little bit of bread and no cheese

By: snowgood

Jun 04 2017

Tags:

Category: birds, Photography, South Downs Way, Walking

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Aperture:f/5.6
Focal Length:35mm
ISO:200
Shutter:1/640 sec
Camera:ILCE-6000

To you this shot maybe “just another photo”, but to me it represents the highpoint of our walk.

Let me give you some context.

That bird on the wire is a male Yellowhammer.

They used to be pretty common on the lanes around Chudleigh, but in all my days with a 400mm lens I never once managed what I’d call a decent photo.

Let me tell you what happened.

Whilst we were walking we heard several different Yellowhammers singing their signature tune;

“Little Bit of Bread and no Cheese”

Invariably these colourful birds are easily spotted sitting on or close to the top of small shrubs, or bushes.

Yesterday I couldn’t pick out a single bird on our eastward walk, which made me all the more determined to spot one as we retraced our steps.

Just where the South Downs Way met our track from Blackcap (the hill not the bird) I heard the distinctive call.

No way could I see this happy little bunting, so I told Roz to follow me through the gate and look back on the bush.

Sure enough, there in distance four branches from the top of a hawthorn bush we could just see the bird singing.

We turned around and start climbing the gentle slope , between two fences.  On the left were sheep and lambs, and to the right….well I never!

Less than 10 feet away a beautiful male Yellowhammer had come to greet us!

Okay, I’ve cropped the photo, but believe me very little “bird photography” is done with a 52mm lens.

I was gobsmacked.  We both were.

If you’re not a bird watcher, and you ever get to see one in the wild you’ll probably think it’s an exotic species that’s escaped from a cage.

You could be forgiven for that, as most of our perching species are drab by comparison.

To round off my bird watching delights I had another sighting further along the track.

A solitary Whitethroat skitted across the trail and hid amongst a heap of logs.

Guess what?  My 52mm lens had no chance!

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