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

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British Birds front cover!


It’s always a great feeling when you see your images in print but even better when they are used as a front cover! The British Birds journal has used my Stonechat image for their May issue.  This is such a great informative journal on all things avian and is a must read for any one with an interest.  For more information on the contents of this issue click here: http://www.britishbirds.co.uk/article/british-birds-may-2015/

Please click on the image to view a larger version.

May-2015-cover1

223/365 Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia


The lighting was difficult to control on this one but checking the histogram kept me from burning out the highlights on the setting sun through the white feathers of this Spoonbill.

Spoonbill, Platalea leucorodia, Hungary, May, 2013.

Canon 5D Mark III with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens and Canon 1.4x converter.

223/365 Spoonbill

222/365 Grey Heron Ardea cinerea


I know I’ve got a big appetite but this fish even made me feel full.  Its amazing the size of the fish that these Grey Herons can swallow.

Grey Heron, Ardea cinerea, Hungary, May, 2014.
Canon 5DIII with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens.

222/365 Grey Heron

221/365 Little Egret


Following on from the previous post, here is another Little Egret but taken later during the day.  It shows an adult Little Egret having a good shake after eating a fish and showing off its beautiful breeding plumage.

Little Egret, Egretta garzetta, Hungary, May, 2014.
Canon 5DIII with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens.

221/365 Little Egret

220/365 Little Egret


Back for a morning session in the hide yesterday and came away with some nice images.  This image of a Little Egret was taken just as the sun was coming up, illuminating the bird whilst the background was still in shadow.

Little Egret, Egretta garzetta, Hungary, May, 2014.
Canon 5DIII with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens.

220/365 Little Egret