Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Chaffinch Challenge.

I have often been heard to say that birding and wildlife photography regularly presents a conflict for me. When I'm out birding my natural modus is to use my eyes and ears plus the bins and sometimes the scope in order to both identify plus fully appreciate what I'm watching but a voice inside my head often says 'that might be a decent image to capture' and before you know it the moment is lost. Of course the alternative would be to dedicate oneself to just photography and chase a specific quarry but then goodness knows what else I might miss seeing! Of course, as we all know, many other factors conspire against us getting the image you really want to share; like the object it too far away for the lens (that happens more often than not); the lighting conditions and your quarry just won't sit where you want it for a clear shot, just to mention a few.

During a visit to a coastal estuary last Friday any efforts to capture images of any wildfowl or waders (the reason for the visit) was thwarted initially by the low tide and everything was just a distant speck.

Fortunately a male [Common] Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) came to my rescue but provided a  challenge as it was perched in the top of a hawthorn bush directly facing the mid morning sun and the closer I approached more foliage obscured parts of my quarry. Anyway here are a few of the images.

The Chaffinch is probably Britain's second commonest species (after the Wren) which breeds in all types of woodland, parks and gardens so I have no idea what he was doing way out in the open expanse of a tidal estuary.

Just to provide me with added entertainment he started to sing. Please click here to listen to the regularly repeated short and somewhat dry descending trill.   

Eventually he decided to move to an open perch on the very top of a flowering Blackthorn which enables us to fully appreciate the variety of colours that this very common woodland species sports in his full breeding plumage. Now if only all the LBJ's would provide this sort of photocall capturing a decent image would be so much easier!   FAB. 

Please click here for more WORLD BIRD WEDNESDAY images from around the globe.

33 comments:

  1. Just gorgeous! That last shot is so striking with the high perch, no distractions behind him - wonderful work, Frank!

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  2. What a beautiful moment he gave you this singing male... Gorgeous portrait Frank! I got one last year over here but as you can guess that was a rare sighting!

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  3. love that olive green on his back! what a wonderful, beautiful, happy-sounding bird!

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  4. Hi Mona. Thank you so much. At long last a decent image of a very common bird.

    Hi Chris. Yes, he performed very well.

    Hi texwisgirl. They all sound happy at the moment ... love is in the air.

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  5. He is a rainbow of color--so lovely and you got some super shots of him too!

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  6. Beautiful images Frank. A lovely bird.

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  7. Great close ups of a beauty, Frnak. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  8. Absolutely gorgeous Frank. So beautiful. You nailed it on the head with these images. Carol

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  9. Hi Frank..that last photo is superb...How nice of it to just perch on a tree tip of a flowering bush and sing it's heart out...
    What more could a photographer want!! Sweet! : }

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  10. Hi Sondra. It might be common but sure has some varied colours.

    Cheers Andrew.

    Thanks Gary.

    Hi Carol. Thank you. It's taken a while to get this one in front of the lens.

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  11. Hi Grammie. Yes, at last a perfect pose.

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  12. What a splendid bird! Your photographs are perfect!

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  13. Wonderful images of a lovely bird, Frank! You did well even though you didn't get the waders you were after.

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  14. Great series! Love that last one...perched on the flowering branch.

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  15. Wow, he did put on a nice show for you! Lovely!

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  16. Hi frank,The photos have turned out perfect,and the last one tops them all! I also have the same conflict that you do, but the need to look at a particular moment over and over again and the pleasure of sharing it with others always wins over.

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  17. Great photos. That's a beautiful little bird - and I hardly missed the shorebirds! Of course, a perfect world would let you photograph both.

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  18. Hi Frank I love these this time of the year,when the breeding plummage is getting to its best and they love to sit out and sing.What would spring be without the Male Chaffinch.
    Smashing Post.

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  19. Lovely photos, Frank! It is a pretty bird. Sorry you missed the waders and shorebirds.

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  20. Hi Frank, we do tend to overlook this really quite colourful bird at times.

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  21. Lovely shots Frank.
    A bird that is often overlooked here, but the male is so colourful this time of year.

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  22. ...for being such a "common" bird, he has gorgeous coloring. He has a pretty name too! (I'm often torn between the camera and the binocs as well...and the sketchbook too! :-)

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  23. Hi EmptyNester. Thanks Pam. Perfection is still to be achieved but they will do for now .. lol.

    Hi Hilke. Cheers. I'll probably have to revert back to digiscoping for the long distance shots.

    Thanks very much Tammy.

    Hi Lois. Yes, he did exceptionally well to oblige me.

    Hi Amila. I agree it is good to be able to look back and share the moment.

    Hi Mick. Yes, a very common but charming species that we often overlook. The shorebirds will have to wait for another day!

    Cheers Monty. The morning chorus is getting louder and more intricate as spring rolls forward.

    Thanks Eileen.

    Hi Roy. Yes we do. What female could resist such a colourful playmate.

    Cheers Keith. It has only taken me 2 years to capture his portrait!

    Hi Kelly. Yes, a constant battle between which tools to use but there is no doubt my camera is earning its keep at the moment.

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  24. Beautiful photos Frank. Such a colourful bird and often underrated I think but only because we see it so often.

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  25. I could relate easily to your remarks Frank. Though I know I'm always going for the picture, I appreciate the "purity" of the experience first state of mind. I'm a little ashamed of myself when I find myself discounting a good moment because I didn't get the picture. In this instance your patient approach brought you a fantastic image. Bravo!

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  26. They are very striking birds and therefore they have something to sing about.

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  27. Frank that final image, is just about the best I have seen of this lovely bird, just brilliant!
    My thing is to photograph everything, for I so much appreciate everything in nature, birds, water, trees, butterflies, flowers, does not matter. I simply enjoy the thrill that comes with me, my camera and each new day as it presents itself~

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  28. That's a darn nice "common" bird.

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  29. Gosh, he's a gorgeous little Beauty!
    Maybe the normal grounds are too busy for him and he wanted to check out new territory?
    ;)
    I only have my cam with me when I'm out. For some odd reason I am too stupid to use Bins :D

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  30. Hi ShySongbird. Thanks Jan. Unfortunately it is a very rare visitor to the garden so even more special when I enjoyed this close encounter.

    Hi Springman. Cheers Dave. I'm going to stick with enjoying the moment and if a decent image is available I'll be doubly happy.

    Hi Steve B. He may be common but packs a punch with that sound.

    Hi Mary. It may just end up as a new header. I understand where you are coming from and there are some days when I will apply myself to taking shots rather than looking in every direction for whatever can be found.

    Hi Mike B. It sure is.

    Hi Seijastiina. I appreciate your complimentary words.

    Hi Nicole. You could just be right but I didn't see any females anywhere. Walking the open landscapes and woodlands I'd be lost without the bins to locate all that might be seen.

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  31. What a beautiful little bird, and a excellent photo subject!

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  32. Hi Pat. Thank you. The sunshine brought out his best colours.

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