Sunday, 14 February 2010

Bellymack Farm, Galloway.

13th February 2010

The weather was forcast for bright conditions so we headed down to the Galloway Forest park area between Ayr and Castle Douglas. This is a beautiful area of lochs and rolling hills, with much forest areas too.
We wanted to check out the area that is called the Red Kite Trail. There is Bellymack Farm in the area that daily feeds a number of Red Kites. We had been to the feeding station in Wales at Gigrin Farm but not this one. On the way we saw a number of Buzzards and a few Kites flying high. We spotted a juvenile Buzzard in a tree as we drove past. Stopping the car I reversed and was able to observe this fine bird on a lovely moss clad tree branch. He just looked at us a I lowered the car window so as to rest the lens on the glass.

Getting to the farm t
he clouds started to gather and at the time of 2pm when the scraps of food are laid out in the field the light was quite poor. Having to shoot a ISO 640, with 1/400sec shutter speed, f5.6 aperture, nearly all of the shots where dull and out of focus. Sadly nearly all of the birds had been tagged on both wings and this showed up on the photos. The wind picked up and the possibility of getting anything good seemed to be vanishing.

Just then the sun peered out through a gap in the clouds and provided a whole new canvas to capture something half decent.
I adjusted the ISO down to 400, and opened the aperture to f6.3.

The birds are truly masters in acrobatics. They would play with each other swirling around, even passing meat to each other. The sun stayed out about 5 mins and then we knew that was it. Frozen we headed back to the car to drive home. These are two of the best images....hope you like?

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Mochrum & Maidens

10 February 2010
Went for a couple of hours along Maidens beach. The sun was shining and the sea looked like the mediteranean! The temperature didnt match the Med though!
First stop was Mochrum to see what was about. There had been reported about 50 Whooper Swans the day before but tyhey must of moved on by the time I got there. Never mind. Saw the usual woodland birds next to the feeders, and was able to watch with amazement at a flock of Long-tailed tits, fighting over the peanuts. There was about 8 huddled together on one feeder in a frenzie! Also a couple of Curlew were in the adjacent field as I was walking back to the car. Along the Culzean road heading to Maidens were a number of Buzzards, and Kestrels.
The tide was right out when I got there, Oystercatchers, Redshank, Curlews and Sanderlings were on the beach.
I wanted to photograph the Curlews. I wish I had my old cloths on so I could get dirty in the sand. I wanted to lie down on the sand, but it was too wet. Anyway I found a large rock on the beach and hid myself behing that. I had the camoflage netting and was able to be quite hidden. I wanted the Curlew to walk up to me...and he was getting nearer and nearer. I fired off a few shows, all the while he was walking and feeding, coming in my direction. Just then a dog ran out on the sand between myself and the bird and yes, you guessed it, he flew off.