16 April, 2013

Phylloscopus Photography

Another lovely sunny day out on the patch, but with noticably less migrant activity. Yesterday's Redstart had departed, and the only noticable arrivals were a handful of Willow Warbler into the woodland. The 200th species for the "1000 in a 1km square" challenge was quickly snapped up in the form of a flowering Sweet-violet, and the list quickly escalated to 210 species when the sun came out.

With both the common Phylloscopus warblers, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler, about in such good numbers, I took the opportunity to get a few photos with the new 300mm f/4 lens. The birds co-operated perfectly, but the wind was blowing a gale at times, and the lens lacks the modern godsend of vibration reduction, so it was hard to keep the camera steady. There were few keepers, with these two being the pick of the bunch.


Willow Warbler...

Telling apart Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler can be a bit of a pickle, especially if the birds are silent and feeding high up in a tree. It becomes a hell of a lot easier in the spring, when the birds enter breeding plumage and start singing. The Chiffchaff above had a ring on its right leg; would have been interesting to find out the code, and perhaps find out if it's an overwintering bird, or a long distance migrant from the continent. Will have to keep an eye out for it from now on.

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