The thaw

Another winter’s day and another glorious frosty morning! I had hoped to capture some photographs of the birds among the frost, something I have attempted and failed at several times before. Unfortunately, as is often the case in wildlife photography, my plans did not quite work out once again!

It wasn’t until the sun was shining bright overhead that any birds finally made an appearance to forage for seeds and insects in the now rapidly thawing ground.

IMG_6010

Whilst the conditions were beautiful, the sunshine casting a warming golden glow over the land, it did make photography somewhat tricky. The rooks glossy feathers seem to reflect this bright light, often resulting in overexposed, unusable images. I had to continually adjust and step down the exposure compensation to counteract this.

IMG_6878
Tricky lighting conditions

Thankfully after a little experimentation I was able to achieve some photos that I am quite pleased with, although they are still not technically great. Whilst rooks feathers appear to be a uniform black, photographed in certain lighting such as this a vibrant purple and blue sheen is revealed.

IMG_6979.jpg

IMG_7010

IMG_7065

The rooks were able to use their long, strong beaks to break through the last of the frost and probe the ground for insect larvae and other tasty morsels.

IMG_7046

IMG_7028

IMG_6984

A flock of jackdaws soon joined the rook down on the ground, the two species often travelling and searching for food together. Unlike their shiny cousins, the jackdaws feathers do not react to strong light in the same way as the rooks and so they were much easier to photograph.

IMG_7186

IMG_7076.jpg

IMG_6910

IMG_7038

IMG_7051

IMG_6924

IMG_7058

Among the adults I spotted the juvenile, it’s developing black face patch looking rather like a bandit mask, however soon this will spread and it will be unrecognisable from the older birds. Presumably this is the same juvenile as seen on a previous encounter.

IMG_7098

IMG_7001

It appears that most of the older jackdaws in the flock have paired up ahead of the breeding season, with several couples sticking very close together and driving other birds away from their chosen spots.

IMG_7249

IMG_7240

IMG_7007

Below: A jackdaw charging towards a rival with head lowered.

IMG_7205

IMG_7245

Want to know more about the location where these photos were taken? Read here.


All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography 2019 ©
http://www.greyfeatherphotography.com

If you like what you see, you can follow me on Facebook or Instagram (@greyfeatherphotography) to see my latest photographs. Hit the little ‘follow’ button on the bottom to subscribe to my blog. Thanks for reading! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.