SOMERSET LEVELS 424 – WET MORNING, LEWIS’S DROVE (MONO)

 

 


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Looking northwards along the glistening tarmac of Lewis’s Drove (no relation!), on a very wet morning.  Telegraph poles lean haphazardly, a crow atop one; and the higher ground at Panborough is just visible through the murk.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further – recommended .

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in APS-C format to give 450mm; 3200 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait v2 profile; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Triste 2 preset and adding a light Coffee tone; Lewis’s Drove, on Westhay Moor, on the Somerset Levels southeast of Wedmore; 25 Sept 2019.
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BIRDS 119 – MUTE SWAN 6 (MONO)

 

 

The three young swans slowly and silently make their way down into the river

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In an earlier post (which you can find here ) I described a meeting with a family of Mute Swans on the banks of Cripps River, on the Somerset Levels.   I’d come upon a family of these birds on the river bank and, keeping quiet and still, started taking pictures.  I looked at them, they looked at me and then, unhurriedly and very gently, they made their way down to the water’s edge, and slowly moved off upstream.  Here are two more images from that quiet encounter.

Click onto each image to open a larger version in a separate window – recommended.

Two of the young swans, moving off slowly up river

Other recent bird pictures are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 .

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in APS-C format to give 450mm; in-camera processing and cropping of raw files, using the Graphite profile; further processing in Capture NX2; Cripps River, at Eastern Moor Bridge, on the Somerset Levels east of East Huntspill; 25 Oct 2019.
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BIRDS 118 – STARLING 2 (MONO)

 

 


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I like the contrast here between the gaunt, inorganic, linear, metal structures of the pylon and the small, rounded and very much alive birds – that’s “the big picture” here.

But do enlarge the image by clicking onto it twice in the usual way, to better see the massed ranks of these little birds clustered on the right side of the pylon – with all of their little beaks poking out.

There is another Starling image from this pylon here .

Other recent bird pictures are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 .

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 280mm; 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Neutral v2 profile; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Dynamic Harsh preset; Court Farm, southeast of East Huntspill, on the Somerset Levels; 25 Oct 2019.
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BIRDS 117 – EGRETS ON THE SOMERSET LEVELS (MONO)

 

 


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Great White (the two larger birds towards the left) and Little Egrets, feeding in the mud and water of old peat workings on Westhay Moor, on the Somerset Levels.  (For info: egrets are in the heron family)

Climate change?  I started birding, not too far from where these pictures were taken, in 1967.  And, as a friend from those far off birding days says, if we had submitted records of such a gathering to the Somerset Ornithological Society in those days, we would have been treated with total derision, with doubts about our honesty / mental health probably being thrown in too.  In 1971, anxious to see a Little Egret, my first in the UK, I had to travel all the way to the far west of Pembrokeshire, in Wales, for the treat.  And the Great White Egret has changed its status from being a rarity in the UK late in the last century, to being quite common now.

So, is this climate change?  I don’t know, is the simple answer; although, equally simply, I do believe that climate change is taking place.  But, from my mapping of the ranges of Kenya’s bird species, I know that factors other than climate change can influence bird distribution.  What is certain though, as my old birding friend said on seeing these pictures, is that this is not the Somerset that we used to know, 50+ years ago.

And of course, although we are seeing dramatically increased number of these egrets, numbers of many, many other UK bird species have fallen dramatically over these 50+ years: climate change may have had an effect here, but intensive farming practices are probably a bigger culprit at the moment.

Other recent bird pictures are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 .

Click onto each image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it – recommended.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 12,800 ISO; jpegs produced by in-camera processing of raw files, using the Graphite profile; no further processing; Westhay Moor, on the Somerset Levels northwest of Glastonbury; 25 Oct 2019.

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BIRDS 116 – MUTE SWAN 5 (MONO)

 

 


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Immature Mute Swans, moving slowly away while keeping me cautiously in view, on Cripps River.  I’d come upon a family of these birds on the river bank and, keeping quiet and still, started taking pictures.  I looked at them, they looked at me and then, unhurriedly and gently, they made their way down to the water’s edge, and slowly moved off upstream.

This is a jpeg generated and cropped in-camera from a raw file, using the Graphite profile, with no further processing in Lightroom.  Because my blog has a white background, I’d wondered about adding a thin black border in Silver Efex Pro 2, but then decided to leave these birds floating within a wider whiteness.

Other recent bird pictures are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 .

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it – recommended.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in APS-C mode to give 450mm; 3200 ISO; in-camera processing of the raw file, including use of the Graphite profile and cropping; no further processing; Cripps River, at Eastern Moor Bridge, on the Somerset Levels east of East Huntspill; 25 Oct 2019.
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BIRDS 115 – STARLING (MONO)

 

 

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Large flocks of Starlings roam the flatlands of the Somerset Levels in autumn.

Other recent bird pictures are here: 1 2 3 4 5 .

Click onto the image to open another version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it.

Technique:  Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 70mm; 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Dramatic profile; Court Farm, southeast of East Huntspill, on the Somerset Levels; 25 Oct 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 423 – TOTNEY DROVE (MONO)

 

 


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Morning commute in the countryside: high speeds down narrow lanes.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in APS-C format at 450mm; in-camera processing of raw file, starting at the Graphite profile; further processing of the jpeg in Lightroom; Totney Drove, on Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels southwest of Wedmore; 9 Sept 2019.
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BIRDS 114 – MUTE SWAN 4

 

 


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Adult swan standing in the shallows at the lake’s edge, preening.  I’ve added a light vignette in Color Efex Pro 4.

Other recent bird pictures from Chew Valley Lake are here: 1 2 3 4 .

Click onto the image to open another version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it – recommended.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in APS-C mode to give 450mm; 800 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait v2 profile; Color Efex Pro 4; Herons Green, Chew Valley Lake, Somerset; 18 Oct 2019.

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SOMERSET LEVELS 422 – WET MORNING (MONO)

 

 


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A wet morning – LOL! this is England in late September after all!!! – driving westwards on Godney Moor, rain pouring down, one side of the single track road already awash – and I stopped to take a picture through the streaming windscreen.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it – recommended.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 105mm; 3200 ISO; in-camera processing of a raw file using the Graphite profile; further processing of the jpeg in Lightroom; Tripps Drove, Godney Moor, on the Somerset Levels southwest of Wells; 25 Sept 2019.
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BIRDS 113 – MUTE SWAN 3

 

 


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Other recent bird pictures from Chew Valley Lake are here: 1 2 3 .

Click onto the image to open another version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it – recommended.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in APS-C mode to give 450mm; 800 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Neutral v2 profile; Herons Green, Chew Valley Lake, Somerset; 18 Oct 2019.
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