Warblers..

08th June 2012
have been a photographic nightmare for me in the past,no matter how many times I tried to photograph them I always came away with nothing to show for my efforts. They were either tucked away in bushes,singing from the tops of the trees or buried deep inside a reed bed out of sight.
It was only by chance that I finally managed to photograph one of the many Warblers that visit our country during the summer months,which in turn gave me the incentive to try for a few of the others. It all happened while I was having a look around my local lake, the area had been flooded during the biblical amount of rain that we had during April and I was just seeing what damage had been caused when I heard some Sedge Warblers singing. The Reed beds in which the Sedge Warblers normally skulk around in were still submerged so they had moved to some areas of planted bushes that are dotted around the lake.

I slowly made my way over to them and as I drew nearer I could just make out a few Sedge Warblers darting about amongst the bushes. I positioned the camera in the best spot I could find which would hopefully give me a fighting chance of a clean shot.
After a few hours had passed and only having a few fleeting glimpses I was just about to call it a day when one popped up just in front of me.



It wasn't there for long but I'd finally got an image of a Sedge Warbler all be it with a few leaves obscuring it's tail, but it was a start.
I decided to give it another hour or so just to see if my luck had finally changed with this species and it was a good decision. Not long after the first decent sighting they started to climb higher up on the branches to sing giving me the chance of some nice clean shots..









I came away with a memory card full of a species that has given me nothing but grief in the past. With this new found incentive I took a trip over to my local fishing lake which has a good population of Reed Warblers.
Reed Warblers are notoriously difficult to photograph,they seldom climb out of the dense reed beds to sing and are never still for more than a split second.
The reed beds on this lake are very dense too so it was going to take a huge slice of luck to get a shot,I had one thing in my favour though, the Reed Warblers were still sorting out territories. This meant they would often chase off other birds while trying to defend their patch of the reed bed and in doing so could give me a chance of a shot.

Well,six hours later and with my back killing me from standing in one spot this was all I had to show for my efforts..



I took this image with my Iphone to show just what I was up against and how difficult it was trying to get an image in such dense reed beds..



I was getting plenty of chances but I just couldn't get any clean shots, there was always a reed stem in front of their heads or across their bodies and it was becoming hugely frustrating. I decided to try the spray and pray technique, I think the main problem I was having was that I was trying to get the perfect image and by the time I'd got the Reed Warbler in frame and moved the focus point, it had gone. So the next time it showed I would just follow it, fire away and hope for a few clean images, thankfully this tactic worked..











I went back several times after my first session but never managed another single frame of them, back to normal then..

My next target bird was the Willow Warbler, again these birds have been a nightmare for me to photograph as they often sing from the tops of trees and very seldom appear at eye level. The good thing about my local fishing lake is the very high banks it has on certain sections of the lake, when standing on these banks the tops of the trees are at eye level and as luck would have it a Willow Warbler had made it's territory in this area.
I got into position and waited hoping lady luck was still with me, I could hear the Willow Warblers beautiful song coming out from the tree cover and then all of a sudden it popped up into view..















Although these 3 Warblers are not very much to look at, they have caused me no end of headaches in the past. So I finally came away very pleased with my efforts for once...

Thanks for looking..