Monday, 18 April 2011

Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)

I watched for 45 minutes a total of four Marsh Harriers quartering the same patch of reed beds and marshland, but none came close enough for a detailed shot. I wasn't disappointed though: more through luck than judgement, I think the first shot comes close to capturing the essence of these wonderful hunters – the blurred reed stems in the foreground and the ribbons of evening light coming down the picture contrast with the silhouette of the harrier giving the shot a real feeling of combat. I can't quite put my finger on why (perhaps the reeds are reminiscent of arc lights criss-crossing the evening sky), but the image seems strangely like one from the London Blitz. Or maybe I just need to get out less! In the final shot, a couple of birders are definitely in the pound seat as a pair of harriers scour the marsh below…

Canon 1Ds MkII, 1/640 sec, f/8, 400mm at ISO 200


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