Well it was landed, then it took off, then it flew too high!! Today with it being really clear and bright, I decided to have another go at capturing a bird of prey on flight. I am going to get that shot……
As you can tell though, today’s main shot isn’t a bird of prey, it’s a back lit landscape scene. But I got really close, really really close today to the shot I’m after.
It was a strange turn of events though, and the image you see of the bird on the lamp post above, was where it all started.
I’d set off and stopped at the garage for some petrol and supplies, and was heading towards the location I thought best to spot some birds of prey, “Raptor Lookout”, when I saw one sat on top of a lamp post on the opposite side of the dual carriageway! The light was behind it though, and so to get closer and get the light in a better possition I drove down the carriage way and doubled back.
When I got to the spot I’d seen the bird, it was still there to my delight, and so I quickly got my camera ready with the long lens and the settings dialled in. I took a couple of shots through the car windscreen, which is what you see here immidiately above and below. (you can tell its through the windscreen I think becasue the blue of the sky is slightly different to the images further down this blog.
Just as I was about to get out of the car after grabbing the image with the bird sat on the lamp post, it took off! I had no time to get out and so captured a couple more images through the windscreen, my favourite of which is above. The light was really catching the back of the bird, illuminating its gorgeous fealther colours, and the thing I love the most about birds in flight is the shapes they create with their wings.
However, I was too far away for a really good shot; I’d parked with enough distance so as to not startle the bird when I got out of the car, and I was planning on slowly walking closer to get a nice clean shot. However, it wasn’t to be.
Happy I’d seen a bird of prey already, but a little disgruntled I didn’t get a real cose up, I headed off on my journey again. I’d gone another 3 or 4 miles, and again I saw another brid of prey sat atop one of the tall lamposts on a carriage way! I couldn’t believe my luck! Again I doubled back on the carriageway and parked up a little further away this time, just incase it was me that starlted the last bird.
However, once on foot I hadn’t got anywhere near the bird on the lamp post before I noticed two more circling direclty over head! That made it four I’d seen and I hadn’t even got to the location I was intending to visit yet. It really goes back to something I’ve said over and over in this journey. Capturing photographs every day you have to shoot for the conditions, so with clear bright skies to me it meant birds were on the cards.
The shot above is the closest I got to the two birds circling over head. They were there for a good while, however they were circling on a thermal, and clearly climbing higher and higher with every rotation they made. My chance was slowly circling away…….
With the birds way too far away in the distance, I took the opportunity to capture the image below, of an aeroplane in the shot with one of the birds, just for something a little different. With that, I set off again on foot to get closer to the bird on the lamp post that I originaly stopped for. I took two steps forward and it took off, but, it was heading towards the area I was heading for, so that felt promising anyway.
As it turned out, I saw one bird of prey in a tree whislt I was at Raptor Lookout, but it dropped to the ground really quickly and didn’t re-appear, I assume it had caught its lunch!
I took a couple of shots of the views, like the one below, and headed off back down the track, hoping some of the images of the birds I’d captured earlier would be good enough. Not fully confident though, I stopped off in another bird lookout spot I’ve not been too before, and whilst I got some nice images of the ducks splashing about, which was great fun to watch, the image I used for today’s main image was the one that really stood out to me.
Its a beautiful back lit, intimate scene of the sun behind some trees, lighting up a patch of reeds and reflecting in the water. It was just off to the left side of the bird lookout, no doubt seldom noticed by most people who visit, but to me it stole todays show. Its a touch busy, and I’m sure an hour later the light would have really ignited the scene, but I’d had my time, and then some, so I headed back home.
Learnings – amazing, four bird of prey I spotted on the way to “Raptor Lookout”, and once there I only briefly saw one. Nature is a wonderful thing, you just never really knwo whats going to happen!
I think I captured some decent shots of the raptors today, however, I am still far from satisfied I have the shot I want, so the search continues………