Monday, 30 September 2013

ECTON SEWAGE FARM-STOAT 30/09/13

I opted in grey skies and occasional sun to go for the darkest site I could think of , I do like this site but it's hard to get images from. I saw Buzzard and Kestrel up against grey skies, a Greenshank very far away and landing in the fields behind the sewage treatment plant, I could hear a Green Sandpiper calling from the reed bed area, never saw it though and saw and watch a distant Kingfisher and fluffed my chances on a fly through.
Found plenty of common birds lurking in the hedgerow but the amount of foliage was blocking views of good birds, plenty of Chiff-Chaffs and Black Caps but all hiding in amongst the foliage....
BUGGER!
 Low light when I first arrived was playing havoc with the shutter speed, the area I was in was so shady/dark there were plenty of moths flitting around!! Still I got this marmite shot below, no photoshop trickery just low shutter speed...it made me chuckle.
ONE FOR YOU TO GUESS THE SPECIES, NO PHOTOSHOPPING!
I did manage one half decent image of a Blue Tit
I was sat on a concrete bridge near what's known as Clover Lake, it's a good spot to catch Kingfishers nipping through, if you're quick, I wasn't, but my day wasn't a complete waste as I crouched waiting/hoping for the Kingfisher to nip through again I could hear this Wren ticking away like mad, and I could see it was very agitated and could see something moving at the base of the bush, when it suddenly ran out and onto the bridge, feet away from me, I couldn't believe my luck..
 It stopped dead in it's tracks and stared at me, you could sense it was wondering whether to turn tail or carry on...
 The above image shows where it wanted to go.........
 It crouched down, stamped it's feet up and down and "charged" me...so to speak and headed right towards me and my massive 500mm prime lens...cheeky/brave/stupid bugger, and to prove I'm not speaking with forked tongue, a record shot of it coming to close for the lens below..
 They do half move quick as it scampered past within inches of me into the thick vegetation. I was well chuffed with this close encounter, it was quite comical, I perhaps would I've like to have had more then f/4.5 to get more of the body in focus, but I didn't have time to adjust the settings to much, I knocked the exposure down by a third to get me a bit more shutter speed and better tones.
If it hadn't been for the stoat I think the below image could easily have summed up my day.....with the replacement of one vowel of course........

14 comments:

  1. Superb shots, I'm amazed how brave and fast they are.

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    1. It was the bravery, in fact I was debating wheter I should turn tail and ran away :o)

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    2. Douglas, I always have the dogs in tow but they don't mess with stoats or weasels. They saw one catch a rabbit in the snow once. I think they thought they were next. The ferret man that comes to clear rabbits also has terriers and he said none of his have ever tried to worry a ferret. My two didn't either. Make sure you tie a bit of string round the bottom of your trousers.

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    3. A bit worrying, but I guess with them teeth most dogs would be vulnerable.

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  2. Just catching up with your posts Douglas, been away to a birthday party in London all weekend...recovering yesterday!!. You got some excellent images from Harrington. It looks like a good site, with plenty of potential?
    What a great encounter that was with the Stoat, it obviously had plenty of bottle and wasn't at all phased by coming face to face with a strange creature with one big eye and, in the end, it posed perfectly for you.

    Nice last picture...a great pair!!!...[;o)

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    1. Cheers Trevor. Harrington is a good site, a bit wind swept and at time desolete but also very good for birds. I've often wonder what we look like to the wildlife we watch and photograph, we must look very odd.
      Scary big ol'heffers see the one lurking in the shadows, young and grumpy that one.

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  3. Oh wow, a Stoat, bah humbug. I have never caught one of those. Great pictures Douglas.

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    1. Cheers Bob, a first close up chance for me, normally too far away or too fleeting of a view.

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  4. Woww! Fantastic stoat images!

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    1. Thakns Lou, I struck lucky by getting a close encounter and some images, very odd experience too

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  5. I'm extremely impressed by the Stoat images, Doug. These chance encounters are some of the more magical moments in life. So pleased that you managed to capture the moment so well!

    I had a less than magical encounter on my way to Birdfair. A Rabbit ran across the road in front of me. I managed to miss it but I wasn't prepared for the Stoat that followed it. Unfortunately I hit it, and I still feel bad about it. My only consolation is that I almost certainly saved the Rabbit.

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    1. Thanks Richard, you're right the chance encounters can often be very memorable.
      What a shame about the squashed stoat, still it means either a corvid or a buzzard got a meal...it makes me wonder if that stoat you photographed outsdide the hide at Rutland was coming to get revenge!

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    2. I shall now have nightmares about a gang of stoats grabbing me by the throat.

      Do you know the old one about telling the difference between a weasel and a stoat:-

      A Weasel is weasely recognised, but a Stoat is stoatally different!!

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    3. I shall have to remember that one for the next time I walk into a really quiet hide....should please everyone inside :o)

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