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Morning Dog Walk: Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Drumming (Video)

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I take a camera along on my Dog Walks to bring you some of the sightings that I see on my morning walks, these photos are rarely going to be great quality as its hard enough keeping an energetic Dog entertained and get close enough to anything. They also help me identify where species are so that I can plan to return.

You may remember a post (excuse the pun) a while back about the damage Woodpeckers have do to our Telephone pole. Yesterday’s walk (there wasn’t one this morning as I was recovering from Wales winning the Grand Slam and 6 Nations Rugby!) I spotted a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker on the very same pole.

Sorry for the not so steady video, but videoing hand held at 400mm isn’t easy. The jangling you can hear is Wally’s collar and the chirping is from a large family of House Sparrows.

Woodpeckers drum at this time of year to attract females and you can often hear them drumming on metal and concrete poles as they are much louder than wood. He who drums the loudest will attract the females. As you’d expect, the drumming is a lot quieter than the Great Spotted Woodpecker but still carries a long distance.

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}

Morning Dog Walk: The Hills Are Alive With Bird Song

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I take a camera along on my Dog Walks to bring you some of the sightings that I see on my morning walks, these photos are rarely going to be great quality as its hard enough keeping an energetic Dog entertained and get close enough to anything. They also help me identify where species are so that I can plan to return.

This morning’s walk with Wally was loud, loud with Spring-time Bird Song. I lost count of the different Warbler song I heard along with Corn Buntings, Chiffchaff (both Common and Iberian), Finches, Hoopoe and all species of Woodpecker.

I pointed the camera at a few as we walked about.

Female Black Cap

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Morning Dog Walk: Fresh Otter Evidence

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I take a camera along on my Dog Walks to bring you some of the sightings that I see on my morning walks, these photos are rarely going to be great quality as its hard enough keeping an energetic Dog entertained and get close enough to anything. They also help me identify where species are so that I can plan to return.

Although I have been successful at a different river location nearby, my local Otters still remain very elusive. This morning, there is fresh evidence of Otter activity down at the river.

First I noticed fresh footprints in the wet mud.

{Click image for a higher resolution}


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Morning Dog Walk: Birds Showing Off Their Beauty

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I take a camera along on my Dog Walks to bring you some of the sightings that I see on my morning walks, these photos are rarely going to be great quality as its hard enough keeping an energetic Dog entertained and get close enough to anything. They also help me identify where species are so that I can plan to return.

This morning I had the opportunity to capture the beauty of two particularly difficult birds to photograph in flight.

First, the unmistakably stunning Hoopoe. They are calling every morning now and this one was actually in a group of five.

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Hoopoe In Flight
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Morning Dog Walk: Woodpeckers And Pipits

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I take a camera along on my Dog Walks to bring you some of the sightings that I see on my morning walks, these photos are rarely going to be great quality as its hard enough keeping an energetic Dog entertained and get close enough to anything. They also help me identify where species are so that I can plan to return.

What a difference a day makes, yesterday it felt like summer, today even though its not cold it is very overcast with some (still needed) rain forecast. The light was terrible for photography, but I took the camera on our walk anyway! I did go back to look for the Blue Rock Thrush from yesterdays Nature Walk, but no sign of it.

The Woodpeckers were active this morning and this pesky Great Spotted Woodpecker was on our Telephone Pole again! Last time, I made the (terrible) joke of the Internet being unstable due to the holes in the pole, this time…… I think there’s a tap on the line, yes, I should give up the one-liners!


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The Importance Of Clean Equipment

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As you may have read in previous posts, I have recently been having an issue with my Nikon AF-S 80-400mm lens. It was having trouble locking on focus and keeping locked on with Continuous Auto Focus. It would “hunt” making a terrible mechanical noise. I thought it was time to be sent off for a motor service.

I’m not actually sure what fixed the issue, but a full clean of both front and rear elements, a clean of the electrical contacts (which is what I believe to have been the problem) on the lens, a blow with my Giotto’s Rocket Blower and also a blow on the camera mirror itself and as you can see from yet another Wally action shot that everything is back as it should. Remember, for all the electronic wizardry such as Auto Focus and Metering, the camera needs a clear view of the reflected light.

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Super Dog!
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