Saturday, 6 August 2011


Who doesn’t know the story: The Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus/Koekoek) is a brood parasite which lays its eggs in the nests of other birds, particularly of Dunnocks (Prunella modularis/Heggemus), Meadow Pipits (Anthus pratensis/Graspieper), and Reed Warblers (Acrocephalus scirpaceus/Kleine Karakiet). At the appropriate moment, the hen Cuckoo flies down to the host’s nest, pushes one egg out, lays an egg and flies off. The whole process takes about 10 seconds. A female may visit up to 50 nests during a breeding season!
In this case the stepparents were Meadow Pipits, when they flew over the young Cuckoo automatically opened its mouth, eager for food.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 500mm/f4 IS; ISO-400, f7.1, 1/320s; from tripod.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Darter in gold

This morning (my last day of the summer holiday) I got up early to search for dew-covered darters after a relatively cold night. This Banded Darter (Sympetrum pedemontanum/Bandheidelibel) was warming up on a perfect perch. The bright washed-out spot is the reflection of the sun in a small pool. It doesn't bother me; there is simply no sensor today with a dynamic range that is large enough to capture this.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 100mm/f2.8; ISO-400, f7.1, 1/640s; +0.3 stop; from tripod.