Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Dungeness Nature Reserve

The murky conditions continued for much of Saturday, so we decided to do a bit of bird watching at the RSPB Nature Reserve in Dungeness.  I don't often suffer from "lens envy", but bird photography is one of those occasions where bigger is definitely better - especially when one's subjects are on the opposite shore of a large gravel pit!

First, the nuclear power station which forms a truly romantic backdrop to the nature reserve.

The grebes came relatively close to the hide, but the more interesting birds - such as the great white egrets - were miles away.  The sequence below is cropped very tightly, but gives some idea of the quality of the 70-200/2.8L IS mkII with a 1.4x mkIII converter.

The only other beasties which ventured close to the hide were a couple of dragonflies.  Why is it that, whenever one manages to capture these superb insects in such a way that they're nicely sharp, the background is always rubbish?

[Later note:  I'd originally thought these were Emperors, but a Wise Man has just informed me that they are actually Migrant Hawkers.  Even having looked at some reference images, I still find it difficult to tell them apart from their profile view.]

I always marvel at the way dragonflies tuck their "undercarriage" out of the way when flying.  Amazing creatures.