Friday, 12 February 2016

The Right Choice - Dartford Warblers & SEO

Date: 11/02/2016

Location: Bristol Channel Area
Weather: Blue Skies 
Other Species:
Stonechat, Chiffchaff, Dartford Warbler, Short Eared Owl, Kestrel, Buzzard, Wren, House Sparrow, Oystercatcher, Redshank, Meadow Pipit, Raven - Plus A Few More.

Observation:
Started a cold morning with -2.5 showing on the temperature gauge on van, after a bit of scraping headed to Sand Bay where it seemed to be dog walking central! Never seen so many dog walkers, but head along shore line first with some Oystercatcher showing in amazing light with Black Headed Gulls also, got along as far as Pontins and returned along path almost on road .


Stonechats bobbing up and along the hedgerows, House Sparrow and Linnet on Shoreline. My main target was Dartford Warblers but Stonechat being a cracking little bird and always ready to pose !


After walking almost back to where I parked I spied a very large lens approaching it was Clive Dodd also looking for Dartford's and even better he had just seen them ! 
I spotted the female Dartford almost buried in bushes and continued to follow birds up and down beach as they seemed to be squabbling with Stonechats.


After a couple of hours of looking this female landed almost perfectly!


The male was much more elusive, this still a nice shot but this all I could manage.


After chatting with Clive it seemed he was also heading to look for Short Eared Owls at Uphill . I got there first by some 15 mins and was greeted with 2 almost straight away, quartering across first field by boat yard.


Heading on along estuary I spied a nicely perched SEO and another hunting. 
Golfers Eh. no ideal !


After stealthily.. well just walking to bushes this Male Short-Eared Owl I think ? Going on pale face as female has darker face and belly, 2 Male 1 Female .
Just sat there stunning and sunning him self!


I think I was very lucky after taking far to many shots around 150 of him sat here, he finally took flight and continued to hunt.


Always keeping those stunning eyes fixed between me and its prey !


When Clive reappeared we spotted 3 SEO in total with all the Owls hunting along hedgerows and along Estuary.


Managed some excellent shots and was very happy with the performance of my Canon 7D Mark II and 100-400mm lens, blue skies and great light definitely helps !


After a couple of hours walked on round the estuary where Redshank, Shelduck, Mallards and some more Oystercatcher were making the most of the receding tide, almost back to Van and almost out of card and battery and a SEO appeared in same field again couldn't resist and ended on 550 images and a magical day !


Thanks For Looking !