All my friends who were planning an interesting photo trip this spring lost not only many planned and certainly great photos, but also, unfortunately, often enough money for purchased tickets and accommodation. Like I have some idea at the end of last year. I did not plan anything for spring 2020. I probably saved my money and nerves.
To make matters worse, in mid-March, covid-19 locked the entire world in his homes. Even in the Czech Republic, limited movement of the population was ordered, and the possibilities of photographers were really limited to their immediate surroundings. Thank God I’m a countryman. The people of the city certainly do not have such opportunities. My immediate surroundings include a relatively large garden, an adjacent forest, a sandstone rock town behind the forest, a system of ponds and torrents flowing from the foothills of the Krkonoše mountains under the rocks. Even in this exceptional situation, I could not complain about the lack of photographic possibilities.
The easiest way is to start right on the doorstep. Fortunately, the bird feeder studio in my garden still works permanently, all you have to do is create a new stage, build a tripod and take pictures. Early spring promised not only birds that spent the winter here, such as Tits, Greenfinches, Hawfinches, Woodpeckers, but also early returnees from the wintering grounds, such as Serins, Redstarts, Robins. The tactic “when a photographer can’t be birds, birds have to be a photographer” worked great.
However, the studio will get tired in time. So a photographer trapped in an emergency is looking for other options. The rocks are behind the hummocks, there is definitely something to be photographed there. Several pairs of Kestrel nest in the rock town. One pair built a nest in a rock joint relatively low above the ground. It is almost visible in the nest and the kestrel, accustomed to humans, let the observer (and the photographer) get very close.
One of the recommendations during the emergency was not to go to places with a higher concentration of people. Where can the concentration of people be lower than in the vast reeds at the surface of the pond? That’s why I was happy to follow this recommendation and spent quite a bit of this year’s coronavirus spring in the reeds. It meant getting up very early, and arriving in the reeds in the dark, and unnoticed to take the position of a “lying shooter.” Even in the dark, there are many interesting events and feathered objects in the reeds and on the surface. Every spring I look forward to Geese, which are not easy to photograph too closely for their alertness and shyness. But interesting photos can be taken at the right time even with an “ordinary” Black coot. Other species of waterfowl were not very kind to me, circling my habitat in reverent arches. Only Pochards and Mallards sympathized with me.
When nothing is happening on the surface, the photographer can turn away from the surface. There are also very interesting photographic objects in the reeds. The sedge warblers sing in the reeds this year as many. It feels very safe in the reeds, so even without a cover you can get very close. The problem is in the stalks of reeds. Sometimes it is very difficult to find a gap between them so that not a single blade covers the photographed object. Whether it’s a Sedge warbler or a Savi´s warbler.
Far from the noisy crowd, but in close proximity to the busy 1st class road, one would not look for too wild nature. But Dipper has other priorities. Water flowing fast enough and rocky shore. In such a place, he will find not only enough food, but also a suitable habitat for the construction of his artificially created moss nest. His diving skills are also admirable.
Many people now say that an emergency has allowed them to stop for a while, to slow down. In the place where I live, I can to stop and slow down every spring.