BIRDS 131 – GREAT WHITE EGRET

 

 


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Great White Egret, a member of the heron family, on the edge of a reed bed in Herons Green Bay, at Chew Valley Lake, a reservoir just south of Bristol.  Two things make this photo rather special to me.  First, this was one of the places where two school friends whom I am still in touch with – one in The States, the other in Australia – got me into birding in 1967.  Herons Green Bay looks much the same as it did all those years ago, and its good to go back there now (less than half and hour’s drive away) and see this part of my birding roots more or less as they were.

The other thing is that the presence of this bird shows just how things can change because, back in the 1960s, this was a very rare bird in the UK, whereas now small numbers breed in the UK and there are usually a few individuals  at Chew Lake.  I imagine this is somehow related to climate change.

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Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format to give 450mm; 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait v2 profile; Chew Valley Lake, Somerset; 7 Dec 2020.
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ARCHIVE 512 – HAZEL AND REEDS

 

 


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Hazel shoots beside reeds; Chew Valley Lake, Somerset; 15 May 2015.

A spring morning, and young hazel shoots rise up from the drier ground beside one of the lake’s fringing reed beds.

The glowing greens of the young leaves are really the thing here, and so a shallow depth of focus reduces the reeds’ hard linear shapes to the softest of dark, streaked blurs.

Click onto the image to see a larger version in a separate window – recommended.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO.

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STILL LIFE 201 – ICY WATERS

 

 


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I left home before dawn on a very frosty morning and ended up, just after sunrise, in the Priddy Mineries nature reserve on the top of the Mendip Hills.  To say it was cold is vast understatement, and much of the small lake on the reserve was iced over.  The sun was just rising above the horizon, and its nearly horizontal rays illuminated the reeds around the water’s edge.

I metered for the reeds, to catch their golden glow.  Below them are their reflections in the still water, and the pale bluish rafts of ice – not yet illuminated by the sun but floating above the water’s dark depths.

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Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Priddy Mineries Reserve, on the Mendips, Somerset; 16 Feb 2018.
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ARCHIVE 229 – TUFTED DUCK

 

 

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Male Tufted Duck on the edge of a reedbed at Chew Valley Lake, south of Bristol; 18 Mar 2013.

This species is a common waterbird in the UK.  Rather than moving in close for a portrait – which I was completely unable to do – this picture shows the bird in a typical habitat.

Many male ducks (drakes) have beautifully coloured plumage, while the far duller plumage of the females (ducks) reflects their need to remain concealed on the nest while incubating their eggs.

D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 200 ISO.

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SOMERSET LEVELS 254 – BULRUSHES

 

 

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Bulrushes; Walton Moor, south of the Polden Hills; 13 Jan 2016.

Crouching down low beside a grove of these reeds, I looked inside, looking into another world. 

Low angle sunlight reached through to me but much remained diffuse and mysterious, a dark world within, somewhere I could only peer and guess at, somewhere I did not belong, somewhere my attempts at entry would only cause chaos and destruction.

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D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 400 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.
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