I wasn't particularly pleased with the Wheatear pictures I got the other day, so when I bumped into one near the remaining two sisters I had another go.
This is not the best picture of a Wheatear I've taken, but I rather liked the background that the out of focus oil-seed rape made.
If the light is in the wrong direction you stand no chance of a decent photograph, but at least from this angle the white rump shows up well.
It then sat on a hump and we played a game of hide and seek. Although I managed to get quite close it half succeeded in the hide bit while I half failed in the seek part.
I finally did get a better shot, which does it a bit more justice. The habitat here is so good, with lots of rabbit holes, a favourite site for Wheatear's to nest that it does seem strange that they are such a rare breeder in Kent now.
Both Yellowhammers and Corn Buntings were around today, although the Corn Buntings managed to stay out of range.
As I was walking across the fields a Peregrine came hurtling by, being extremely noisy, and vanished in the direction of Whitfield. Shortly afterwards I caught site of something diving from the sky on the other side of the field that I was passing. A quick look revealed a Sparrowhawk standing over it's prey.
There was some cover that enabled me to work a bit closer, but I couldn't make out what it had caught. Looking at the pictures it is obviously a Starling.
It started to pluck it's prey and I moved a little closer. The background of the chain link fence really doesn't do a lot for the picture, but sometimes it's not possible to manoeuvre a position where the background is aesthetically pleasing.
The Sparrowhawk had been so engrossed in it task of plucking it's meal that it hadn't really noticed me. But when it looked up and saw the large lens staring at it, it decided to move.
It carried the Starling across the field to a quieter spot with no stalking photographers. Some how the angle it's flying makes the Starling look almost as large as the Sparrrowhawk.
The problem with photographing Skylarks against a clear blue sky isn't the background, it's get the camera to focus on them before the get so high that they are just a dot.
In the fabulous sunshine today the Skylarks were excelling themselves and the air continuously rung with their songs. Although they don't rival the Nightingale, or even their close relative the Woodlark in the quality of their songs, they make up for it by their enthusiasm and work rate, it is a sound that really does epitomise hot summer days.