercing yellow eyes at the sound of my shutter firing,  Wonderful !

The composition of this image has been cropped to remove the out of focus foreground feeder frame and  to produce a pleasing close portrait.

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