How to Take a REALLY Bad Photograph!

My first day back at work today after the long Christmas break, of course the staff at Blashford have been here everyday apart from Christmas Day itself and it has been quite a busy festive period with lots to see. During the morning I was working in the office and had visitors trickling in with tales of a bittern at the Ivy North hide, great white egret on Rockford Lake and the ferruginous duck on distant Kingfisher Lake. So when it came to lunchtime I decided to eat it in the Tern hide and see what I could find. I quickly saw the long-tailed duck off to the west of the hide and the black-necked grebe well to the north. A flock of mixed geese included an escapee bar-headed goose, there were nine or more goldeneye, including at least 3 adult drakes and three goosander flew in from the direction of the river, not bad at all.

As there were already a fair few gulls I took a look through them and found the adult ring-billed gull, at first it was much closer to the northern shore but then it flew towards us and landed a good bit closer. It was then that the opportunity for a picture arose, a challenge that I decided to rise to and, as you can see below, utterly fail to achieve! You can, just about, tell it is a ring-billed gull, but it must rate as one of the worst pictures I have ever shared.

ring-billed gull (just about).

ring-billed gull (just about).

Later in the day reports came in of a firecrest, in an ivy covered tree near the entrance, so eye-stripes and crown-stripes were added to ringed-bills, long-tails, black-necks and barred-heads.

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4 thoughts on “How to Take a REALLY Bad Photograph!

  1. As a regular user of hides at Blashford & other sites I really am surprised that a member of staff should think it is ok to eat in the hides. My husband & I both find this offensive. Hides are not picnic sites. The smell of highly flavoured soups, sandwiches & crunching crisps is really unpleasant. The mess left is another issue.

    Hope you don’t feel we’re kill joys but that & loud talking really spoils birding for us.

    • I am afraid that lunchtime is about the only time I get out sometimes and so I do eat my lunch away from my desk, and at times in the hides. Many people who visit for the whole day do so, especially in winter when the picnic tables are often not an option. I agree that laying out a lunch and taking up lots of space is unacceptable, but a lunchbox with a sandwich most people would probably not find a problem. We don’t generally find rubbish much of a problem on the reserve and where it is food related it is almost always sweet wrappers, rubbish left after any activity anywhere should always be unacceptable.

      Talking in the hides is a really interesting point, our experience is that, contrary to popular opinion, it does not disturb the birds. The one way glass has shown us that even quite a lot of noise generated by an excited school group does not scare things away, it seems to be movement that does this, unless the noise is very loud and percussive. Hides tend to be quiet sociable places where sightings and experience is exchanged and for most visitors this probably enhances their visit. Loud, irrelevant conversations or worst still telephone calls are annoying, just as they are in most public places. I do like to go and watch my wildlife quietly too, but for this I would not choose a site with hides or other honey-pot features.

      Hopefully you will continue to enjoy visiting Blashford and all of us will have some awareness of the sensibilities of those around us when we sit and watch the wildlife that brings all of us to the reserve.

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