Frustration and Perseverance!

18th July 2010
Well the Marsh Harriers are really testing my perseverance at the moment. This morning saw another 4am start and up at Langford Lowfields reserve by 5am, just as the sun arose. And it was a beautiful sunrise. The viewpoint at Langford is on the eastern bank of the reserve and the reed beds are sunk slightly below the banks, originally created by the spoil created from the old gravel pits. You have the sun coming up behind you and the golden light gradually lights up the reeds furthest away from you and crawls gradually closer.

All was well, however, the sun rose and then after twenty minutes proceeded to slide under a bank of cloud that had come in from the west. This was really think grey cloud and suddenly the reserve was plunged back into darkness. I had to revert to ISO 1600 to get any sort of flight shot. It was at this point that my cynical mind thought “I would bet a few quid that the harriers come over to this side of the reserve for the first time out of my ten visits”. Fifteen minutes later the male disappeared going north over the reed beds, only to reappear, quartering over the reeds directly in front of me! I managed to get a fair few shots, but wasn’t convinced they would be usable. The female then disappeared over the bank to the south of me, near the current site workings. Fifteen minutes later she appeared in exactly the same position as the male had been! Unfortunately I had begun to pack away my kit as I saw the rain rolling in from the west.

I have added a picture of the male Marsh Harrier below, it has been processed in Photoshop and also using a neat plug in that helps to get rid of noise, useful at ISO 1600. Please let me know what you think. All feedback is welcome as I strive to get the location, the birds and the weather to come together and with a bit of look the image I’m looking for.

All the Best!


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