I started off a bit slow at Summer Leys as I described from the last post.
So from the Summer Leys I got the following:
Black Headed Gull
The Little Egret was actually the last bird I took an image of before heading in search of Starlings murmarating. The sun though bright was setting so cast with the aid of light cloud cover an almost pink'ish hue.
The Marsh Harrier that at the moment is wintering in the area made appearances but always distant. Still I like the village of Great Doddington in the background.
Birds of prey don't always get their way..
So to the murmaration. Excuses: fading light, wrong lens but still fancy counting them for me?
These two images are uncropped and about a third of the flock in the top image and a small section that was joining the main flock in the second image.
I couldn't believe with about 1/400th a second shutter speed I was able to get something the 1d mark 2 isn't great with fading light and high iso's so shot at ISO 640 and rapidly getting dark I was reasonably happy with what I managed.
The trees in the above image is actually where they roosted and not reed beds on this night.
I also like the hue of the sky in both images
The next images kind of reminds me of the weather of late as they to my eyes as the flock shuffled across the horizon reminded me of tornados if I had used a smaller lens you'd see the 'tornado' better
And on the last image a final please, please count them I've used up all my fingers and toes and that includes my greyhounds toes, full frame and circa 1/3rd of the flock.
As a side note to the weird winter and end of the year we've had the branch belonging to the shrub in my garden due to mild temperatures has not only developed buds but even started to flower. Normally happens mid March/early April!
A unexpected food bonus for the Blue Tit.
Nor had much luck with the weather of late but not as misfortunate as some in the UK though.
I wish a Happy New Year to all those I have met this year whilst birding, who read my blog (still not sure why) and those who've left comments etc, have a good one and I'll hopefully bump into more off you next year
Also a great birder/photographer and mate (Mr.Z) has started a blog of his own please check it out http://www.martinswannellbirding.wordpress.com you won't be disappointed, top bloke.
I've got some photos that I'm yet to work through and as you can see the light was fading. So that and the 500mm lens (I needed a smaller lens) means they're not brilliant. I shot the following video just using my camera phone and boy what a sight. Not often I'm left gobsmacked but I was, the video doesn't do it justice added bonus was the now wintering Marsh Harrier that showed up four times during my visit to the reserve but even that seemed 'old hat' compared to the Starlings.
Basically I walked out of the carpark and turned right and stood at the gate about 10 yards down the road and stood with the horses and looked over towards Grendon Lakes
It seems there are two very sizeable Starling murmaration happening in Northamptonshire at the moment.
Titchmarsh, Summer Leys and now Storton Gravel Pits.
Not exactly huge but impressive none the less. I did reckon we'd see something here again. There was a lot of Starlings on the housing estate, industrial estate nearby and some in the fields and service station (scavenging) at Junction 15a of the M1...all very close to the reserve at its reed bed.
I got some shoddy footage of it from my mobile on my cycle back from work, The Hunt eat your heart out :-)