Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Olive-backed Pipit - Filey, 30th April 2012

More time, and so a little more to add. After an already killer day in the field (see here for full details), this eastern jewel appeared out of nowhere, on the very edge of the cliff on Carr Naze, directly between the waning evening sun and the camera lens (which was pleasantly preoccupied with close-up Wheatears at the time). Instinctively sticking with the DSLR as opposed to changing over to optics, it turned out to be all or nothing for a few precious seconds.

Calling twice, hop-scotching a couple of metres and staying in view just long enough to give me a clear shot, its presence was (almost) painfully brief, and that it was registered at all was down to pure luck. Or more accurately, luck and technology. A combination of factors, however, conspired to write a happy ending, including the bird landing exactly where it did and for just enough time, the camera locking onto it mercifully quickly, and (critically) the relative angle(s) of the bird, which provided an ultimately defining suite of i.d. features.

A happy ending indeed, which I'm tempted to take as a slightly delayed 40th birthday present, celebrated into the early hours the previous evening, and intermittently again ever since thanks to this bird.