The picture I’ve dreamed of for years – what a Valentine’s day!
No posts for ages, but there’s been a reason … Daniela and I have been Honeymooning in Costa Rica and only got back a few days ago! We managed to take around 3,500 pictures which’ll take me some time to sort out, but as soon as I manage it I’ll post them up on our Birding site for you to take a look at.
We’ve had a busy time finding our feet again here, but I’ve managed to squeeze in two days birding on the Plains, the second of which was today – and it’s GREAT to be birding on my home patch again, back amongst old friends!
The species count today was only 57 in an eight hour period, but that’s to be expected at this time of year before the migration gets into its stride. However the views we had were stunning as always, and it makes a huge change from birding in the Rain Forest where, although the birds are spectacular, the light for photography is so often “flat” and one has to be constantly changing the ISO and other settings. Back here the ISO is pretty well a constant 200 at f5.6 and this gives excellent results as you can see from this post’s photo.
What was more we had the highest count I’ve ever witnessed for Great Bustards over a similar time period, well over my highest in years past which was 87; today it was 126!
They’re gathering together into droves to prepare for the mating season which normally gets into its stride in a few week’s time, (though we saw a couple displaying well today). This increase in numbers is solely due to the successful hard conservation work put in by the LPN and SPEA and I take my hat off to them; all power to your elbows!
Anyway, I could have posted any number of shots of either of the Bustards as they’re the flagship species for the area, but instead I had to post the picture of these Sandgrouse, as, on top of being the shot I’ve dreamed of taking for years, it goes to show that all that hard work done by those splendid organisations benefits not only those flagship species but also those other species that live in the same habitat, like these gorgeous Black-bellied Sandgrouse.