Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Another 1st for Brydon !

  It happened yet again, going off island on Sunday and another good bird turns up (someone said maybe I should go away more often). Not long after getting back from picking Catriona up from Lerwick after her trip away, I get a call from Brydon saying he had an interesting pipit at Norwick - it was now just after 3 and the light was starting to go. Getting over there 15 minutes later - the sun had gone down behind the hill - and Brydon and Mike P were dashing around trying to relocate the bird, it was a Water Pipit. Water Pipits are regular visitors down in southern England, but this was a first for Shetland (the 446th species apparently) They soon re-found the bird  feeding amongst the seaweed up on the beach. The light was very poor -  1600 ISO only gave me around 1/10th second exposure, useless for a long lens even on a tripod. Maybe in the future, I can tell my kids that this was from my 'creative phase'    :)

 ISO1600, 1/4 second @ f5.6

  Going over yesterday, on arriving I discovered that the bird hadn't been seen for over a hour, I thought it was going to be a long morning - and it was ! The bird basically gave everyone the run around and for some, it took them almost 3 hours to get to see it well. When it did return to the beach it was constantly harassed by the Rock Pipits which then made the bird fly off over into the marshy area of Norwick Meadows. The light was again pretty poor and even at midday I was only getting 1/160 second @f5.6 using 1600 ISO. Also having to crop it didn't give me much chance of a decent picture.

Water Pipit

  Going over to have another look this morning, when I arrived Dougie was already there having a look around, shortly followed by Mike S. We did see the bird but it was even more flighty than yesterday - even more Rock Pipits on the beach - which resulted in not getting any shots or seeing the bird well like yesterday. The wind was bitterly cold coming in off of the sea with frequent showers of rain, hail or sleet which didn't make for pleasurable birding. We stuck it for a couple of hours and then headed off for a cup of tea.

  Despite the low light, there were a few opportunities to get a few landscape type shots - although I often tend to just quickly grab a few shots before moving on as its usually when I'm heading off on the school run. Below are just three from yesterday and today.

The Houb, Baltasound
Buness House, Baltasound
Belmont House from the road to Westing


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