Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Well it is only April 2nd!!!

I looked out to the garden this morning to see a beautiful Spring day, my thoughts turned to getting out and try to get a few bird images. As I gazed around the garden I noticed my Ali Barber water feature, it was bloody frozen. 

I had a brew and went to feed my birds, an hour later I came in to a roaring fire, well it is only April 2nd.

That's it I thought I'm out. I had been talking to a mate about some Red Kites he had seen in Lincolnshire, so armed with his information off I set. It was about an hour and a half journey, and it was a lovely drive on a very Spring like day. As I arrived I could see in the distance many Sea Gulls of various descriptions, on closer inspection I spotted my quarry, a Red Kite. These birds were persecuted to near extinction in recent times, but are now with help making a recovery, so it was pleasing to see one so near to my County of Leicestershire. A quick drive around the area and I had seen about eight different birds, happy days. The first sightings were very high and difficult to photograph as you will see from the following images, but It was wonderful to pit my whits against such a lovely creature.

It was frustrating in a way that where the birds were situated the sun was coming from the wrong direction as far as photography is concerned, resulting in a lot of silhouette type shots, that coupled with the wind also coming from the wrong direction, meaning the birds were hovering into the wind, in front of me, leaving me taking shots of their arses. I have never been very good at bird in flight shots, but these weren't perching so I had no choice. There were times when all the birds drifted away on a thermal, resulting in no Red Kites to be seen, but it was not too long before they were back. I tried other area's in an attempt to get into a better position, but when I got the light and the wind right, the birds were approximately a quarter of a mile away. On one circuit of the site though I was pleased to briefly bump into a perched Buzzard, I say briefly because as soon as it saw me it took off, not quick enough though as you will see from the images below.

Common Buzzard

Back to the Kites, I ended up where I was earlier, not the best position but the best chance of getting a decent shot of a kite. It proved to be as I was just about to call it a day, my eyes were running due to the freezing wind and I was struggling to pick out the birds in the view finder, but one did come close enough for the desired shot, here it is.

All in all a great few hours spent with one of my favourite Hawks. On my return home I called in at one of my favourite spots, to look for Owls in the mature tree's that line the entrance. I have to report that I saw no Owls, but I did see these Spring Lambs with their protective coats, farmers have reported many losses due to Hypothermia. Well it is only April 2nd.