Thursday, December 29, 2011

"Cosie turns up trumps"

With the weather over the Xmas holiday being a little indifferent to say the least I was determined to get out with the camera yesterday and take advantage of the sunshine forecast and some good light for a change. I started the day down at Pontyclun having a good look at a couple of stretches of the River Ely for Goosander (but without any luck) with the intention of moving on to Gileston for the Little Gulls and finishing off the day at Cosmeston C.P for the recently arrived Whooper Swan. As I got back to my car a phone call in response to my txt from Peter "Pedro" Morgan arranged for us to meet up at Junc 34 of the M4 followed shortly by a "grapevine" txt that a Lesser Scaup had been found by John Wilson on his local patch at Cosmeston C.P. A change of itinary was agreed and we headed for Cosie first wanting to catch up with the rare scaup. The Whooper Swan wasn't exactly difficult to find coming to bread with the resident Mute Swans on the East Lake in front of the boardwalk the main difficulty being to get it in the camera on open water isolated from it's mates !! A couple of the regular "toggers" had beaten us to it and Steve Hinton and Alex Bevan,in company with visiting Russ Eynon were already snapping away as was Paul Denning. We were advised that the Lesser Scaup which had spent most of it's time out in the middle of the East Lake had flown over to the West Lake but a scan of the remaining Tuftie flock soon picked up the Greater Scaup across the lake from the boardwalk.
We moved around to the other side and although we couldn't get as close as we would have wanted we both managed a few shots of the smart drake.
We weren't getting it all our own way with the weather and despite some well overdue sunshine we got caught in the open with some heavy blustery showers.
Martin"Billy Whizz" Thomas caught up with us and we headed over to the West Lake hoping we could find the "Lesser",a quick scan with the bins picked up the scaup and Martin confirmed it through his 'scope,the target bird was with the Tufties in the reedy bays on the far side of the lake opposite the bridge.
Martin had to dash so myself and Peter moved around to the back of the lake where we had the sun behind us and the scaup showed well at about 30m from us in really good light.
Getting some decent photos (sorry I mean "images") had taken longer than anticipated and we didn't make it to Gileston which is another trip/another day over the holiday period and hopefully we'll have some similar luck.


Loping Ted said...

Great photos,much better than the ones i take,What lense do you use?

Jeff said...

Taken with a Canon f4 500mm prime lens with 1.4x extender on a Canon EOS 7D.