Imagine the earth from space, then zooming in to the British Isles, then Scotland, and finally the Shetlands. And then to the south of the island, all the way into Quendale and the farm, and then the track just to the west, near the ruined buildings. That's the effect this photo has on me, I don't know why. I start in space, and then rapidly zoom in all the way to those buildings, and there's the bird.
I was lagging behind as usual, the others were far ahead, probably back at the car. But I sensed opportunity. Rare birds - the primary purpose of an autumn trip to Shetland - take a back seat when there are common migrants this good. It perched on the fence ahead of me and behind me, the bill snapping regularly as it snaffled flies attracted by the farm animals. It was warm, I had my shirt sleeves rolled up, hot in my waterproof gear and fresh from slogging the irises. The air was clear, there were birds and life was good. I wondered if I could get a shot of it in flight, just as it left the fence. I didn't have to wonder long.... In the interests of full disclosure there was some post-processing clean-up that was fairly involved, but it does not detract.
Hard to believe that this was 6 years ago and I've not been to Shetland for two years. Must rectify that one of these days.
Jono, such moments, such birds, such photographs. You do not know that they are coming, you cannot go out and specifically find one, you cannot book one up. They find you. They blow rarity out of the water. Magical.ReplyDelete
That is very true Steve, you have no idea when one of those moments is just around the corner. That said, I do try very hard sometimes to magic one up. Sometimes it works, many times it does not!Delete
Great photo. I long to go to Shetland. Never been.ReplyDelete
I am getting an urge to go, it is great birding. Hard work for little reward for much of the time, but when it is good it is great.Delete