Hunting for elusive birds…

by Helen Hooker November. 17, 2019 755 views
There are always plenty of sparrows at Rainham Marshes. This shot contained a distracting clump of scarlet berries, so I plumped for a monochrome conversion to remove the distraction.

There are always plenty of sparrows at Rainham Marshes. This shot contained a distracting clump of scarlet berries, so I plumped for a monochrome conversion to remove the distraction.

I finally returned to Rainham Marshes today, some nine months after my last visit. I’ve been waiting for a calm, sunny day for ideal bird photography conditions, but sadly such days have been few and far between recently. Today turned out to be perfect, with blue skies and barely a breath of wind.

A decidedly scruffy looking magpie basking in the sunshine along the boardwalk

A decidedly scruffy looking magpie basking in the sunshine along the boardwalk

My hope was that I might finally see some Bearded Tits among the reed beds but once again I was foiled – their calls were audible but they simply refused to come out into the open. Perhaps one day my luck will change….

Two photos of Stonechats...

Two photos of Stonechats...

...and a Reed Bunting collecting nesting material

...and a Reed Bunting collecting nesting material

All was not lost though as among the reeds and I had several opportunities to photograph a pair of Stonechats and a Reed Bunting. Naturally they kept their distance, but I decided to use the nearby reeds to frame some of my photos, rather than cropping in too heavily after shooting.

Two more Stonechats

Two more Stonechats

Later this afternoon I circled back to the visitor centre and found a flock of starlings chattering and preening in a nearby tree. This particular bird still looked pretty scruffy, but the light was picking up some of the rainbow of colours hidden in its plumage nicely.

Finally, I found a huddle of photographers loitering along one of the paths. I discovered they were waiting for the local Short Eared Owl to emerge from the long grass, so I joined them and was lucky enough to catch one in-flight photo before the light faded too much.

17 November 2019

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Scribe 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Mozart's starling
Beethoven's magpies
Helen's darlings
melodiously prized.

Chopin's sparrows
Shumann's stonechats
Now, no tomorrow
Helen caught that.

Brahms' reed bunting
Bach's short eared owl
Helen's pursuing
triumphs every duel sparkling heart

6 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Fernando Bourgon 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Very nice pictures.

6 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Jim Hooker 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Love them all but #4 is gorgeous.

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Margarida Duarte 6 months, 3 weeks ago

#1 +1 Linda foto!

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Antonio Gil 6 months, 3 weeks ago

So beautiful throughout. Love your work Helen

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Jane Arrietty 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Great pictures! 
#6 is my favourite

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Benny Law 6 months, 3 weeks ago

These are outstanding bird shots. Great work!

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
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