A 300mm prime lens with 1.4 T.c. is not an ideal lens for this sort of work however the subject and pose were irresistible. Stepping back about eight feet and steadying my nerves I was able to get several shots one of which I found acceptable for publication by my standards.
I can't even start to calculate the hours that I have spent trying to get some decent photographs of this reclusive species. Titchmarsh LNR had six over-wintering birds with established territories this year, the numbers have swelled to at least twelve birds as I write this post. The Cetti's warbler has an explosive song for such a little bird ( a link below will take you to the relevant xeno-canto site ) and each bird has a distinct and unique song. As a result of my interest in the species I have reached the stage where I can tell individual birds by their song alone ...... this is just a well as seeing them rarely happens as they skulk deep down in the undergrowth. http://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Cettia-cetti?view=3
They do have quite large territories so sometimes you may be lucky enough to fleetingly see them on the wing as they flit from bush to bush.
Earlier in the year, 31st March to be precise, a new cock bird arrived on site and started to establish a territory near the south hide. As the bird moved about, always unseen, I was able to follow its position by its song. Suddenly it called close to the hide, peeping out there it was, in the margins of the reed bed in front of the hide, I fired off a series of shots ..... and it gets better !. Next it flew to the top of a bramble patch next to the hide and started displaying. With palpitations I again fired off a series of shots, my pulse rate was through the roof ! Despite visiting the hide on a regular basis I have never seen the bird again just hearing its calls. Definitely a question of being in the right place at the right time. www.xeno-canto.org/species/Cettia-cetti
I usually visit the reserve during the day. The other evening was warm and humid so for a change I paid an evening visit before the football and was delighted to see this Barn Owl quartering the meadows and returning to its nest every fifteen minutes or so with prey for its owlets. The spots on the images are in fact flies.