Pictures from today (Saturday 5 January) at Newport Wetlands.

It was sunny when I set off this morning for Newport Wetlands, my chosen location for today. As ever, I was hoping to see Bearded Tit, the Little Owls and today I was hoping to see how the reserve looked at high tide, which was due about noon. By the time I got onto the M5 the sun disappeared behind cloud and it became a grey day - again. The sun did reappear about 3 pm but was low in the sky and din't give much strength though it did give a warm glow to the colours. Apologies for the quality of the pictures but I still have not mastered backlight subjects, whether it be on a grey or sunny day, and there are also some focusing issues which may be as much down to me as the conditions, though all shots were taken from a tripod.

Little Grebe and no this was not shot in Sepia mode(-:)


The large flock of waders (Dunlin) flying over the estuary - over 1000.

A smaller flock of waders (Dunlin?) which kept lifting off the foreshare and going back down - never joined up with the main flying flock.

A pair of Reed Bunting that deliberately came and sat in the tree I was using as cover, knowing how bad I am at shooting backlit subjects(-:).

Grey Plover, I hope.

A poorly focussed Snipe, which should really be in the bad pics thread, but it is the first Snipe I have seen in flight.

The wader flock again.

Curlew and assorted waders - any further IDs?

Mute Swan and cygnet

Are these Coots displaying? - there was no sign of the usual Coot free for all.


Then I popped down to Goldcliff lagoons as I had never been before - fairly quiet but got a few pictures and the lie of the land.

Near miss


Then back to Newport to see whether the Little Owls had appeared yet.

One of a marauding gang of Long Tailed Tits.

And then the Little Owl showed. You can see that the sun had come out to add colour but not much strength, as you can tell by the camera settings. However, the Owl was obviously in wake up mode as it hopped about the tree int o several positions, mostly where it was partially obscured by focus destroying branches and twigs. Then, as I was distracted, it disappeared - as they do.

A solitary Redwing, though there was a distant flock which appeared to be Fieldfare, redwing and Starling but the shots I have are fairly indistinct.

Lastly a short video of the wader flock in action.



Birding Blog here.

Flickr photos here.

  • bob's_retired_now said:
    Little Grebe and no this was not shot in Sepia mode(-:)

    Your Exif says you were shooting in manual white balance mode. What did you have it set to ? The manual modes are easily fooled at this time of year when lighting conditions don't always match the preset values in the camera , especially late in the day when sunlight has a much warmer tone than at midday. Even at midday there's a lot less blue in the sunlight in winter than in summer.  I usually find that auto white balance works best 95% of the time. I only switch to manual on rare occasions.

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  • In reply to Galatas:

    What a lovely variety of birds you got Bob and well done on capturing them, let's hope the weather stays fine so we can all get out into the fresh air and search out those "must get on my list" of  birds/wildlife.    


    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • In reply to bob's_retired_now:

    bob's_retired_now said:
    On balance, I think I will revert to Auto White Balance, and then if frustrated again, try specific settings.

    I definitely think it's worth trying auto. Your Little Owl photos have a distinct orangey tint to them in my opinion. It could be a Canon thing. My pal uses a Canon 450d and I've seen the same with some of his early morning shots.

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    Checkout the forums' Community HOMEPAGE for lots of interesting posts from other members.