Firstly my apologies for it being so long since my last blog post. My wife Sue had a minor accident, to cut a long story short Sue broke her wrist. For the last six or seven weeks I have been very much a house husband as there were many everyday jobs that Sue couldn't do one handed. Anyway Sue is well on the way to a full recovery and able to drive again so I can now find time to get out with the camera.
Saturday the 5th of January 2013 saw me making a visit to Waters Edge Country Park at Barton-upon-Humber and Worlaby carrs. The forecast was for a cloudy overcast start to the day with sunny periods later. With the overcast conditions I wasn't concerned about an early start and didn't leave home until 09:15 for the twenty minute drive to Waters Edge. I took both the 7D cameras with me. One to use with the Canon 400mm F5.6 L lens and the other for the 500mm F4 L Lens. I was hoping to use the 400mm f5.6 lens at Waters Edge for some bird in flight shots. However, I decided to use the 500mm F4 lens as this lens would allow me a bit faster shutter speeds in the overcast conditions.
There were quite a few birds on the ponds at Waters Edge, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Teal, Mute Swan, Tufted Duck and Canada Geese plus the usual gathering of Black-headed gulls. I positioned myself on the board walk over the pond near the visitor centre as this pond always seems have the most activity in terms of birds coming in and departing. The first hour passed without me taking a single shot. I wasn't particularly concerned though as although it was beginning to brighten up, it was still far from good for in flight shots and I was just enjoying watching the birds and being out in the fresh air. By 11:00 the sun had made an appearance and I managed some decent in flight shots of the Black-headed gulls.
I was hoping the Canada geese would take flight, but they were pretty static today as was most other things. There were a couple of half chances with a Mallard and Tufted duck coming in but I was too slow and missed them both. I was about to move on to Worlaby carrs to see if I could get photographs of the Short-eard owls when I bumped into a couple of photography friends, Darren and Mandy. After chatting to them we decided to move on to Worlaby together. We arrived at Worlaby at around 13:00 and it wasn't long before a Short-eared owl was spotted hunting, although it was fairly distant. Patience is the name of the game at Worlaby and over the next two and a half hours several owls were seen although none of them came quite as close as we would have liked. I also caught up with a few more old friends at Worlaby and it was good to have a chat and be out in the fresh air after being indoors for so long.
The light was challenging for photography with the sun being hazy at best and non existent at times and as the afternoon wore on it became increasingly difficult to get the camera to lock onto the flying owls. Just before 16:00 we decided to call it a day as the light had just about gone and a distinct chill was in the air. Although I didn't take many photographs it was a great day in great company.