Monday, 11 April 2016


I went for a walk yesterday around Aston End, taking a few camera lenses including a new one-a Zeiss 135mm f2. Rather heavy camera bag with all the metal bodied manual focus lenses, even though I left a few things behind but I thought it would be worth it.
When I first left, there was still a bit of frost in the more shaded areas but it quickly burnt off and it ended up being a nice warm sunny spring day. Probably not ideal conditions for migrant birds.
Warblers were obvious, with 8 Chiffchaffs and 6 Blackcaps counted (singing birds) on my circuit, and I also picked up my first Whitethroat near the paddocks by the river. I also had two or three Green Woodpeckers, and four drumming Great Spotted Woodpeckers. A small flock of Linnets and later on nine Yellowhammers feeding in one of the recently sown fields was nice. Unfortunately as expected, there was no sign of any Wheatear, Redstart or Ring Ousel even though a few of the fields looked to be ideal for them. No hirundines either.
Despite the weather, I only saw a few raptors, mainly Buzzards, including three mobbing a Red Kite. Yet again there was no hint of any Little Owls in the regular area so I have to conclude that since it has been over a year since my last sighting that they have gone from the area.
Spent the entire walk trying out the new 135mm lens-Ive had it a few weeks now but not really had much of won opportunity to use it. Its very heavy, razor thin depth of field at f2 and ideally needs to be used with a tripod rather than hand held, but the results are promising. I concentrated on the Blackthorn, now flowering abundantly, one of the Willows near the river, and the small wood which is now looking absolutely superb with the bluebells. Unfortunately a large proportion appear to be hybrids with the Spanish species.

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