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I’ve just returned from a session of bittern photography at a local reserve where a breeding pair are presenting good photo opportunities to capture some flight shots. This elusive and rare breeding bird has a nest deep in the reedbed but I was able to place myself strategically so that I could get some flight shots as they flew from the nest out to feeding grounds. It’s always a game of chance as to which drection the birds fly, but there’s one flight path that works perfectly for photography. Here are a couple of images from today, slightly contra jour but I’m pleased with the results. I’ll add a few more as I edit or return to try for more images.

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This is probably the final post from my recent combined family holiday and  bird photography on Texel and so I thought I share a few images of the beautiful bluethroat and some of the landscapes of the island. The bluethroats are found in the dunes down on the SW corner of the island, but the morning I was there looking for them, the light was very poor. Typically, they performed superbly, almost taunting me knowing I was struggling with very high ISO to try and get a reasonable shutter speed. The landscapes on the other hand, were all done leisurely with the 645Z firmly mounted on a tripod so that I could use a  very low ISO and slow dhutter speeds to get the vreamy goodness out of the 50mp sensor! I’ve lots more images to edit, including yellow wagtail, tree pipit, brent goose, common tern and a few neutiful flowers such as intermediate wintergreen. Not a bad trip for four days, especially given I was only out shooting hard core wildlife for a few hours overall. I suspect I will be back very soon to the island, maybe even this autumn if the wader migration is good.bird photography on Texelbird photography on Texelbird photography on Texellandscape photography on Texellandscape photography on Texellandscape photography on Texellandscape photography on Texellandscape photography on Texellandscape photography on Texel

Some more imnages from my recent trip to do bird photography on Texel, a Fresian island off the coast of Holland. These are all images I took while on a family holiday there during the last week of May, probably the ideal time for most things, though early May could well be better for migrants and displaying waders. I think though, a trip there at any time throughout May and June will yield results. This images were just snatched in the early morning or late evening or as I cycled round the island with the family. I’ll probably post a few landscapes to finish with but I am pleased with the images and selection of species I managed to capture in a relatively small amount of time.

bird photography on Texel

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Part 3 of my bird photography on Texel while I was there with the family at the end of May. Here is another selection of birds that I managed to capture either as I drove round in the two hours after sunrise or on foot as we cycled round the island during the day. The portability of the Nikon D500 and 200-500mm kit is one of it’s strengths; there was no isuue in cycling round with the kit on my back in a Think Tank airport accelerator bag. OK, so there was some delay in dismounting the bike and getting the lens out of the bag, but often that wasn’t an issue. It was especially not an issue when I came across, say, a small pool with common terns fishing on it

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The second installment of my trip for bird photography on Texel. These are just a random selection uploaded as I process my images so no real order to them but they give a flavour of the images I created. There are a lot more Sandwich terns to cone as I spent a really enjoyable couple of hours photographing them as they came in off the sea to the nesting colony on Lancaster Dike. Of course, when shooting white birds in bright sunshine against a dark background like this, manual exposure is mandatory to maintain detail in the highlights. I tend to shoot mostly in manual exposure anyway as I feel I get better control over the final image with less editing but, every now and then, aperture priorty exposure saves the day. I was pleased to get a grasshopper warbler out in the open ‘reeling’ his head off in the early morning light, but he was just down a sandy embankment and it wasn’t possible to get the car close enought to him, so I got out carefully and edged my way towards him while hand-holding the 200-500mm. Another 5yds closer and he’d have been a perfect size in the frame. As it was, he dropped into the bush soon after these shots and I had to make do with a more artistic composition to mask the small size of the bird in the frame. Still, I’ve not photographed this species before so I’m pleased to have him under my belt.

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