Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Photographing the Reed Bunting

With a family visit to Leeds Castle this morning at 10am I only had until just after 9am which at least gave me a few hours to wander around the patch. It started off as usual at 4.50am with my driving around in the darkness trying to get a Nightingale but despite my best efforts, this species still eludes me as does a Grasshopper Warbler which I tried for at Beltinge on the cliffs. Hopefully these species will cross my path soon! I then drove over to the towers as it was getting light and walked down the seawall to Coldharbour and inland to Chambers Wall and back along the embankment. The sun soon broke through the clouds although there was a chilly wind but despite no new species for the year list I had a productive few hours. One of my missions this morning was to photograph a Reed Bunting I have been watching for a while. I spent some time the other day with Chidders getting some 'nearly' shots but the light was not that good. This morning as I arrived in the area I could hear him singing from his normal bush and then he flew down on the gate post. With the light behind me I got into a position I hoped I could get a few shots, the shot I wanted was the bird in full song with his head back. I often just walk past these birds so it was nice to study this bird at quite close range and fire off a few shots, some not too bad at all I think.

Reed Bunting

I left him in peace and moved on noting 4 Red legged Partridge, 1 Kestrel, 2 Pheasant, 3 Pied Wagtail, 1 Little Owl, 3 Skylark, 10 Linnet, c30 Cormorant, 6 Redshank, 2 Marsh Harrier, 9 Oystercatcher, 2 Shelduck and 1 Fulmar flew west offshore. There were 2 Little Egret, 1 Gadwall, 7 Ringed Plover, 4 Reed Bunting, 3 Corn Bunting, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Sedge Warbler, 2 Tufted Duck, 3 Shoveler, 7 Mute Swan, 5 Whitethroat, 1 Chiffchaff and 1 Lesser Whitethroat. As I walked back along the seawall the Reed Bunting was still singing his heart out so I spent another 30 minutes with him taking more shots. 

 Reed Bunting

Although I do love seeing scarce and rare birds at Reculver its also nice every now and then to just pick a species and see what can be achieved with the camera, something I hopefully will continue. The last bit of the walk saw me adding 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Snipe and 15 Turnstone. With Hairy Dragonflies and Large Red Damselflies on the wing around the county I hope weather permitting to go and have a look for some tomorrow in the area, it would be nice to get a few shots with the Sigma 150mm macro lens as well to see what I can achieve with it.

Reed Bunting


  1. I see you're getting in on the ''nice background'' too Marc! Well done on that! Lovely shots in lovely light, shame about the droppings on the post, you should have cleaned it beforehand :-) Looking forward to some dragon action in the next few weeks!