Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 24/02/2011

Hiya, toots


as Donald would say (do the younger generation know who I’m referring to?). A short break from the photos taken at Newent, but I will be returning to them in the forthcoming days, today’s images were taken on a trip to the WWT‘s Headquarters at Slimbridge.

The morning had started out overcast with light showers and I had little hope of achieving anything good enough to put on Flickr. A muddy walk along the perimeter of the site, to hides overlooking the surrounding countryside provided some good views of the dignified Bewick Swans, serenely sleeping Pochard, plaintive calls of a curlew as well as the manic feeding of Goldfinch on purpose build stations.

After a short break for lunch, trying to not bump into people with tripod and lens in the packed out cafe, it was back out to the captive birds area and to slightly better lighting conditions, some of the clouds having turned a lighter shade of grey. Ducks and geese from all over the world are corralled into specific areas with lagoons and pebbled areas as suits their nature.

All types of wildlife are opportunist feeders, and if an easy meal is available it is readily taken so as well as the captive bred birds, there were plenty of Locals milling around. Black Headed Gulls, Mallards, Canada Geese were all mixing with birds from South America, Africa as well as Asia Pacific countries.

This photo was taken in the South American section where I’d been watching a number of Red Shovellers, a particularly attractive bird, who were being especially camera shy. Having spent time from behind the camera I noticed this male Mallard making a bee line for the pond in front of me, a photographic opportunity too good to miss. With the camera on AI Servo, high frame rate, I snapped away as it came into land. I held my breath as the images were written to the memory card before seeing if I’d managed to capture anything. I was confident that the camera settings would give me a perfectly exposed image but would I have framed them well, would they be in focus, all these doubts were nagging away in my mind. Well, I think this one speaks for itself – and another photo to suggest I’m more than just a happy snapper (which I am anyway)! To quote Donald Duck again “Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy

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