Profile cover photo
Profile photo
DAVID ELEMENT
7 followers
7 followers
About
Posts

Post is pinned.Post has attachment
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Fieldfares Turdus pilaris and Redwings T. iliacus are collectively known as 'winter thrushes' and they are often to be found together in mixed flocks. Fieldfares migrate to the UK from north western, eastern and central Europe in variable numbers (sometimes many thousands) to seek food during the coldest months of the year. This film illustrates these handsomely marked birds feeding on Rowan Sorbus sp. berries. Each time they feed they will eat as many berries as they can swallow (unless disturbed) and they will then fly up to the treetops to digest their meal before repeating this process. One was observed to have taken at least 10 berries during a single foray. Once a berry-laden tree or bush has been stripped of its bounty the birds will move on to seek food elsewhere.
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Redwings Turdus iliacus and Fieldfares T. pilaris are collectively known as 'winter thrushes' and they are often to be found in mixed flocks. Redwings will visit the UK each winter from northern and eastern Europe and from Iceland in variable numbers (sometimes many thousands) to seek food. There are subtle differences in the plumage of the races depending on their geographical origin. This film illustrates these birds feeding frenziedly on Rowan Sorbus sp. berries. Each time they feed they will eat as many berries as they can swallow (unless disturbed) and they will then fly up to the treetops to digest their meal before repeating this process. Early in the film there is a brief dispute between two of the birds but this did not last for long as there was still plenty of food available. Once a berry-laden tree or bush has been stripped of its bounty the birds will move on to seek food elsewhere. If conditions are mild then they may be able to find invertebrate food in the leaf-litter and the photographer has observed Redwings feeding on a riverbank when the ground has been covered in snow. When these bird migrate to the UK they fly at night and their thin 'tseep' contact calls may be heard high overhead in the darkness.
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
The parts of this film of a Little Egret Egretta garzetta fishing in which discarded drinks cans appear could very easily have been edited out, providing a rather sanitised and more idyllic representation of the scene being filmed but the reality is that there will always be evidence of malicious human behaviour visible somewhere when one is recording the activities of wildlife. One example is of course the use of non-biodegradable black plastic bags to collect dog-waste that are then mystifyingly thrown into vegetation rather than being properly disposed of. Another is the fly-tipping of dangerous materials (freeon refrigerants or uncontained asbestos for example) either on land or into river systems. These are utterly deplorable activities and many will share the view that those found to be responsible for bio-hazardous fly-tipping should face robust deterrents in the form of custodial sentences or very substantial fines. Quite why the selfish individuals responsible for discarding these cans cannot bring themselves to carry their litter a short distance and place it into one of the litter-bins provided remains one of life's mysteries and consequentially the sites are degraded for other humans and wildlife alike. It is difficult to understand why the culprits even bother to visit parks or woodlands that are enjoyed by the majority of visitors at all if they cannot contrive to do so without causing deliberate damage to the environment. This river system contains fish species associated with clean chalk streams so these are particularly vulnerable to pollution. Their presence is the reason why there are Little Egrets fishing there in the first place. The individual shown in this film seems to be untroubled by being filmed from not too far away provided that no sudden movements are made. The reason why the Egret took flight at the end of this short film had nothing to do with disturbance by either humans of uncontrolled dogs (the usual reasons why filming is interrupted). Another Little Egret had just flown overhead and it needed to be seen off so this show of aggression may indicate that this bird is a male. The plumage of both sexes is identical so it is impossible to tell them apart other than by their behaviour. This film was recorded on a SLR camera.
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
This perfect female Wall Brown Butterfly Lasiommata megera (males have conspicuous pheromone-rich dark scales known as sex-brands on their forewings) was filmed feeding on Lavender Lavandula sp. in the Ardèche, South of France to the constant accompaniment of stridulating Cicadas Cicada orni.
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
This video footage of a European Robin Erithacus rubecula was obtained using a SLR camera on live-view so there wasn't too much depth of field available when making this film. The light was poor so an auto-ISO setting was required in the gloom. Auto-focussing systems appear to have difficulty in holding focus on orange feathers for some reason so it was necessary to use manual focussing on this very obliging little bird as he posed right in front of a 105mm macro lens and sang to the photographer. For this reason there are parts of the film in which it has not been possible to maintain sharp focus on the bird's eyes. Nevertheless his behaviour may be observed from an absurdly close range for a bird that the photographer had first encountered only eleven days before these images were captured.
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Little Egrets Egretta garzetta originally established themselves in the UK as recently as 1996 and since then these lovely snowy-white herons have been spreading their range and increasing their numbers. This film shows the same bird fishing and preening in a London Park in January 2019. These sequences were filmed two days apart, hence the obvious change in the weather! A SLR camera with a zoom lens attached was used to capture both the video and still photographs. Little Egrets sometimes have distinctively marked feet (they are bright yellow with a varying amount of black blotches and used to disturb prey). The distribution of black and yellow can be very useful when identifying them as individuals provided that a clear photograph of these markings can be obtained. The yellow may extend up their legs sometimes but each leg may be different and there doesn't appear to be any clearly defined symmetry. This particular bird seems to be quite tolerant of being filmed from relatively close range and it was therefore possible to film and photograph its activities by standing not too far away from the riverbank. Another Little Egret has been visiting the same location for at least five years. David has recently published a photographic quality hardback book containing photographs of Little Egrets and it may be previewed in full at: https://www.bobbooks.co.uk/bookshop/photobook/little-egrets-2.
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
The light was far too poor for still photography when this video footage of a European Robin Erithacus rubecula was obtained using a SLR camera on live-view so there wasn't too much depth of field available when making this film. Auto-focussing systems appear to have difficulty in holding focus on orange feathers for some reason so it was necessary to use manual focussing on this very obliging little bird as he posed right in front of a 105mm macro lens and sang to the photographer. For this reason there are parts of the film in which it has not been possible to maintain sharp focus on the bird's eyes. Nevertheless his behaviour may be observed from an absurdly close range for a bird that the photographer had first encountered only nine days before these images were captured. Any closer and it is possible that he would have technically been scanned!
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
It is gratifying to be able to report that I have been befriended by another male European Robin Erithacus rubecula following the disappearance of the previous tame individual that had been the subject of most of my earlier Robin videos. He had befriended me in a local park in February 2016 but sadly he disappeared during September 2017. This time I only need to go out into the back garden to see the new Robin and he will entertain me from a couple of feet away by singing his sub-song. Those whom have never had a close encounter with one of these birds might be surprised to learn that I had only encountered him for the first time a mere four days prior to posting this film. In fact he came to feed from my hand only the second time that food (suet pellets) was offered and he has done so several times each day since then. Unfortunately the sun has been reluctant to appear so far this month so the material used here has been recorded in very poor light. It is also perhaps worth noting that several of the sequences were taken whilst the film was already being edited! Some clips were taken on a small digital video camera and the remainder with a SLR using 'live-view' for sequences where the camera needed to be poked inside a dark Holly Tree Ilex aquifolium. The SLR films are of superior quality (newer technology) and the colours are certainly more saturated. However the camera failed to hold focus well enough (probably having been set incorrectly) to take any long sequences other than by using manual focussing, not easy when operating only a matter of centimetres away from a moving subject as the depth of field is so narrow. Auto-focus has a problem with focussing on orange feathers! The still portrait was also taken in very gloomy light at 2000 ISO using a 105mm macro lens. Hopefully the sun will come out and there will be more to follow. For anyone with a particular interest in this species David has published a photo-essay at: https://www.bobbooks.co.uk/bookshop/photobook/european-robins-2.
Add a comment...
Wait while more posts are being loaded