It feels like a while since I did any decent wildlife photography. This morning I headed to the park to see if I could entice some robins and blackbirds down to the lawn. No joy... but I did come across some beautiful red autumn leaves where a couple of squirrels were scampering about. Now I'm not generally that drawn to grey squirrels, but the surrounding colour was to good to ignore so I put out a bit of food down and captured some nice portraits - definitely autumnal shots.
I noticed a couple of carrion crows hanging about in the trees... not unusual - and they had clearly spotted the food. The next thing I knew there were two of them down on the ground amongst the leaves. Wonderful stuff! I've seldom had the opportunity to photograph these birds at such close range. You could say they were almost tame..! I spent a good half hour photographing the crows as they constantly ambled around searching through the leaf litter. The light was tricky - the sun kept going in and back out again. With this lighting and a dark bird I tend to stick to manual, so it meant I was constantly having to change shutter speeds - 1/100 in the shade; about 1/500 in the light. As often is the case, I much preferred the bird when it was in the shade. The red leaves were just perfect, creating lovely autumnal shots and completely natural images of a wild bird that was showing me bags of character.
To end my session with one of the crows, I was treated to some entertaining behaviour as the bird decided to try and get into the plastic bag that had now run out of food. The crow dragged, pecked and stamped on the poor bag whilst I fired away, capturing some fascinating behaviour and witnessing the intelligence of this wild bird.