Friday 9 January 2009

Great Grey Shrike at Stithians Dam

I managed to eventually see the illusive Great Grey Shrike at first light this morning. This was my fifth visit to the dam since my mate Moldy found it before Christmas. What a fantastic show it gave us in perfect conditions with the low morning sun behind me...chasing Blackbirds and thrushes for its breakfast! Its main target was a Blackbird which was hounded mercilessly, though it did have a go at Redwings and Song Thrushes. The shrike was last seen diving into a deep hawthorn copse. The flight shots were taken with the 600mm lens and 1.4xTC on the tripod. Somehow I managed to keep the auto servo focus locked onto the flying bird and kept my finger on the shutter in a continual burst. Flight shots are difficult at the best of times so I was pleased when I viewed these on the lappy. ISO was 400 and the shutter speed reached 1000th second. Ideal.

Song Thrush in the same field as the shrike looking a bit pensive as the shrike chases thrushes this morning.

An image of the dam at about 8am this morning.

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