Swanning About

My bicycle activities have been restricted to kitcheneering this week, and the major report I had planned on my attendance at the Noelanders’ trophy fell at the first hurdle which was quite simply… erm… I was unable to attend. So, I shall just have to fall back on boring the planet with my birding exploits.

As I explained in my On A Redwing and a Prayer page, I am not in any way an expert or even an anorak where bird watching is concerned, although my friends tell me I’m well on the way to achieving the latter of those. But I do find them fascinating and I would have to admit that the thrill of the photo chase is becoming almost an obsession. I’m justifying it on the basis that right now any skill development is a good thing, and I certainly am honing my abilities in photgraphy having ventured, as indeed I have, away from full programme auto mode and experimenting with shutter and aperture priority to see which gives me better results. I have also discovered the benefits of using the sequential shooting function on the camera when taking pictures of things that move so quickly and erratically as wee boidies do. It also gives you that very satisfying clicking noise – which statement just proves that I am not yet a full anorak or bore as I am sure that was precisely the sort of utterance that would have prompted an outburst of tut-tutting of machine-gun proportions among the purists.

Anyway. This week’s wildlife safari has been mostly to the photo hide at RSPB Lochwinnoch where I have been shooting the smaller birds. No. Not that sort of shooting! Today was a bit quieter (must have been some bird union meeting somewhere. It’s a big union – there are loads of branches!), so I went over to the Aird Meadow hide to catch the swans and anything else which might appear now that the loch has thawed out (although there are still some frozen patches.) I caught a couple of swans in flight, but also had the priviledge of seeing a heron coming in to land not that far from the hide. Amazingly, when I looked at the wider landscape, I counted at least another six heron – all no doubt competing for the same food having been denied a decent fish supper over the past few weeks of the big freeze.

Once I’ve worked out how to do it, I shall be setting up a gallery for my photos in their different categories, but in the meantime here are some shots taken during the week:

Blue Tit

Blue Tit

female Chaffinch

Reed Bunting

Grey Heron coming in to land

Grey Heron -good things come to those who wait...

Swan take off

In flight

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