Sunday, June 9, 2013

Out and About and Back Again

Most days of May saw me working leading groups either on tours or day trips. The combination of work and my age conspired to make the month pass by in no time at all. It increasingly feels like each month gets shorter and each day I have less time to do all those tasks I want to do! Being out and about so much I get to see a lot of nature, lots of people and also have fun at the same time. Truth is I could almost write a daily blog on activities warranting a comment or two, but of course read the aforementioned problems with finding time! I am forever grateful for being able to spend so much time in my local area the Serranía de Ronda and the Sierra de Grazalema, the local wildlife is spectacular and varied, so here I can show you one or two photos from the month of May and hope you enjoy them?

Cirl Bunting - Common resident
Sifting through the pile of photographs I took for May, more than normal, I thought I’d concentrate on those taken with a new point and shoot Canon SX50 HS. It might interest readers as it is a cheap and portable solution for me compared to the heavy equipment involved in Digital SLR with the accompanying heavy lenses! It has always been difficult for me to be in the business of getting photographs and guiding folk, the two are NOT compatible in terms of giving people your undivided attention and focus. However, many of my friends (clients to most other guides) tend to come armed with an array of cameras on either full tours or day trips, so it is easier for me to pack a simple and lightweight point and shoot for each tour or trip. I should add I never take shots without the permission of those using my services and only then when they too are involved with taking photos.

Phlomis purpurea
May is a time of plenty here in my mountains, but this year has been different due to a very wet winter and early spring, along with cooler than normal temperatures. Butterflies, despite a fantastic spring for flowers, are late and down in numbers, I assume due to the prolonged wet and cold. Whilst some birds have been late arriving and to begin the reproduction process, one very disturbing and worrying late breeder and with some nests failing is Bonelli’s Eagle, where the nest is productive it is reduced from 2 to 1 nestling, interested to see how many of these fledge. Maybe the problem for this emblematic eagle is lack of prey i.e. Rabbit and Red-legged Partridge? Rabbit is almost entirely absent in the higher elevations, so this may also impact on other raptor’s breeding success this year. Weekly sightings of Long-legged Buzzard kept my pecker up on the raptor front, so not too upset yet!

The ever present and common Corn Bunting
Okay onwards and upwards with a few happy snaps from May. - - -

Lavatera - So common and a few different species too!
Bee eater arrived on time but locals delayed breeding!
The common Meadow Brown feasting on Sheep's Bit
PrayingMantis - Empusa Pennata (male) just praying?
Male Greenfinch looking very handsome
Okay I won't bore folk with more photographs, but I am impressed with Canon SX50 HS and as a highly portable point and shoot I have found it a useful addition to my guiding toolbox!

I hope to update folk on the progress of various raptors and other birdlife here in a separate blog.

You can read more about Peter's tours on Spanish Nature's website or if you want a day's trip in his mountains read about the details here


eileeninmd said...

Great review and awesome photos. I use the Canon SX40 and love it. The zoom is awesome. I would buy the SX50 next.

Peter Jones said...

Thanks Eileen. I must admit I was surprised and really pleased with my purchase! It will be a whole lot easier to pack than the DSLRs and with no heavy lenses to catty around is a bonus. When you are ready to change I recommend the SX50 as an upgrade.

Penny said...

Hi Peter,
Loved the blog and photos. Have just bought the SX50 myself and I am well pleased with the results. Love the zoom and macro. Looking forward to some great photo results from our trip to Ronda in 2015!

Peter Jones said...

Hi Penny, thanks and I am sure we will have both mastered the new Canons by 2015, reminds me too, I must read the downloaded instructions!!!! Peter