Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Bracelet Bay Stonechats

After a couple of hours in conference calls on Sunday it wasn't until late afternoon that I finally escaped back outside with my new camera. Clouds and heavy showers were the name of the game but with incoming sun forecast we headed down to Bracelet Bay. My original intention had been to spend a while with the Mediterranean Gulls but they were completely absent, probably as a result of the hordes of people who were enjoying the views. That put a bit of a halt on proceedings while we considered our next move. As it turned out the solution literally popped up in front of us when a female Stonechat appeared on the bushes bordering the beach. With a light rain falling and no sun this was the ideal opportunity to test the cameras low light level performance that had finally convinced me to upgrade.

25783 - Stonechat, Bracelet Bay

25782 - Stonechat, Bracelet Bay

The male above was photographed at ISO350 whilst the female was even higher at ISO400. With my previous equipment the results would have resembled something built with Lego blocks such was the drop in image quality at those settings, but now they are pin sharp with very little noise in either shot. Consider myself convinced and I promise that's the last time I'll mention the new camera again (probably).

After a few minutes of being led a merry chase along the top of the beach the promised sun began to put in an appearance. Out of the pair it was the female that was proving to be the most approachable so she was the one I focused my attention on. Eventually I was with rewarded with the frame filler I was after.

25785 - Stonechat, Bracelet Bay

Looking up from the undergrowth I realised that Mumbles lighthouse was being lit superbly against the menacing grey skies that were still hanging over the rest of Swansea Bay. A better contrast you could not have wished for.

25788 - Mumbles Lighthouse

With my back turned the Stonechats had moved up onto Mumbles Head itself so I duly followed. At the very top a Crow was posing nicely so it would have been remiss of me not to point myself in its general direction.

25795 - Crow, Bracelet Bay

Nice as Crows are they are never going to compete with the little bundles of character that are Stonechats.

25798 - Stonechat, Bracelet Bay

25797 - Stonechat, Bracelet Bay

25793 - Stonechat, Bracelet Bay

Elsewhere around the bay there was a large raft of gulls just off Mumbles Pier that I have a sneaking suspicion may have been the returning Kittiwakes. Unfortunately I didn't have my binoculars with me at the time and forgot to go back to check later on. Emma also spotted a couple of largish Terns further out but again the exact id eluded us. I was just glad that after a week of fog we finally had some decent weather that looks like set to continue.

14 comments :

  1. these are beautiful! the stonechats are perfectly charming - remind me a bit of our bluebirds. just as sweet as can be...

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  2. I love Stonechats, I can't get one, but, I know there here. Beautiful photos.

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  3. Gorgeous shots of the Stonechats Adam! The detail you got is absolutely fantastic like the foot detail in that third shot! The iridescence in the Crow feathers is exceptional as well.

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  4. Great series Adam!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  5. what a fantastic set of photos....I gotta read back to the missed posts and see what camera you got--it was a great choice!! Love the texture that came thru in the shots too...

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  6. Beautiful birds, great photos. This is a new bird for me.

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  7. Beautiful photos.

    Regards and best wishes

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  8. What a great little bird it is!

    You don’t have a new car do you? ;)

    Stewart M - Australia

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  9. Excellent shots Adam. A lovely bird.

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  10. No question, ISO 400 is silky smooth on our newer Dslr's. As one of your fans I am excited to see the up tic in your technology. These shots are awesome and I believe there are greater things to come. Brilliant move getting the new camera!
    Cheers Adam!

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  11. I am not familier with Stonechats ... but I love your pictures of them. They are beautiful and the clarity in your pictures shows them in fine detail. Thank you ...

    Andrea @ From The Sol

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  12. Wow what a reception. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. I love reading them all.

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  13. Camera seems to be performing well, Adam. Course, a good photographer behind it helps, too!

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