Watch the birdie!
So yesterday, I thought I really ought to put up part two of the photos Bob Graef sent me. However, when I sat down to do so, I glanced out of the window and saw that a) the weather was rather nice, and b), there were birds in the air (in fact, there nearly always are, EXCEPT when one goes out with a camera!). The way this made my mind work was: think of Bob → be reminded of bird photography → go do some.
So instead of sitting at my computer, I grabbed a camera and set off for the 4th barrier, thinking I might be able to outwit the birds there, since they could not see me in the Hope.
Lights clouds were whipping by overhead, so the weather was going from sunny to shady to sunny again every few minutes.
Of course, there were no birds.
My plan being to try to shoot birds on the move, I put the 90mm lens on the camera, told it to take pictures at 1/500s, and with the aperture at f11, set the focus for infinity. This meant that anything between 9-10 metres away and infinity ought to be in focus and I could concentrate on getting any obstinate little buggers that deigned to appear into the frame and pushing the trigger.
So I wandered around the sand dunes and sea grass. Then...
...gotcha, you little bugger. (I assume he's an oystercatcher.)
I had to walk all the way (100yds, what an effort!) to the sea before another bird showed itself . A tern? (The sea grass at the 4th Barrier is a tern nesting ground, but there really was a dearth of birds.)
Here is an enlargement:
Some funny little things were running along the waterline:
And this fella (wings look like an oystercatcher but the beak doesn't) flew by. Is this the bird in the picture above, in flight?
I have to say that the views were what pleased me most. I actually got a couple that included birds. For instance this gull, flying over an Orkney field:
However, another gull in the sky displayed his impressive wingspan
Still, it was the seagrass and the clouds that did it for me...
...particularly when the sun shone full as I was walking back to the car and this view over the dunes towards Scapa Flow and Hoy:
(By the way, notice how there isn't a bird in the sky in the last two shots!)