Monday, 6 January 2014

GREAT WHITE EGRET AND LONG TAILED DUCK

I was supposed to be at work today, however my firm had other ideas, they were concerned about having some of "us" less experienced drivers pulling tankers in these winds and have rolled the dice and taken a gamble by switching the "newbies" like me to the shift pattern which starts on Thursday, the plan being it's less windy...we'll see.
So off I went up to the new formed wetlands that is Summer Leys, water levels still high. The Lapwings were restless so I tried some shots of these first.


 There was also a Crow which I hope was playing golf and trying to avoid the latest water hazzard, though sadly I expect it was in winter training ready for the spring.
 Wildfowl wise I spent most of my time waiting for a decent enough shot of the Long Tailed Duck on Mary's Lake, it gets very soggy around the lake with the water reaching near the carpark. Had this odd looking Tufted Duck drift past, I think it's a Tufted Duck and not a hybrid Tufted Duck x Scaup.
 Sadly still after a Goldeneye flight shot but this female was to much to resist...I think I startled her when she bobbed up.
A quick walk up the side of Mary's Lake and I flushed the Great White Egret which flew down and onto Pete Wild's, flying into the sun, not helpful but quite pleased with this one..
 Not so happy with this one almost clipped it's wing at the top of the frame.
 So I headed back down towards Mary's Lane as I swore it landed at Pete Wilds lake and didn't go onto the reserve. I got to the metal gate and sat in the reedbed was the Great White Egret, sadly the birds head was blocked by some reeds, but it was very close, showing quite well until a lady emptying her car of barking dogs flushed the bird back up the lake...sod it I wasn't going to wade through all that mud again, so went to photograph the Linnets again. This was the best shot but also saw 5 Grey Partridges, something I thought I wouldn't see nevermind type. I grabbed some more flock shots of the Linnets But best was to come....

LINNETS AND A FEW GREENFICHES
Cruising down the hedgerow between Pete Wild lake and the field with the Linnets in the Great White Egret made another appearance....I screwed the exposure up.
It dived down just behind the hedge in the image until it was flushed by a Grey Heron, I saw it twice more today but right at the top of Pete Wild's Lake near the pylons. Not a bad day.
POST RE-EDITED ON 07/01/14: Thanks to Adrian I think I might have solved a problem I was struggling with when it comes to editing certain images. I had one Great White Egret shot I was chuffed with but I had almost clipped it's wings off as I craned my head back, standing on a very slippy/muddy footpath the weight of the 500mm almost snapping my neck....the things I'll do to get an image. Well I think I've sorted the image let me know what you think....

16 comments:

  1. Super shots ! Photographing birds requires discipline to create an effective photograph that captures their beauty and nuances… when not in flight.

    Regards Tim

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    1. Totally agree Tim, also a lot of respect, I see too often people chasing birds from pillar to post and still not get an image, personally i like to sit and wait...and wait and wait:o) The Great White Egret which i flushed off the bank of the lake was hidden by a massive Blackberry bush and even though I couldn't see the waters edge nevermind the massive bird i still felt a small bit of guilt that it was flushed.

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  2. Great shot of the naughty Crow,nut the Great White Egret is perfect. On the second one it is worth extending the canvas ans patching in some sky.

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    1. The crow was funny and fascinating to watch, it was very obvious what it was doing and why but found it odd it didn't realise it wasn't a real egg...but this is one of many reasons wader breeding success at Summer Leys is dropping.
      On the second GWE I managed to stretch the canvas but the bit that has stumped my so far is the sky, I can't match the colour of the sky to the new canvas..it looks fake, I got a massive book by a man called Martin Evening for CS3, so I got some reading to do:o)

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    2. Douglas, try selecting the bird with the magic wand, then invert the selection and use the biggest brush you can with the softest edges. You can then keep picking sample points and paint away. You can paint over the Egret as it isn't selected and with a 5 pixel feather on the selection it should be invisible on that sky. Alternatively select Egret and paste to a new layer go back to the layer you selected from copy selection back then just paint with the clone stamp over the hole that is there. you can the paste the egret onto a pristine and sky and move it where you want.

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    3. That's a great tip, I've done one quick version and now I'm going to do a better attempt, thank you.

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    4. Douglas it should take about ten minutes it's ages since I've done it but It will be a maximum of an hour. I don't tend to swap skies anymore but I do clone out nasties. The image is a belter so send it to me and I'll do it. Send as a tiff from the original for great quality or just send the RAW file as a png. I don't charge as editing is what I love. I'm too old to spend hours freezing for the image. I won't colour correct or sharpen as the former is womens work and the latter is for the printer.

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    5. I think I cracked it Adrian, I got this massive book for xmas and I'm just starting to play with the images a bit more it just takes a very long time to seep into my empty skull, it has come as a bit of a shock but I'm begining to realise I was at most only 5% of photoshop abilities....email on way.

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  3. Fantastic shots Doug! That GWE really is a stunning bird! I've only seen one once down at dungeness but it seems they are seen more often now!

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    1. Thanks Lou, I hope you're ok in Kent what with recent weather events.
      I think this is my third winter on a trot I've been able to see GWE's during the winter in Northants hopefully they'll be like Little Egrets as they're an amazing bird.

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  4. I love your GWE images, Doug. That edit on the one near top of frame has worked a treat. The rest of the images aren't too shabby either!!!

    I hope your 'back to work' today went OK.

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  5. Thanks Richard, I had some great help from Adrian over at "Adrians Images", top bloke.
    Sadly my boss seems better at predicting the weather then the Met Office.

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  6. WOW!!! great pics!
    Lovely ducks I don't see where I live!
    Well done for the Lapwing in flight, these are very unpredictable and taking pics is not that easy when hidden in hide... well for me in any case!!

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    1. Thank you Noushka, we don't often get the Long Tailed Duck here in Northants it's been a pleasant winter visitor this year

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  7. A bunch of excellent images yet again Doug, especially the GWE, simply stunning stuff!

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    1. Cheers Paul the GWE is a big beastie, really takes your breath away when you see one trying to land.

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