A morning out at the Penrhyn Bird Hide
Well today is the first time since Christmas that I have found time to get out and do a little Photoshoot. what with work and illness, it's been difficult. Anyway, I finished a big bathroom job yesterday and as it was such a nice day, I decided to get my old bones out into the cold but sunny day and visit the bird hide close to Penrhyn Castle just outside Bangor.
Starting off from home and onto the A55 Bangor By-Pass, I spotted this Buzzard proudly sitting on top of a lamp-post.
Took a couple of shots and headed onto the hide.
Much to my delight, Long-Tailed tits were about and a group of 5 were busy at the feeding station
Taking it in turns to feed whilst others kept an eye out for something nasty!!!
When I could, I took a shot of the birds away from the feeders, I think birds ON feeders do look a little un-natural and hey!! anyone can take a bird on a feeder!!! Lol
Looking at the camera or the other way, they are attractive birds with their delicate pink plumage and that elegant long tail that gives them their name.
I managed to take quite a few shots with my 300mm lens but due to it NOT having image stabilisation, quite a lot of them were a bit fuzzy to say the least.
This one came out nice and sharp, just got that bloomin twig in the way though!!!
This one decided not to do acrobatics on the feeders and waited for whole seed to fall to the ground. Long-Tailed tits are quite hard to photograph because they are such flitty little characters. A quick shutter and as much light as you can get, on most of these, I forced the flash.
Looking into the frozen pond from the hide, I could see three Egrets all busy preening and "fishing" Most of the pond was frozen so any areas that had not frozen were a good place to find the Egrets.
This perch is a fave of some of the Egrets, as you may remember from the last shot I took here. Not sure if it's the same bird but it seemed at home for sure
The light, as you can see was very good and this shot was taken at 2000th of a sec, handy when you don't have IS.
The other two decided to take flight and this shot was taken through branches of a three but I think they are diffused enough for you to see the birds in flight
This one had more branch for me to contend with but it's not too bad.
Onto another species that hang around the hide and that is the Chaffinch, a handsome bird, both male and female, nice markings and unlike the Long-Tailed Tits, are not as jumpy and will gladly sit and pose for you.
Here, the female just looks on as you snap away. She almost looks as if she is saying, "how do you want me?"
Another shot of the male.
Last one of the Chaffinch and only right we should finish off with a lady with a mouthful!!!
On now to the most common of the Tits, the acrobatic little Blue Tit, very common but such delightful birds. I could just sit and watch the antics of these for ages.
A Blackbird makes an appearance, I heard it singing very soon after I got to the hide, a beautiful song, one of the best in the charts I think, that along with the Robin.
Another of the Tit family, the Great Tit, striking markings. Not as brave as the Blue Tit and I think a little less easy to shoot, this is where a little knowledge comes in handy. If you watch the Great Tit, when he comes to a feeder, they will Always land on the same perch, look around and then go to the feeder, some of the Blues, just go straight to the feeder but with the Great Tit, they will never let you down and you can get a good shot, you have to be quick though.
Before you know it....Off they go and you miss your chance.
Remember, watch them, get to know the route they take and you better your chances to get a shot.
Another Finch to stop by is the Greenfinch, a bit bigger than the Chaffinch and you will notice too, a much larger seed crushing bill. A bit of a bully at the feeder though. So be prepared that, if the Greenfinch is on the feeder, the other birds will no doubt have shot off and wait till it's had it's fill.
But even the Greenfinch is no match for the master bully of the feeders, the Nuthatch. With it's menacing beak and large size, ALL vacate the feeder when he arrives.
Moving on from bullies to everyones favourite, the Robin. cheeky, brave and very good looking (a bit like myself really!!!) Lol. This has to be our most popular bird.
Well dressed in all seasons and a wonderful songster, Sitting in the higher most branches singing their little hearts out. The duet of Robin and Blackbird to me, is brilliant.
Always ready to pose too.
So now, away from the hide, I nip into Bangor to the Penrhyn Quay. It's about lunchtime and there are always cars parked with folk eating one of our local deliciouses, Fish and Chips!!!
A good opportunity to take a shot of a bird in flight.
Panning and focus being the key to getting a good shot. This last few here were taken on Auto-Focus with continuous set. The focus would continue to adjust as the subject moved closer or further away.
These shots were taken at 1/2500th of a sec at F5.6. Standing with legs apart and panning to follow the bird.
Once you get the knack, you can get some quite good shots, good focus on the bird and even some interest in the background.
The tussle for scraps of Fish and Chips, does cause some disagreements!!!
The younger ones soon take the hint and fly off
leaving the mob to clear up!!!
Still at the Quayside, I spot a Oyster-Catcher all on his lonesome, pecking away, or rather, sticking his beak right down into the grass on the hunt for worms.
Close by, a Pied Wagtail runs along with that tail in it's distinctive "wag wag" action and then occasionally leaping into the air to grab a midge or fly.
Nearly back home now and just in the field as I come into the village, I spot a few Redwings and stop the van and take a couple of shots.
A thrush sized bird with the distinctive Red markings under the wing.
They often gather in large groups but there were only the two on this occasion
Accompanied with this Mistle Thrush.
Ok ok, so you are fed up with birds. Just for you, I finish off with a sheep. Well I do live in Wales after all!!
I hope you enjoyed the little trip today. I certainly did and found that at long last, I could get out with the camera, get into the fresh air with good light.
Thanks for popping by if you did, I hope you liked the shots.
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