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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Parc du Marquenterre

During our short visit to Le Crotoy on the Somme Estuary (Baie du Somme) I just had to spend a day, or maybe half, at the bird reserve. Famed for its migratory spoonbill population I was expecting much, but chances of close encounters are a bit slim. It is an ornithologists paradise, the hides are well built and the holes suit bird watching with binoculars...but not 500mm lenses :( Yes, the majority of the hides sported small slits which suited binoculars perfectly. A few visitors have enlarged some of the holes but this still meant I had to hand hold my kit and be very aware that vignetting would occur at some point if I was panning. 

Adding to my misery the water was at its lowest for years, so the birds were further back and at a lower angle. Already for photography the hides are a little high but hey, it was a day out. 

There are more avocets than I have ever seen before, a shame that they are usually too far off.

 I have never photographed a crane before so managing to stalk this fellow in the long grass was a bonus on the day.

 At one hide I nearly moved on due to the only species being black headed gulls. I stopped for a quick drink just long enough to get this storks arrival. The gulls went wild and it soon became apparent why.

Somewhere between the gull chaos a pair of avocets had managed to nest. 

As the park began to empty I was able to sit still by one pond long enough to have a couple of lapwing chicks approach. By this time of night it was getting dark, a rainy day, and hand holding the 500+TC on the 7D was becoming hard work. But I put up with shoulder ache and was rewarded with a coypu swimming right at me. 


Congrats to Fran and Adam!

They just got themselves a 3.29 kilo bouncing baby girl called Amelia, nice work guys. When you are ready to sell the mkIV Adam, let me know, I am looking for a cheap deal. You will be needing a G12 from now on ;)

Friday, June 24, 2011

The early bird

On my day out at Marquenterre bird reserve near Le Crotoy in France I managed to get as close as I ever got to a family of storks on their nest. Shooting from below is hardly perfect but I enjoyed the encounter. 

First rule of the roost, nag mother!

 Keep nagging, even when all around you have given up!

Make sure you get in there first!

Get your meal down ASAP, those kungfu ninja eels can escape from anything!

Now settle back and pretend to love your siblings. Dad will be home soon. 

Oh oh, dad is home and it looks like hunting didn't go so well, so keep your heads down!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A very fine sunset

Our last evening in Le Crotoy, France. We were told the sunsets are fabulous, but after two days of overcast and rainy weather we were in doubt. On our final night, the last hour of the day, the clouds broke and we both rushed out for a romantic walk on the beach. Of course I had my camera with me ;) but no tripod, unfortunately. What we saw, was magnificent.

1DIII, 17-40L

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fotolo-co interview

The guys over at Fotoloco asked me to do a quick interview, how could I say no? 

Fotoloco is a new web/tablet photo viewer that will help outdoor, sports, and nature enthusiasts find cool activities, places, and things to discover. It is not quite ready but I will let you all know when it is, sounds cool.