Thursday, 29 August 2013


A late post from me, despite varied light in the afternoon Welford reservoir was reasonably productive image wise and a lot of footie to watch meant I was slow at processing the images. My only gripe being when the light was good the birds weren't nipping by. But there was a reason to a lot of activity, as well as some Blue Damsel Flys were either floating on the water surface (dead) or hovering around, there was a lot of ants along the wall of the dam..most of them flying ants..bit late I thought? The end result was a lot hosuemartins and swallows out feeding up, but also gulls..nothing of note just common stuff, Yellow wagtails kept making an apperance through out my stint...
Don't worry every flock that arrived, I checked for a Blue Headed Wagtail....nope lady luck wasn't striking twice today. A lot arrived in total over a four hour stint today, I counted 21 arrivals, however after a brief feed and drink most flew off towards the general direction of Hollowell. It was interesting to note one behavioural aspect of when the flock moved on, firstly it was always a male and female adult and two/three juveniles, they dropped in like it while others waited in the sky before dropping down, when they left the two adults would leave first circle round once the call which prompted the juveniles to leave but they left in small flocks of three/four birds...I thought they would all flock together to leave and not, what looked like family groups? However when I left four birds remained, they kept coming and going all through out my stint, but kept going to a small barn that's in a cow field behind the bridge, perhaps local birds or maybe a group not ready to move on?
One of the reasons I like Welford is the Housemartins and Swallows, on a good consistently bright day with little wind to keep the surface smooth it makes a good spot for...shall we say a more reflective tone...but sadly we don't get many days like that in the UK, when we do I'm normally working!!!!!!!!!!! Despite the low light level and a few tweeks in photoshop these swallows fall into "not too bad" category....

Still some interesting shots were got and made for good practise session for when I slaughter a cow just to get the sun to come out...the following House Martins was the same adult in moult a.k.a scruffy


I like this one but the grey isn't the sky but the water surface reflecting a grey sky, if you follow? Caught it after a low pass but I was standing on the steps looking down....
 A wee bit closer is something I'm always saying but it's true in the next image but still happy with it though.
 Now how many times have I mentioned the Kingfisher when posting about this site? Loads, how many times have I said to "quick" or my personal favourite "too far away", well I did see the bird a fair bit today here's how it went: screwed up one glorious chance-GOOD LIGHT AND CLOSE, few times to far away, once I missed it and saw it late and on one occasion two birds together but very distant (thank god...if he exists) but I got one flying through a bit far away soooo a first for the blog and from the reservoir one proper record shot. I PROMISE ONLY ONE RECORD SHOT PER BLOG POST FROM NOW ON...honest!


  1. Douglas, we sacrifice virgins up here not cows.

    These are brilliant Housemartin shots and the Kingfisher is the dogs whatsits. Record shot it's great.

    1. We used to sacrifice virgins round here too, but we soon ran out:)
      I only counted the KFisher as a record shot as I thought it was both a tad soft and grainy, but thanks for the should've seen the one that got away.

  2. Douglas you do yourself an injustice calling these record shots, they're all cracking images. I would be happy to get just one as good as these. You did well to 'catch' the Kingfisher...[;o)

    1. Thanks Trevor I kind of meant the Kingfisher being the record and the three shots of the housemartins too (distant), the others I would've liked a lot more had the light been a bit better.

  3. You really are the 'bees knees' when it come to flight shots, Doug. I love the simplicity, clarity, and composition of the juv Martin in flight - it's stunning!! The 'action' shots of Swallow and House Martin are rather more than "not too bad", and I'd have been more than delighted to have got that Kingfisher shot, even if there is a little room for improvement.

    A superb set of images!

    1. Cheers Richard, I like to tyy my hand at either flight or portrait and tried more portrait's this year, to be honest I prefer flight, room for improvement in both styles to be fair, you're right about the Kingfisher, this bird though is so,so,so smart and has been a little so&so to get an image of. To demonstrate it's cleverness, it's nesting site is on a marina near the canal and to fish on the reservoir has to fly-over the busy A5199 yet never been hit by a car/lorry...I think that's the best I'll get of this particular bird.