Wednesday, 23 May 2018

A Day with the Sand Martins

14th May 2018

..............and now for something completely different. I have photographed Sand Martins before, but only perched on a barbed wire fence such as this shot taken at Rutland Water.

But today was going to be different. Because today we were going to attempt to photograph a Sand Martin colony on a cliff-face. This involved standing on a slope on a wind-swept cliff for a couple of hours, but I must admit it was probably one of the most enjoyable photographic trips I have been on. The birds were still excavating and lining their nest holes, and photographing them as they perched on the cliff-face was relatively straight-forward.

This bird was just starting to excavate a new hole.

But then came the challenge..........photographing them in flight. Taking shots as they flew in to the nest wasn't too difficult as you had plenty of  warning but, at the risk of stating the obvious, you always got their back view.

But photographing them as they left the nest hole was a different matter altogether, as they came out of the hole so fast as if they had been expelled by compressed air. Then, by the time you had pressed the trigger, they had moved so far as to run the risk of being out of focus. So this was the fun bit, taking lots of shots in  the hope that just a handful would be sharp and capture the action.

WOW, what a fun-packed day and by the end I felt fairly exhausted purely due to the concentration required. That was GREAT FUN!!!!!

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