A birding day out

I like photographing birds because they’re challenging, interesting, colourful and of incredible variety but I’m not one to tick them off lists, like serious birders do. So it was a new experience for me to go birding with a some real enthusiasts at the weekend – and in the company of a true expert. My aim was to increase my chances of seeing some interesting birds to photograph – without me having to do the hard work of working out where to go, how to find them or even to have to spend time identifying them!

I had a grand day out and we saw an amazing 69 species of bird, from the humble sparrow to the Black-throated diver. Obviously, it wasn’t possible to photograph all of them and I could only get decent photos for a relatively few because some could only be seen with the aid of a telescope or we got a fleeting glimpse only. So what follows is a small selection of some of the better photos. I’ve also included a particularly pleasing shot of a Northern white-tailed bumblebee (Bombus magnus) taken at Kergord and a group shot too, taken at West Voe, Sumburgh, to round off the set. There’s a couple of images I wouldn’t normally upload but include them here as “record shots”. One is of a Linnet that we saw at Virkie (taken through the window of the bus with the engine still running as we pulled up just before  a starling frightened it away) and the other is the Black-throated diver – from about half a mile away! That shot is severely cropped but retains just about enough detail to be able to see what it is.

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