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Dave Williams's 2018 Big(Photo)Year!


Dave Williams
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Here we go again, some tips for new comers from someone starting for only the second time.

 

If you have spreadsheets keep a list as it will help avoid duplications and re checks. Also helps identify some of the missing species you can target. ( And I swore I wasn't a "lister"....until now!)

 

Although my natural competitiveness comes out this isn't about bettering other peoples scores, it's about bettering your own not only in numbers but photo quality too. 

It's also a great incentive to discover what you are photographing.. you have to check the guide books.... so you are learning along the way. Looking at other members B.Y.'s  helps you learn identities too.

 

I tend to use Flickr to upload my phots from as it  1) It allows everyone to see the full exif details about your camera gear and settings without me having to repeat them  2 ) Gives me emergency storage cover should for any reason I loose the originals. You can of course just upload them straight on to ST.

 

It's also nice to have some background info too, such as how common the species is, where it was taken etc. Fascinating to see what people see in their own back gardens/yards depending on where they live.

 

Hope we have quite a few joining in the fun... and it is all light hearted banter although it's a serious business collecting the images.

Anyway.... on with my own BY 2018.

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No 1) Glaucous Gull.

It was a late start  on New Year's Day ( wonder why?!) but I decided to target the rather unusual Gull that has appeared just down the coast from where I live in North Wales. It won't stay for long so grab the opportunity while you can. Literally 5 minutes after I arrived the sun vanished and it poured with rain. Day 2 has been dark and dismal so I'm off to a slow start with just the one species so far.

24587823737_8663897aa3_b.jpgGlaucous Gull    Larus hyperboreus by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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@Dave Williams

Great to see you are taking part again - and excellent advice for those considering coming on board. And a lovely Gull to start.

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Welcome to the game again, Dave. Very good advice indeed. I have never seen a Glaucous, great bird to start with. 

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Hehehehehe!

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10 hours ago, Dave Williams said:

Although my natural competitiveness comes out this isn't about bettering other peoples scores, it's about bettering your own not only in numbers but photo quality too. 

It's also a great incentive to discover what you are photographing.. you have to check the guide books.... so you are learning along the way. Looking at other members B.Y.'s  helps you learn identities too.

@Dave Williams, well said, and goodo for getting the ball rolling. My Spain trip a couple of years back was all the more enjoyable for recognising Birds like the Chiffchaff, Robin, Tiits etc, from the BY. Nice gull by the way.

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22 hours ago, Peter Connan said:

Hehehehehe!

 @Peter ConnanWhat are you up to I wonder!!!

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2) Purple Sandpiper

 

I'm doing a reverse order from last year ! these lovely little waders only stay locally over the winter period so I'm getting in early in case the don't come back next winter! They roost on the rocks next to the promenade at high tide so good views can be has if you are lucky although they spend most of the time asleep.

 

38768596224_6eed6eff52_b.jpgPurple Sandpiper   Calidris maritima by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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3) Ruddy Turnstone

We tend to call them just Turnstones as at this time of year their plumage is rather dull compared to the breeding season but then they move away from the coast and fly north too.

Today they were in a small flock made up of the Purple Sandpipers too.

27699223349_5a463b46e8_b.jpgRuddy Turnstone   Arenaria interpres by Dave Williams, on Flickr

Edited by Dave Williams
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Excellent bird photography was expected from @Dave Williams but what I like more is the determination in the eyes of the turtle :D. Hmmmm, what will be my 2018 avatar photo :rolleyes:?

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I've seen your travel plan @xelas    that was your first mistake....sharing it! I'm going to follow you everywhere, then add somewhere extra!!:lol:

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Looks like this 2018 will be filled with great trip reports also :). Readers will enjoy it!

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Posting a Glaucous Gull as the first one for 2018 shows your intentions, @Dave Williams ! And some good advice in your introduction. Looking forward to your 2018 collection, both in quantity as in quality. But the latter is always guaranteed with you

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4) Gadwall.

I thought @Peter Connan had a good idea concentrating on behavioural shots.

38831009344_88c4d3477e_b.jpgGadwall    Mareca strepera by Dave Williams, on Flickr

 

Depending of course on what they are doing:wacko:

 

 

39540097061_b33418a24e_b.jpgGadwall    Mareca strepera by Dave Williams, on Flickr

 

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5)European Stonechat

A desperately dull day after the forecast had promised sunshine, still I needed to make some BY progress so I headed down to the local reserve.

 

38831009864_5b19d25a7d_b.jpgEuropean Stonechat   Saxicola rubicola by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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What a beauty!

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@Dave Williams, beautiful Stonechat photo, nice local Reserve you have there, and glad you're getting some "good enough" weather to enjoy it. I imagine its pretty wet and gloomy in your parts at this time of the year.

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@elefromoz The weather here on the North Wales coast is quite mild really, we get a little frost on occasions but snow is rare. However, the mountains of Snowdonia are pretty close by and they are often covered white. 

Cold and sunny is great, mild and grey depressing. We seem to get too much of the latter although the forecast for the next two days is the former.:o

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A great start from the tortoise indeed. Hoping for great things for your 2nd year.

Some very helpful advice too for which thanks. I can empathise with that. Locals get ignored til too late.

Hence no Razorbills, Black guiliimots or Common Kestrel in my own score. By the time I realised they had sailed away and a Common Kestrel it just would turn up one day. Nope. I think they must be extinct.

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@Galana  Your comment has made me decide to grab this one while I can as I failed to get one at all last year despite seeing them in the garden quite often. I don't usually post shots of birds on feeders but this was unique for me, the first time I have witnessed one of mine. The cold weather must have made food harder to come by although I usually see one eating the Ivy berries of which there are plenty around..

8) Eurasian Blackcap    Sylvia atricapilla

BH2I2512.jpg

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