There are really two sorts of bird photographs that I take, and I don't mean bad and even worse! There are those That I spend time planning, perhaps by going to a hide on a reserve when I know that something I want to photograph is there, and those that are serendipity.
The photographs that I've been getting of the Chiffchaff that comes to bathe and drink in the garden belong to the former. I suppose that what you want to get is a picture that, you are so satisfied with, you doubt that you can improve on it. Of course this can seldom happen, I have seen some, like Dave Tipling's Emperor Penguin, that was used in the Fuji film advert, that came close. The picture of the Chiffchaff above was one of many I took today, and it is one that I quite liked. Unfortunately the actual act of bathing is so violent that all I've managed it a fairly sharp head with a blur of feathers behind.
This one is after the bird had bathed and some small drops of water can be seen on the breast. At this close range the legs look surprising pale and the yellow toes are obvious.
This afternoon I took a walk along the cliff top and was interested to see the customs ship, Valiant zipping past. It now has the new "UK BORDER AGENCY" painted on the side of the ship.
As I was photographing this I was suddenly aware that a Raven was flying by.
This was a bit of serendipity, I'd gone with no expectation of a Raven, I just pointed and shot, and by a bit of luck the exposure wasn't too bad and I managed to get them quite sharp.