Tag Archives: stonechat

Sunrise, Stonechat and Fox

Nothing like a descriptive title… especially when there really isn’t much of a theme, just three images taken over the past 24 hours.

The first is our friendly neighbourhood fox. I’ve been neglectful of photographing him, but he’s been coming anyway, and close scrutiny of the trail camera (plus one direct sighting) confirms that there are at least three foxes around at the moment, plus a badger. He’s still playing hard to get though and disappears from sight if I make any attempt to approach too close.

fox

The slightly bold fox!

Next up is a small bird taken this morning at Sheepcote Valley (I’d stopped off to see if I could spot any of the short eared owls. Reliable reports suggest that they have returned for the winter). It’s a stonechat, and the morning light at this time of year is near perfect.

Stonechat at Sheepcote Valley

Stonechat at Sheepcote Valley

Finally, the cause of all that golden light… just after sunrise.

Sunrise over Sheepcote Valley

Sunrise over Sheepcote Valley

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.

Posted in Birds, Foxes, Landscape, sunrise Also tagged , |

Stonechat Special

We had some steady wintry sunshine today. All day. It was cold, but certainly a very welcome change, and I headed over to Sheepcote Valley which is where I generally go in search of kestrels. There weren’t any around today, but the scrub clearers were back. Yes, the sheep at Sheepcote are ‘workers’. They get brought in every few months to eat back the undergrowth, and then are moved on to another site.

Sheep

It was while I was sheep watching that I spotted several little stonechats. These are small meadow birds, with a distinctive call (which gives them their name). They like to perch on low shrubs, and a prone to offer little wing flicks.

Stonechat

Stonechat flitting out a wing

Stonechat

Let’s give both wings a go!

The merest hint of a branch was sufficient for this male stonechat on lookout duty.

Male stonechat on lookout.

And what goes up a perch, must come down. I have to say I was quite pleased with this little sequence, not least because I had deliberately left room for the flight when I lined up the first shot. The stonechat helped things by staying in the same plane as it dove down.

Stonechat flying down from its perch

Stonechat flying down from its perch

Stonechat flying down from its perch

Stonechat flying down from its perch

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.

Posted in Birds Also tagged , |

Stonechat

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Posted in Badger, Birds, Foxes Also tagged |