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Black redstart in a meadow


Exposure: 1/500

Aperture: f/ 6.3

ISO-Sensitivity: ISO 1250

Focal Length: 600mm

Lens: Sigma 150-600mm F5-6,3

Camera: Nikon D850

Over several days, I could observe different songbirds on this meadow. It was already in the beginning of autumn, but there were still a few flowers that were blooming. By bike the meadow was only a few minutes away from my home and so I spent some afternoons at this meadow.

Besides a dozen Black redstarts, I could also observe some Stonechats, Reed bunting and some unspecified Pipits on the meadow. They were all on their way south and made a stopover in the Bernese Seeland.

Unfortunately, I hadn’t much luck with the Stonechats. They stayed quite in the middle of the meadow and I didn't want to enter the meadow. The Reed buntings were sitting in a bigger shrub while the Pipits mostly stayed hidden on the ground. The Black redstarts showed a bit better. All over the meadow about 10 of the birds were sitting on the flowers. They always kept their distance, but this allowed me to integrate more of the habitat into the picture.

On the first two days the light wasn’t too good. Even shortly before sunset the background didn't really work. In the golden light the colour of the flowers didn't seem to stand out from the green of the leaves and the background seemed very boring.

On the day of the third attempt the sun was covered by a layer of clouds. The leaves of the flowers had a rich green colour. The intensely coloured flowers created a much better colour contrast with the rich green of the leaves than the days before. With the nice colour contrast, the background looked much more interesting.

As in the days before, the redstarts were pretty active and could be photographed quite well. This male redstart landed exactly on the right flower. After I had taken a couple of photos, the redstart flew up again and flew to a new perch. But I got the photo and soon after I went home, knowing that I finally had the picture that I had in mind.

I tend to struggle with the redstart. Although the Black Redstart is a very common species in the settlements, I was never able to photograph the bird from at eye level and on a nice perch. Therefore, I was all the happier to finally have a good photo of this bird.

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Nicolas Stettler

Weyernweg 27

2560 Nidau

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