I told you yesterday that I had a plan to get a good image of a Cetti's. Well they are getting better every day. Today's best was really frustrating, within seconds of leaving the car park at Exminster a nice male bird was showing absolutely brilliantly. I had the wrong lens on the camera and the tripod was still folded, I had no choice but to try for some hand held shots......... well no chance of success. By the time I got myself sorted the bird had taken to cover! Then later again with the big lens on, a Cetti's was so close to me that I had to move backwards because I was within the focal length of the lens! How typical, if I had been armed with my usual high quality Sigma 50-500 I would have got that picture that I am after! So anyway here are three of today's best efforts. The first one is the hand held shot with a 500m lens and a 2x convertor, it gives an idea of what might have been! The second image is with this lens but on a tripod and shows the bird partially hidden and the third is where I had to walk backwards to get the lens to focus. As you can see, he is partially hidden again but they are getting better.
Just a reminder to click on the thumb to see a full size image in a different window.
So, Cetti's are one thing but Reed Warblers-Acrocephalus scirpaceus have now arrived and are holding territories. They are very closely related to the Sedge Warbler-Acrocephalus schoenobaenus. Notice they are the same family-Acrocephalus. I chatted to a nice friendly young bloke who was armed to the teeth with optics and it turned out that he was working for the RSPB on the Lapwing project. He obviously knows the Marsh very well and told me where I might get a good shot of a Reed Warbler. His advice was spot on and here is the reward. Notice the length of beak on the Reed, I have read on a few forums that there can be some confusion between the Whitethroat and the Reed Warbler. But the beak length should tell the difference in silhouette and in my opinion the Whitethroat is a more colourfully marked bird. However in the second image you can see how white the throat seems to be on the Reed Warbler. It is also very easy to confuse the song of the Sedge Warbler and Reed Warbler but when the Reed Warbler shows himself notice the total absence of markings on the head which are really a feature of the Sedge Warbler.
Sedge Warblers are easy to see and photograph at the moment but perhaps no less interesting for that. This is an image of one that I am pleased with.
I noticed today as I walked aling the very muddy path at the back of the Marsh.......... we have had so much rain just lately............. that in the mud there waere several very clear prints of Roe Deer. In all my visits to the marsh I have never seen Deer or been told that they are there, but I can absolutely confirm that this is the case.
So what next?
I am looking to find Whitethroat. I know they are at Exminster, just hav'nt had the encounter yet.