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  #61  
Old 22nd May 2011
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Re: Hatfield Forest Meet

I was fine after the shoot, but only after slapping on two coats of heavy duty after-sun lotion - I might have been carrying a lot of camera gear, but nothing sensible like sun-tan lotion - it was a glorious day.

A selection of my shots -

Fallow Deer on the forest fringes -


A Grebe swimming thru the mist on the lake -



A couple of the Greylag geese on the lake side with Goslings -





Some plant images - Cow Parsley -



Teasels -



and a Dog Rose -



I have a sequence involving a Grebe family and Crayfish, but I'll put that in a separate post.

Lovely day out - thanks for organising it John.
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Old 22nd May 2011
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Re: Hatfield Forest Meet

Great shots Mark!

Here are a few from me:









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  #63  
Old 23rd May 2011
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Re: Hatfield Forest Meet

I forgot to upload this one of Andy last night



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  #64  
Old 23rd May 2011
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Re: Hatfield Forest Meet

This is a rather severe crop as I had the wrong lens on! The rather odd stripey looking youngster is a baby Grebe - you can see one of its parents on the lower right. The baby was very loud - calling all the time and the parent practically ignored it all the time, diving and disappearing for what seemed an eternity, reappearing somewhere completely different, sometimes 20-30 feet away. It must be very confusing being a baby grebe!



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  #65  
Old 23rd May 2011
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Re: Hatfield Forest Meet

To add a few more to our photo gallery of the day -

At the entrance to the Forest, one is greeted by a carpet of buttercups - here seen leading to a tree that has seen better days!

1.

There were plenty of oohs and aahs -

A pair of greylag geese enjoying a sunny Saturday with the family -

2.

A close up on the junior members of another family -

3.

A grebe - I assume it was the mother who had charge of her offspring but kept the poor youngster guessing by disappearing under water and appearing several feet away, here doing a party piece! -



And finally, we did manage to spot one butterfly. I had in mind to try some of the art modes on the camera but completely forgot to do so - which explains this -



All taken with the E-30, 70-300mm, with the exception of the first taken with the 12-60mm.

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  #66  
Old 23rd May 2011
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Re: Hatfield Forest Meet

Beautiful shots there Ann1e. Nos 1 and 4 stand out for me. The grebe shot is brilliant great capture and perfect exposure.

Thanks for sharing.
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  #67  
Old 23rd May 2011
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Re: Hatfield Forest Meet

I am enjoying looking at these images.

Ann1e the Grebe pic from your selection particularly stands out for me. The shape and sense of movement, is particularly good.
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Old 16th June 2011
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Re: Hatfield Forest Meet

So eventually I get round to posting my Grebe images - I wouldn't be very good at the "52" challenge!

Ian spotted the Grebe chick not getting much response from it's parent, and this sequence may explain why. Not as action packed as Annie's "walking on water" shot, but interesting behaviour I think none the less.

I was standing on the boardwalk by the bottom end of the lake, near the tearoom, when I hear a splash at my feet, and see a Grebe making off as fast as it can with a Lobster in it's beak...

But hang on, Lobsters don't live in lakes do they? Must be a Crayfish, but that's a big Crayfish - maybe one of the escapees from a fish farm? (I have a link to a report on this on my blog - maybe an American Red-Claw).

So then it decides to feed this prized capture to it's young ...


First of all the chick is interested, but it can't get hold of the food...


This is a sequence that gets repeated many times. Eventually Dad turns up to offer his advice, whilst Junior is starting to get fed up with this funny food...

Mum gets fed up with the chick not being grateful for this high cuisine she has prepared, and Junior complains to Dad about not getting his normal Chicken nuggets...


But Mum's not going to waste this food...


and in a blink, it's gone. They must have strong stomach acids.

I took a sequence of 25 images over c. 4 minutes, but both jp and raw, so multiply by 2, and also I found I had left ISO bracketing on from a previous shoot, so multiply by 3 again - 150 images. Later I had a brain burp when I couldn't believe I had filled an 8GB card in half a morning!
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  #69  
Old 16th June 2011
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Re: Hatfield Forest Meet

Great pictures Mark! And well-spotted. Is that larger than an American signal crayfish?

Did the youngster manage to eat any of the crayfish? I'm astonished it was eaten at all!. Having caught some of these in the canal near us, they are feisty beasts which look like they can really nip if you aren't careful...

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Old 16th June 2011
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Re: Hatfield Forest Meet

Well, now you've asked the question I have re-checked. The Red claw is Australian, not American, and is tropical. I guess for this reason it is the only allowed imported Crayfish. And people collect them, and keep them in tanks. So it could have been released and survived, been released and died (and is why it is now being consumed), or be another species.

Why I thought it might be one is thanks to this image, which seems to suggest red claws -

I think the Red claw is supposed to be v. large as well.

The article is here, and it does list other invaders, which could be potential culprits.

Forgot about the youngster - if it ate any of the Crayfish it may have been only the claws, as it was really only nibbling the creature around the edges, if that.

I thought the Crayfish looked quite dead - no nipping going on. At the time I thought the parent Grebe could only have killed it by spearing it with it's beak, and/or shaking it/banging it against the bank, but as I say above, perhaps it was already dead.
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