As I knew it was going to be another terrible morning for light, I had a lazy morning. Around 8:30am I woke to the sound of a pair of European Bee-eaters outside the bedroom window. As the light was so bad (only nighttime could possibly be worse) I took this shot when one of them sat on a cable that didn’t have the dull grey sky in the background, it’s still fairly high ISO for a static shot at 2800.
The pair were both males, I’m unsure if this is the same pair I keep seeing as still there seems to be very few here.
None of the local colonies have established yet, but there is the odd occasional Bee-Eater flying around. I suspected this cold and wet spring would delay them slightly. I remember from 2018 when we had a lot of rain in February and April, they were 2 weeks late, they are currently 9 days late.
As for photographing the ones that are here, well the light is also terrible, but here is a quick shot that I grabbed this morning of one flying quite high.
UPDATE : Since this morning the noise of these amazing birds has been increasing so it seems they are returning in numbers now. More tomorrow…..
After the disappointment of finding a destroyed Bee-Eater nest (see HERE) and of course, one dead and one rescued nestling, I took a look at another location where there are nests and watched a pair actively returning to the nest over and over with food for the young inside. Whilst the birds are digging their nests and mating, I (mostly) leave them alone as not to cause them to flee and abandon, but now they young to feed I will watch and shoot from a safe distance.
The great news is that it has a very natural hide for me courtesy of the river bank. I look forward over the next few days capturing some shots, although the very unseasonable cool and cloudy weather may put a stop to it!
Here is a shot I got of one of the parents leaving the nest.
You may think that I’ve gone a bit quiet on the local Bee-Eater colony, but I am still keeping an eye on them, however, I’m leaving them in peace to finish off their nesting tunnels before I spend more time amongst them.
This afternoon I was working on something new at “A Rocha”, an area on top of a large rocky lump that I leave to the wildlife. I have spotted some Rock Buntings and I’m planning some shots so was setting a nice scene around a small water pond I built some time ago. The Bee-Eaters were all around hunting and I wondered why they didn’t seem too bothered about my presence. I moved a little closer to a spot where I can over look a tree they usually rest on and they didn’t seem bothered at all that I was there. I was standing in direct view and they happily carried on with their activities. This is a great afternoon spot for watching and photographing them, so will plan a session here in the near future. I think they have almost finished their tunnels now and will soon be moving in and I’m looking forward to getting close up to them.
Although I was close, I was only armed with my 80-400mm so was a little short on reach, but at least I got these shots to show how great an angle it is!