Friday, 16 November 2012

Big Dipper

Having got distracted by the showy Otters last week, I didn't manage to get any photographs of the Black-bellied Dipper and it was only seen briefly a few times after that so I thought my chance had gone.  Yesterday afternoon, it reappeared and was well twitched by several BTO folk during their coffee break, but as I didn't have my big lens with me having walked in to work, I didn't go so instead thought I'd try today instead.
As I pulled up this morning a forlorn looking birder was just leaving so I assumed the bird wasn't around, but as soon as I glanced over the bridge, the Dipper flew up and along under the bridge.  I went back to the car to get the camera and sure enough, it was still present on the other side of the bridge and showed extremely well, and thankfully the river has dropped a bit since last week and so there are some stones for it to feed from in true Dipper style.  Typically though this morning is very gloomy and the bird insists on sitting in the shade of the bridge so even on high ISO setting, the best shutter speeds are 1/40th of a second, but it does sit still long enough to get something fairly sharp and will hopefully stick around until nicer weather so I can get some better shots.


The fact it stays in one place for long periods means I was even able to get some video footage using the D300s....

video


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

An Otterly amazing morning

Following the discovery of a Black-bellied Dipper along the River Thet near work yesterday, this morning saw several BTO birders searching for this scarce visitor to these parts.  After a few minutes after I arrived the bird was located and showed well, and thankfully for those who keep "Nunnery Lakes Lists", it was within the boundary of the reserve, albeit right at the edge but tickable nonetheless.  I didn't manage to get any photos of the Dipper today but whilst searching for the bird which was very mobile and elusive a short while later I came across an Otter, which after a while gave superb prolonged views as it ate a Perch on the opposite bank of the river.


Amazingly, as I watched this animal, a couple of Mute Swans swam past but the Otter took no notice of them, but as one got out of the water, the swan immediately turned around and raced back into the water, all the while hissing.  With the Otter still enjoying its breakfast, it wasn't immediately obvious what had caused the swan to panic, until a second Otter appeared and joined the first Otter, presumably they are siblings or possibly large cub with its mother.