A bird watching afternoon, on the Berkshire Downs.
With thanks to Andrew of Magic Moments with Birds for all the spotting and identifications.
Beautiful open space with wonderful views, especially on this crisp clear afternoon. But all the land is cultivated, or manicured gallops, and right at the moment is very barren with very little to attract birds.
None the less, within a few hundred yards of the start (and end) we saw buzzard, kestrel, kite, sparrowhawk and barn owl! There were swallows and martins, and a few skylarks. Up near Lowbery Hill there were gulls, a passing flock of lapwings and even a black-tailed godwit.
Eventually we found an obliging corn bunting – note the big long middle toe.
In the hedgerows, there were flocks of goldfinch, and a stonechat
Hunting in the stuble, some distance away was a female sparrowhawk.
And in the same field, a roe deer with fawn
In the barn, briefly flitting out and back in, was a barn owl. Rubish photo in the gallery as proof that it existed.
Technically, most of these bird pictures are right at the limit of what I can achieve. Even with a 400mm lens with 1.4x extender the bird is often just a small speck on the image. Much cropping and then process with Topaz AI to remove and noise and enlarge the image, and the result is just about acceptable.
More in the gallery below, including some very poor butterfly pictures; it’s late in the season and they were reluctant to pose.
Select any thumbnail below for a full screen slideshow