10 Jan 2014 Woolston Eyes

14th January 2013
On Sunday morning I choose to visit Woolston Eyes as I needed a change of scenery and hopefully I would see some different birds. When I got up the ice on the car was pretty obvious but even so I didn’t think it had been cold enough to freeze the pools down at “The Eyes”.

Unfortunately I was totally wrong and there was no open water at all and consequently no waterfowl although there were quite a few Teal flying around the pools. Presumably looking for some open water.


Flying Teal

Unusually I met a few people to talk to and Douglas Buchannan told me the committee were considering erecting a photographers hide but this is still very much a consideration rather than a definite. I know I would be interested in using it depending on where it is erected i.e. how close it is to the water and the view from it.

Apparently the contractors carrying out the work on No3 bed have lost a digger to the water/mud and it is now submerged; an expensive error to make but no doubt it was insured.

I took my time wandering around the meadows and attempted to be artisitic with my photography, whether it worked or not I’m not sure.


Teasel with water droplets



I eventually made my way around to the Centre Hide and although there weren’t any waterfowl to see, there were quite a few birds using the feeders.

Although the feeders in my opinion are slightly too far away from the hide for good photographs, it’s always worth having a go.


Feeding Station by the Centre Hide

Just for information the above photo was taken with a 24-70mm lens set at 62mm and there is a Great Spotted Woodpecker on the RH Feeder.

Luckily even though the sun wasn’t splitting the heavens it was light enough to get a shutter speed of 1/500th at f4 and ISO 400; I don’t like using ISO’s >400 because the noise becomes more noticeable.

Neither was I tempted to use the 1.4x teleconvertor that I had in my bag, as that reduces the amount of light reaching the sensor and slows the autofocus. Of course it does increase the effective focal length of the lens by x1.4 so the subject appears larger in the frame. However I decided that if I got some interesting birds on the feeders I’d use a tighter crop with the Photoshop software that I use for editing the photographs. Swings and roundabouts!!

The cold weather must have made the feeders an attractive proposition for the birds as there were quite a few birds around, including Brambling, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay and Willow Tit.


Great Spotted Woodpecker


Jay


Brambling


Willow Tit

Thanks for reading.

Andy

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