Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla


There’s a phrase in Hungary which is spelt ‘nem jó’, pronounced ‘nem yo’ and means ‘no good’.  In this recent trip to Hungary I was it a lot when asked how the wryneck photography was going.  I have never been so frustrated in all my photography years.
Wryneck in the UK are a regular passage migrant but you have to be very lucky to find one.  With one or two breeding every few years in the UK, they are all but extinct as a UK breeder and are highly protected when they do so photography is out of the question.
To hear the news that a wryneck was nesting in the garden of where I was staying in Hungary you can imagine how excited I was.  My imagination was running wild with all sorts of images I was going to achieve of this very elusive species. To cut a 7 day story short, the image I had in my head didn’t materialise.  What I wanted to achieve was the image below but in much better light.  This particular photograph was taken at 10.22, 5 hours after sunrise. The background light hitting a distant tree is extremely harsh even though the bird itself was shaded by a large vertical stump of the tree where the nest box was.  The balance between bird and background was just too much.  Had it had been overcast it may have worked better.  I planned another 4 sessions in the morning and late afternoon but this male didn’t want to play fairly.  I ended up getting on the plane with no images of this species in great light which should have been fairly easy given the circumstances.  It has certainly been a learning curve and one that has left me inspired, although extremely frustrated at the time. Patience was certainly a virtue.  Although I didn’t get the image I had planned it was fantastic to see such a beautiful bird every day and I’m glad that I achieved this image to show you all.

Canon 5D Mk3 with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens, 1/400s, f10, ISO1600, on remote setup (hence the ISO1600).

Wryneck_IB05158666

Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra


I’m in Hungary at the moment and as the weather is raining with 25mph winds I have stayed in to go through the images from the last few days of photography. On the first day I used the car as a hide and drove around the country lanes to see what i could find.  Different birds react in varying ways when approached slowly by car but Corn Bunting are quite easy to get close to.  This Corn Bunting was the first bird of the day and just minutes after the sun had appeared along the horizon.  i like how the pink hues are still in the sky and the low sun is rim lighting the bird. Worthwhile getting up early for.

Canon 5D Mk3 with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens with Canon 1.4x III converter.  Car as hide.
1/160s, f/5.6 @ ISO800.
Please click on image to enlarge.

CornBunting_IB04158159

205/365 Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta


An image for this evening….
The last hour of sunlight known as the ‘golden hour’ is great for photographing in. I waited for this Avocet to walk through a patch of light where the setting sun would give this nice rim lighting to the bird.

205/365 Avocet

200/365 Dunlin Calidris alpina


The small pools at Salthouse in Norfolk are a great place to photograph small wading birds at close range.  Last week was no different with a small group of juvenile Dunlin feeding between 3-10 metres away from where I was positioned. A great way to spend a morning.

200/365 Dunlin Calidris alpina

COMPETITION TIME !!


COMPETITION TIME!
Do you want to win a “Birds of Prey and Owls in Europe” book?!
If yes, follow these three simple steps:
1. Like my Ian Butler Photography page! Follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ian-Butler-Photography/337924406281107?hc_location=timeline
2. Share this competition!
3. Identify the bird of prey in the photograph and put your answer in the comments!

I will randomly select one of the correct answers and I will be in touch to send you the prize.

Competition ends on the 31st July 2013!

Good luck!

and heres the image:

_Y128127

154/365 Grey Phalarope b/w


A revisited image of a Grey Phalarope that I have converter to black and white.

Grey Phalarope, Phalaropus falicarius, September, 2011.
Canon 1D mkIV with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens.

115/365 Coot offering


On another part of the London Wetland Centre, this pair of Coots were rearing 4 chicks. The adult male was always bringing little bits of food back for the sitting female and the chicks. Occasionally it would bring back extra strips of reed as nesting material.  It would very gently hand it to the female and this is the tender moment of this offering.

Coot, Fulica atra, London, April, 2012.
Canon 1D mkIV with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens.