vrijdag 26 juni 2009

Gentlemen of the Swamp

I feel like Christopher Columbus as i have discovered new "territory"...
As i was out to look for a Baillon's Crake (Porzana pusilla)wich is an absolute rarity in our country and due to it's small size (about the size of a Blackbird) and secretive way of living very hard to find i came across many more interesting wading birds in the same area. I had never been there before and was amazed as it only excists for a couple of years and allready there are Baillon's Crake, Spotted Crake, Spoonbillls, Ruff, Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwitt and many more wading birds.

I focussed on the Ruff first as they are the true "Gentlemen of the Swamp" and to me a species wich are very hard to find let alone get close to. I hide myself in between the grassland on the shore of the swamp and within half an hour the Ruff where confident i was not out to harm them and they came closer wich gave me some good opportunities to photograph them. The light was a bit harsh but since the birth of our son i can not always head out when i like to so sometimes i just have to settle with some harsh afternoon light and try to make the best of it.

The great thing about Ruff is that no singel one looks the same! Their plumage is so diverse that every one of them offers a different photograph and this makes portraying them a wonderful challenge.

As said besides Ruff there where also some other wonderful waders in the same area and i must say that the Spoonbills where one of the nicest surprises next to the Ruff.

But also a Greenshank will bring a smile to my face...

Now as mentioned earlier i headed out for the Baillon's Crake and did see it that afternoon but it was fast and i could not get a proper shot in the harsh afternoon light. So i returned to the area just before sunset and waited for the Baillon's Crake to show up. Just after sunset it did and allthough i had to work at ISO 1600-2000 i managed to get some shots of this elusive bird. I will get back to this magnificent place many more times in the future that's for sure so i guess one day i will be able to get some better results of the Baillon's Crake and hopefully also of the Spotted Crake.

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