Very quite week in terms of wildlife observations despite several trips to different locations to try to find something decent to shoot. Therefore I came back to basics with some handball photography over the weekend. It felt good to see the boys play with their new team.
On Friday (14th) I finally decided to move myself up and to do something I had in mind for quite a long time... head to the forest and look for their inhabitants (fox, deer, badger...). Again, an early morning, got up at 4.45 A.M. and left around 5.20 A.M. after an express breakfast and loading the gear up into the car. I was very undecided whether I should take my camera or not as I considered this a first "recognition" trip to look for any clues confirming the presence of the animals... in other words look for animals poop.
Just a quick snapshot from my smartphone app to illustrates the little trek I undertook on that day. By the way, you can get very easily lost in the forest, especially if you venture their at night and without any location gear. These days everyone has a smartphone with a GPS however I keep this as a backup plan and I prefer to rely on a dedicated gear, a Garmin Fenix5X watch with maps and GPS. Be sure to have all your gear fully power loaded before your trip (or bring a powerbank with you, always good as a backup).
Anyway, I chose to bring my camera with me along with a pair of binoculars. I never got the chance to use it on that day. I did not see any big animals. A couple of little birds, I believe they were treecreepers and wrens but without a decent light, very difficult to shoot. No poops either :). It was a nice walk thought and allowed me to get a first impression of the area and ti where to explore further and potentially deploy some photographic traps. I did take a few pictures with my cellphone. Writing this blog made me realise how "correct" the image quality was on my phone and that, with a bit of post-treatment, you can actually get some "okay" pictures. Again, I'll let you judge.
I did see some "wildlife" other than birds. Will you be able to spot it ? Don't cheat just look at the pictures one by one...
Just to finish on that day, I also met a "lovely" slug.
End of the trip. It was a bit frustrating not encountering any mammals but at least it was a good walk and it allowed me to get more familiar with the area and surroundings.
On the 15th (Saturday), I decided to head to a more familiar place to set up a photographic trap. Photographic traps are commonly used by hunters to investigate what animals are about in a selected area. Instead of spending hours in a hide waiting for some animals to pop up, the trap has a motion sensor combined to a camera that can either film or take picture when the last one is activated by a movement. You can set the time period of the day you want the trap to be active (to save battery).
Before deploying the trap I decided to have a look at the surroundings as I realised that the place had changed a lot and that an old path was again available. As I was wondering around, I stopped on a damselfly that was gently taking the pose and I decided to have a go at it as I don't usually do "macro" (I don't have any dedicated macro lens). Just for the record, one anatomical way to differenciate dragonfly from damselfly, is that the last one can't fold their wings along their body.
Continuing my walk, I came across some interesting snails "event". Never encountered such thing before. Snails from the same species (I believe) all aggregated on the stems of specific plants.
I also encountered a lot of singing birds which I assumed were mainly gold finches (later confirmed by a picture). I also spotted a couple of other birds among the finches. I believe they were sparrows but I'm not 100% convinced (I'm waiting for some advices from an ornithological forum).
Then went the time to set up the trap. I decided to place it along some bushy area where we previously briefly observed a badger. Another factor that encouraged me to deploy the trap at that specific location was the presence of wild fruits (littles berries) that could be a potential food source for some animals.. Let's hope that the little guy will still be around.
On the way back home I spotted a circling buzzard in the sky not to far from me so I decided to shoot it.
That was the end of the wildlife trip. I just headed back home to get changed and drop off some of my gear, jumped back into the car to reach the "Halle aux Sports Nicole Abar" for some sport photography of the local handball team HBCC.
Both Senior I and II team were playing on that day and offered a nice show.