Monday 29 August 2016

Water Rail showing rather well (plus blogging background)

Water Rail is a species that's fairly difficult to get close to on patch despite them breeding here so it was nice to get some decent views of an adult and a juv this evening. There were 4 birds on view at once briefly, but only one of them posed close enough for a photo or two. There are lots more pics to post but it's already gone passed 3am so they can wait.

Reflection photo taken in the last of the Sunlight & the 2nd photo taken shortly after Sunset.

Patch update 28-08-16:
Similar to the last few days - 2 Little Stint, 2 LRP, Ruff & Knot on Black Hole Marsh. A Turnstone was new in but not present in the evening (likely on the estuary due to tides). Decent numbers of Yellow Wagtails around Black Hole Marsh and Seaton Marshes (perhaps 50 total - couldn't have an accurate count), along with 5 Wheatear at the latter site.


Steve's recent post about 'Why Blog?' got me thinking about the journey of this blog. It started off as posting a few pics as & when I could get out but over recent years has become more of a photo diary / update of what's around the Axe patch here. From a personal aspect, having a blog and 'needing' to keep it updated with content helps me maintain motivation to get out and look for new things. At the same time it provides people with an update as to what's around and also provides them with images to look at. The visual aspect of blogs is often a major attraction and I particularly like watching video on other blogs - although video footage is something that's largely been missing from my page here. Capturing motion of wildlife seems to give that extra something that still images can't provide despite often being simply stunning in their own right (not talking about mine here!). Something I must work on more...

Another aspect of blogging is being careful not to post things which people may not want to read even if there's perhaps something you want to say; I've been (slightly) guilty of this on a couple of occasions - it can come across as awkward to the general reading audience even if there was no intention for it to do so. One of my main aims is to inspire an interest in nature amongst other people so I try to centralise content around what I think people will be interested in. Of course this needs to stay within my window of knowledge/experience. For instance I personally like Steve's gull ID posts, as real birds & their variation gives a different perspective on ID from what you can get from a book. However, as much as I like reading such posts, it's not something I would attempt myself as it's not something that suits my skill set i.e. I don't have enough experience with gulls yet.

A couple of (distantly) previous posts have been related to the photography side of this birding blog i.e. techniques and benefits of certain camera types. Interestingly the post -- HERE -- (opens in a new window) about bridge cameras vs DSLR cameras has been one of the posts with greater media engagement. I must apologise for having still not written a part 2 to this, but below is a taster of what part 2 will include. This Wheatear image shows an uncropped photo taken at ISO 4000 on a DSLR and the inset pic in the top right is a close-up crop of a section of the same image. Although bridge cameras can offer much bigger zoom (focal length) capabilities, the data from RAW files from a DSLR allows for significantly more flexible handling of images. More to come...


  1. Hi Tim,re blogs.I find yours in particular an excellent help when i have the chance to visit Seaton Wetlands.Its a fabulous area for birds and a quick look at your blog before coming down from Crewkerne adds to the enthusiasm.I would never have seen my first Hoopoe if i had not seen the info on Colyton Wildlife!.

    1. Many thanks for your kind comment Peter - I'm glad you enjoy the content! It certainly is an excellent area for birds here.