I've spent a lot more time over at Lavell's Lake with the hope of seeing the local Barn Owl, but they've been very shy (unlike my other site!), it's believed that they're nesting albeit they're very late in the season. Hopefully I'll get to see some fledglings... I live in hope!
In a rare foray out of wildlife (and aircraft!), I ventured outside to see the "Blue Moon" - it's not actually blue, and I don't know why it's called that, but in essence it is a second full moon in a single month - again, I'm not sure which this is special!!
I used my Sigmonster lens and the new "Canon Extender 2x III", which doubles the focal length, this obviously will sacrifice some quality for the extra reach but that is the trade off.
In the meanwhile I'll still try to add to my list - it's not an official list, it's not a "birdspotter" list, it's just a list of wildlife I wanted to see this year...
A few years ago, on a visit to see some family in Norfolk my Dad spotted a Marsh Harrier, it was probably about half a mile away and therefore with the kit I had at the time it appeared as a vague dot in the distance!
I didn't make the assumption that today, with my camera and monster lens it would be any different, but worth a shot!.
So on another visit up this weekend we headed out to a local reserve "RSPB Titchwell", as well as a general array of waders and seabirds it has some resident Marsh Harriers too.
This is a quick shot of a Snipe I saw whilst looking around the skies for the Harriers.
We headed out but it only took a few minutes before we saw a pair flying (funnily enough) over the Marsh, unfortunately this was probably half a mile from our location on the path, so I set up using the extender for the extra reach.
I tracked the bird (with difficulty!) until it landed in the top of a tree - barely visible to the eye, but I set up the lens and took this shot at 1600mm! Of course it's not going to win any National Geographic prizes, but for a record shot at that sort of distance I'd say it was pretty good!
From the photo you can see this is a Female Marsh harrier, as it's darker with the brown shape on the face.
Obviously take the Sigmonster anywhere attracts attention, and one such interest was from a chap who told us that if we head to a different spot on the reserve (and guided us to it), we'd get closer shots - So we duly headed off in that direction.
Almost as soon as we got to the site it was apparent that he was indeed correct, and even the first shot I fired off was much clearer, showing the top of the feathers as she banked around.
Of course just to top it off, a third Marsh Harrier came in and started an aerial fight with the first one, great to watch their 'tumbling' in the sky, just wish I could have stayed longer to watch them! - Not least to get closer shots still.
The Marsh Harriers were a real treat for me this weekend, and unfortunately for me, sets another target of 'getting better shots next time', which is becoming a bit of a mantra! I don't have Harriers on our doorstep, otherwise I'd get lots of practice just like I do with our Red Kites.
They are so frequent over our house that often I tend to ignore them!, but the light was good yesterday so I thought I'd take some close-ups as they eyed up our barbeque!
This one looks like it might be a juvenile as it seems to have a lot more white feathers down the head and neck than usual.