Thursday, 20 December 2012

The twelve birds of Christmas - part three

The fifth bird

This is a particular favourite for me. Early June in Latvia and the local forests were full of singing Wood Warblers. It wasn't hard to seek one out, the only tricky bit was avoiding the voracious mosquitos as I'd try to photograph them. But it was worth it, fantastic to watch them glide from branch to branch before pausing to deliver their 'spinning coin' song and plaintive call.

I made a short movie clip of this singing male as well as taking what is, I think, one of my favourite shots from 2012.

Here's the movie clip first:

Singing Wood Warbler - Jurmala, Latvia

And here's the photo!

Wood Warbler, Jurmala, Latvia - June 2012

Focal Length - 500mm, aperture - f4, ISO400, shutter speed - 1/80s with tripod

The sixth bird

Autumn passage of Northern Wheatears seemed to go on for several months, I saw the first juveniles on Ballynamona beach in early August and birds were still present in early November. However, the early November birds looked bulkier and based on the time of year I guessed they may be 'Greenland' subspp. 'leucorhoa'. 
Using a large piece of driftwood as cover, this nice Greenland Wheatear came quite close to me as I photographed it on Ballynamona beach during the first few days of November.

possible 'Greenland' Northern Wheatear - Ballynamona beach, Cork - November 2012
Focal length - 700mm (500mm lens with 1.4 extender), aperture - f7.1, ISO200, shutter speed - 1/500s with tripod.

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