After rugby practise Jaden and I met up with Daniele Occhiato, a visiting birder and great photographer from Florence in Italy to spend a morning at the Pivot Fields, where we were kindly granted access in one car. Although still quite brisk temperatures, the trickle of arriving migrants put a feel of Spring in the air.
Daniele is a great Western Palearctic birder and a master with his Canon outfit (1DM4 and 600mm coupled with either 1.4 or 2x extender) and I learnt a lot from him during the morning, although the 50D is much slower in focussing than the 1DM4 with the same lens combination. Nevertheless, I was more pleased with the results, than with my first attempt. As I promised to myself for 2012, I have also started shooting in RAW, but the post-processing changes will still take time to become more familiar.
During the morning we noted an influx of Wheatears, still the most common was Isabelline Wheatear
|Isabelline Wheater (Oenanthe isabellina)|
|Pied Wheatear (Oenanthe pleschanka)|
We also found a very strangely marked Pied Wheatear, so were not sure if this is an aberrant vittata - any opinions out there?
|Pied Wheatear - odd vittata?|
Many Stonechats were aslo seen, these are European
|European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)|
Shrikes were represented by Woodchat
|Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator)|
|Daurian Shrike (Lanius isabellinus)|
As is to be expected, the White Wagtails are thinning out and are now replaced by Black-headed Wagtails (feldegg)
|Black-headed Wagtail (Motacilla f. feldegg)|
|Male House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)|
|Female Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus)|
|Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus)|
Stopping to check out the Croc Pond , we had this impressive beast nonchalantly stare back at us