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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Starling Murmuration at Rocester, Staffordshire (Video)

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I live only a couple of miles from Rocester in Staffordshire, so imagine my surprise when the BBC Midlands Today News broadcast a live report from there about the Starling Murmuration last night.

So as the weather was great today (and I’ve just about recovered from Man Flu that has kept my down all week!) I went up at dusk to see what I could capture.

From some of the photos and videos I’ve seen, the numbers tonight seemed a little down on recent days, however, they still put on a good show.

Nobody really knows why Starlings perform these masterpiece flight shows but it is believed that “strength in numbers” is part of the game. I did see some Sparrow Hawks flying around at the same time.

By the time they started to show in big numbers the light had faded quite a bit and cloud had covered the horizon so no great sunset colours.

I didn’t manage to get many still shots as most of the action was taking place over houses and it was getting too dark to photograph, I switched to a longer lens to try and get inside the Murmuration and got some silhouette shots. I did set up my D7100 to film at the same time (video below).

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Inside the Murumuration - D810, AF-S 300mm f/2.8 @ 300mm, f/2.8, ISO2000, 1/1250sec - {Flickr Link}

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Short Eared Owls

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This morning I was again out well before first light in hope that the Short Eared Owls would co-operate.

Over the last few trips, I’ve fired off around 20 shots, this morning I’ve almost 900 shots to go through and it’ll take a while to go through them all.

It was an amazing sighting this morning with both Owls flying around looking for food. In fact, there may have been 3 different Owls, but that’s not confirmed. I also heard 2 Little Owls calling to each other too.

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Short Eared Owl
In Flight – D810, AF-S 500mm f/4 with TC-14III @ 700mm, f/5.6, ISO1000, 1/1000sec – {Flickr Link}

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