Saturday 2 June 2018

Paddyfield Preview

I visited the reserve of Durankulak Lake in north-eastern Bulgaria back in 2012 as part of a four day trip with a few of the east London birders. We were on a guided trip in a minibus, ably led by a great guy called Dancho. I recall great birding, and a constant struggle for camera positioning in the back of the van, with Dave Mo and Dick repeatedly smacking me round the head with their lenses as they manoeuvred for position. Roll forward six years and I was finally back, this time with Mick S. He and I do not muck about when it comes to bird photography, and so last Saturday we found ourselves in wonderful early morning light facing the fantastic reed bed, lenses at the ready on monopods, slowly converging on a singing male Paddyfield Warbler in a smaller clump slightly in front of the main area. It was a windy day and photographing a small bird  in wildly swaying reeds was frustrating to say the least, but eventually a few clear shots were had.

I'm currently travelling again and don't have access to a proper computer screen with which to do some real fine tuning, but the below images would seem to be the best of the many that I took, and the ones that have needed the least editing. I'm quite pleased with the first one, it is almost what I wanted (in an ideal world I would have had the whole reed!), and I am hopeful of making a gallery composed of just this one bird in different poses as I was a bit trigger-happy. Whatever, it is a definite improvement on six years ago when my visit was a lot shorter, punctuated by an incredible rainstorm when the sky turned black. I'll be doing a trip report in due course, it seems to be the only thing I do at the moment. Never fear though, the next two months don't see me leave London, so expect a degradation in material and a return to total drivel.