Monday, 2 February 2015

Bearded Tits at Radipole Lake

It's been a long time since I last saw the Bearded Tits at Radipole Lake. Looking back on this blog I can see it was December 2009. I can't believe it was five years ago! It's always a bit hit and miss whether you see them or not but on my visit yesterday I was lucky enough to spot some almost immediately, a group of three, two males and a female. They were distant at first, showing well at the edge of a reed bed but across a large expanse of water. I decided the best strategy was to wait and hope they flew over the water towards me. I didn't have to wait too long (which is a good job because it was very cold and windy) until they did just that. They flew into the reeds right beside me but even though they were just feet away, they were totally invisible deep within the reed bed, I kept hearing them calling though so it was just a case of waiting until they came into view. When they did they were right in front of me, too near for my camera at first and I had to move back a bit. Photos were still a bit of a challenge as the birds were swaying violently in the strong wind, so getting one reasonably still and unobscured was just pot luck!
Amazing birds to watch, they're just so agile. You can see how windy it was from the photos, feathers everywhere!






Female


 


Look who else I bumped into ....





Hooded Merganser
Still going strong both at Radipole Lake and on my list! ;-)

I popped over to Portland hoping to see the Hooded Crow which has been hanging around at the Grove Pig Farm. Unfortunately I didn't see it, the main reason for this being that I couldn't even find the pig farm! Doh!!

Lastly, a couple of weeks ago I had some lovely views of Comet Lovejoy. From a dark site on the edge of Sidmouth it was a really nice naked eye object and superb with binoculars. I really miss my big scope which unfortunately I had to sell to raise some funds last year. It would have looked amazing through that. I had an attempt to get a photo of it but I just don't have the right gear. I don't have standard length lens for my DSLR so I had a go with the SX50. It will take a 30 second exposure but the ISO is restricted to 80, and it needs to be at around 800 to achieve a good result. So here's the not so good result that I got.


Taurus and The Pleiades are easily recognisable, that's something.
The comet is visible just...


It's there right on the tip of the arrow. You may need to enlarge it!
Definitely not worth freezing my fingers off for though.

6 comments:

JRandSue said...

What a brilliant post,full with knockout images,absolutely amazing.
I love Bearded Tits,it would be a dream come true to be able to capture so many outstanding images.
A very big well done,especially having to deal with strong winds.
John.

Natasha Hill said...

They're such adorable birds and these photos are amazing! I can imagine how windy it must have been but you captured them beautifully. - Tasha

Karen Woolley said...

Thanks John, You should go to Radipole sometime, they can show extremely well!

Thanks Natasha, Yes, they really are adorable.

Merlin4442002 said...

Smashing photos. We have been down to the lake several times but have never seen the little fellows. What time of the day did you see them?
Peter

Karen Woolley said...

Peter,

It was around midday, I've always seen them on the Buddleia Loop. Listen out for the calls as they are often there but hidden from view. Good Luck.

Ian Andrews said...

Fantastic bearded tit pics.