22 May 2011

A wall full of Sand Martins

I was recently introduced to a fantastic location for sand martins - and one that is easily accessible (in fact too accessible!) If you're thinking it's the east coast site next to the caravan park then you'd be wrong. It's much closer to home in West Yorkshire, but I think I'll keep this one to myself for now... The sand martin colony is a sandstone wall - in a very urban setting. I've made about four visits so far and got some incredible close ups as the birds return to their nesting holes. Even at close range they seem happy to come and go, showing little if any disturbance. After getting some good portaits I decided to try something a little different - a flight shot! Yes, trying to get a sand martin in flight does seem near impossible... but not if you learn from their behaviour. I noticed that upon leaving its hole, a bird would usually drop first, then rise up again. With this in mind, I composed with the hole above centre, focussed slightly in front of the wall (manual), closed down the aperture a little, wacked up the ISO to 800 and gave it a go. The resulting image still amazes me now - and you can see its mate sticking its head out from the background hole. It's not often I'm really impressed with one of my own images.. but this is an absolute belter..!!

1 comment:

  1. Hello Dude,

    Nice site! The Sand Martin is a migratory passerine bird in the swallow family. It has a wide range in summer, embracing practically the whole of Europe. It's twittering song is continuous when the birds are on the wing and becomes a conversational undertone after they have settled in the roost. Thanks a lot.....