The next photos are the last I took in Denmark in April, after this post I will share one from when I was in holidays back home in Romania. It involves cool birds, a butterfly, a lizard and a snake, so stay tuned.
For now let me share with you what I have witness on a walk on Arslev lake. The two Mute swans (Cygnus olor) came close to each other and started performing what looked like I courtship ritual. It was the first time I have ever witness such a display and I am so glad I had even got to capture it. The sun that was illuminating from a side created some shadows but in some cases it looked nice when it illuminated the wings from behind. I could have used a higher shutter speed than 1/640 sec. to ensure I get more pictures sharp but I didn’t so I got some blur here and there. Some days are just not as fruitful as others, for example on that day, this were the only worth sharing pictures I took.
Stubbe Lake is where I go to look for one interesting little bird, definitely in my top favorites, the Bearded reedling (Panurus biarmicus). Is also the place where I hope to see again the American mink but for now I didn’t had the chance to stalk it in her normal ‘’business hours’’. It was only that particular day that I’ve seen a bearded reedling, just for few seconds, and I blew the shots. I didn’t manage to lock the focus so the bird is out of focus. The Bearded reedling (Panurus biarmicus) is often known as the bearded tit because of some similarities with the long-tailed tit. It is a wetland specialist that breeds in colonies in large reed beds. It’s digestive system changes to cope with the different seasonal diet which is made out of reed seeds in winter and reed aphides in summer.
Before getting near the lake, actually right after I got out of the car, I have spotted this magnificent Western marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus) planning up in the sky. He was reluctant to come as close as I would have liked so this picture is a massive crop. A reedling can be a potential meal for the harrier as well as other critters like small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians or even insects. It is sad that even today, birds like the marsh harrier face threats like being illegally shot while migrating, especially in the Mediterranean region or being poisoned by led shots.
At the end of the day, on my way back to the car, I’ve spotted and I’ve been spotted by a European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). She was grazing in a clearing and when I’ve spotted her she looked at me and then move on slowly to the cover of the trees. She was shedding her winter hair so it looks like a homeless deer but the light of the sunset that was falling in the background was magical making this deer like it was out of a fantasy story.
Next day, because the good weather continued, I went on a photo walk on a different lake, one of my favorites and closer from where I live, Ega Engso. Whenever a Western jackdaw (Coloeus monedula) is close to me I cannot miss the opportunity to photograph it. This one was part of a group of crows but he was the closest so he got the free photo shoot. With F6.3, 1/800 sec. shutter speed and ISO200 I retained a good amount of detail in the picture so if you zoom in you can spot the different nuances in the feathers.
My next subject is a Leaf warbler, not sure of the exact species though. Leaf warblers are insectivore, strongly migratory birds that have a simpler song than the rest of the warblers. The warbler family is one of the hardest to distinguish species in because of the small differences between them. It is also a large genus with 77 species all around Eurasia. Usually they are very restless and shy but this one just sat there for a few minutes and stared at me from time to time.
A bit further a bunch of White wagtails (Motacilla alba) were searching for insects in the grass. Because there was more than one bird and they stick around I was encouraged to lay down under the electric fence and try to get some eye-lever shots. This resulted in many strange looks from the people that passed by but also in some great compositional photos, in my opinion. Some are not as sharp at the bird’s eyes but some are and I like them all. I also tried to get a good one while the bird was searching for food in the puddle but the result is not as great as I would like. To make these pictures I used F6.3, 1/800 sec. shutter speed and ISO 220.
At the end of the day, in the warming golden light, two Reed buntings (Emberiza schoeniclus), pleased me with their presence. I’ve spotted them in different locations; the first one, on a cattail and lit from a side, it has the look of a statue and with its breast feathers out of order it makes him even more interesting. The second one, perched a bit further away, got a bit more light on him and lit his eye.
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For all species found on my spotting adventures, take a look at INaturalist.
The gear that I’ve used for spotting and book used for identification, here.