27 April 13 BNGs at "The Eyes"

29th April 2013
Every working week seems like a month and every weekend seems to disappear in a flash!

With the weather forecast for Saturday being sun, the draw of the Black-necked Grebes at “Woolston Eyes” coupled with the fact that I’d left a flash card there last weekend was too great to miss.

The Black-necked Grebe season seems to be in full swing now with up to twenty birds recorded, possibly more.

After parking up I could hear a Chiffchaff calling and eventually I found it but would it face the camera, no, or when it did there was a twig in the way. It’s very frustrating this nature photography!

Chiffchaff Behind

I went to the John Morgan hide first because my flash card should have been there but it wasn’t and neither could I see any Black-necked Grebes, a bit of disappointment with that then.

There was a bit of activity around the feeders so I managed to get a photo of a male Bullfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Magpie.


Great Spotted Woodpecker

As there weren’t any Black-necked Grebes to be seen and none of the waders that have been on No3 Bed apparent, I decided to go the Rotary Hide.

When I got there, there were another couple of photographers in there but they weren’t birders and a bit unsure of what they were photographing. It’s nice to be able help someone and I remember when I was in the same boat a few years back.

Anyway there was a group of six or seven Black-necked Grebes on this pool. I already had the 1.4x convertor fitted to the 500mm on the Canon 7D, so it was just a case of setting the tripod up and waiting.

It wasn’t too long before some moved in front of the hide and I had a fighting chance of getting a few reasonable shots.

The light was quite variable but there was some lovely light at one stage giving a lovely yellow/green cast on the water.

Black-necked Grebe

Black-necked Grebe

The hide may be 50ft or more from the water so even with the equivalent of an 1100mm lens, the photos still need a very large crop applied to see the birds at a reasonable size in the frame. So with the convertor fitted and lots of cropping applied the quality of the photos isn’t great; but I’ve seen worse.

At one point two Black-necked Grebes started displaying only to be halted in their tracks by a third one muscling in on the act; two’s company and threes' a crowd! It spoiled a decent photo opportunity as well, shoot.

Black-necked Grebe starting to display

Three's a crowd

While I was there Brian Martin camera into the hide and handed me my flash card so the day wasn’t as disappointing after all: I took some half decent photos and my flash card was back in my bag. Thanks Chris, Dave and Brian.

Black-necked Grebe

I like to play with Photoshop, so the above has had some Photoshop treatment, personally I like the treatment and I think it is an improvement on the original but it’s probably not to every ones taste.

Thanks for reading,


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