Monday, August 30, 2010

BirdFair

I arrived at Rutland on the Wednesday before BirdFair weekend with an editing suite on the back seat of my car and nothing but a pair of white trainers to go on my feet. Wednesday afternoon and most of Thursday was spent setting up the BirdGuides stand; Friday, Saturday and Sunday were spent dashing around the site filming for our BirdFair films, dripping in sweat and with my white shoes now a muddy brown. If you haven't seen them (the films, not my trainers), they're all online >HERE<. Pretty much all of the non-interview and non-bird footage was filmed by myself (so, all of the time-lapse and the scenery/stands/people milling around). On the Saturday I volunteered myself to go on a 6:30am Osprey boat trip. We did see an Osprey... as it disappeared off into the murk. And from my 2 hours out in the rain, we used 4 seconds of my footage! As hectic and tiring as it was, it was very enjoyable. It also gave me the chance to catch up with a lot of people who I either haven't seen in a long time or have only every corresponded with via e-mail etc. Nice to see you all! Often, though, the conversation was cut short as I had to dash off to film the toilets (true story) or take some more photos of the developing mural. My apologies. And my apologies to those people who I'd planned to see over the weekend but never had time to. Maybe next year!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wader ringing

A week and a half ago, I headed home for the weekend. On Saturday night, I met David Norman and Peter Coffey at Frodsham where they had already set up some nets over a shallow pool ready for a night of attempting to catch waders. We were successful with 37 birds of 6 species.
It's been a really hectic week with Birdfair last weekend (more to come on that) and I haven't even had time to edit up my pics from wader ringing, so you'll have to make do with a collection of screen shots:

Redshank


Ringed Plover


Dunlin


Little Ringed Plover


Common Sandpiper


Greenshank

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Scilly pelagics

Technically it was work... and believe it or not, I did actually work hard over the 2 and two half days we were on Scilly. Attempting to hold a big HD camera steady on your shoulder on a small boat in 3 m waves isn't easy!
Of course, this sort of work does have it's perks. In this case, major bonus came in the form of a Great Shearwater. At times, the bird was no more than 5 m from the boat. Here's a photo taken with (and only with) my phone:


"Supporting cast" from the Sapphire and the Scillonian III was made up of plenty of pelagicus Stormies, a handful of Sooty Shearwaters, Bonxies, Manxies, a single Balearic Shearwater, a Grey Phalarope and an Arctic Skua. Other sea creatures included two Basking Sharks, a Blue Shark (in the boat), two Minke Whales, some Common Dolphins and a variety of funky looking fish.

Details of future pelagics on Sapphire can be found >HERE< - they come highly recommended!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Aiguamolls ringing site

One thing I wanted to do while I was out in Catalonia was to be able to show people back home where I was working and what the net round at Aigumolls consisted of. On a quiet day (as you can see, we caught one bird on this round) I took my camera with me and filmed the path round. It took about 12 minutes to walk the entire round when the nets were empty and the site was dry - it took considerably longer when the nets were full of birds and the water was thigh-deep! I've sped part of the film up try and prevent it getting too boring, although I'll admit that it does drag a little bit towards the end.
On typical days, I was walking this route every 40-50 minutes. And just in case you're wondering, I had hay-fever and a bunged-up nose at the time!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Rutland

Was up at Rutland Water yesterday acting as sound technician/filming assistant for a bit of work being done in preparation for the BirdFair.

Pro:


Not-quite-pro:


Birds seen/heard over the day included Green Sands, Little Egrets, Common Terns, a Wigeon and a Grasshopper Warbler.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

This is well worth sharing:


Displaying male Spoon-billed Sandpiper somewhere in Chukotka on June 13th 2010. Filmed with a Canon EOS 500D through a Swarovski AT80 HD. Kitlens 18-55mm handheld through 25-50x W eyepiece. This stunning male failed to find a female.
Filmed by David Erterius.