Bettws Bittern

Newport Wetlands

Newport Wetlands
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Newport Wetlands

Bettws Bittern

  • Met up with many of the other Gwent birders on the search for the Bittern at Morgan's Fishing Lakes in Bettws, what a wonderful little spot it is there and I'm sure it'll be added to many of our regular visit spots now we've found it. Totally missed him on Sat however he did shown late in the afternoon to others but we did get some great displays from the two local kingfishers there and a surprise appearance by two Mink. Took the chance to call in on Sunday afternoon on the way back from the wetlands to show hubby the lakes and lo and behold after a walk round the lake hubby spotted him right opposite peg 29 stood on top of some logs, he then proceeded to give us a great show for about an hour and a half brazenly walking up and down the opposite lake bank, glaring evils at the moorhens and coots in between doing a bit of tea time feeding. He really is a magnificent bird and quite comfortable with the paparazzi and slightly bemused fishermen and John tells me that after we left and it got even quieter he flew over to the close bank where he continued feeding, fingers crossed he hangs about for a while now so I can get there with my tripod for some filming. Very challenging (for me anyway) to photograph there as there is so many shadows especially with the low winter sun and the fact that this guy merges in so well with the undergrowth so if anyone has any suggestions of how to get max sharpness and clarity in these sorts of conditions I'd be very grateful. Unfortunately as usual I cant upload my images directly onto the post but I've added them onto the photo library under tagline Bettws Bittern.

  • Forgot to say that there was also a very cheery songthrush sat behind us as we watched the Bittern - obviously put out that he wasnt centre of attention and so was giving it big time vocally - managed to snap a shot of him too, gorgeous birds with a fantastic song

  • Sorry as a pps I've also put up two of the pics of the Mink but apologise in advance for the quality as we had the sun in our faces looking into a very dark area of undergrowth and were completely surprised by them, have done a very basic lighting of the pic and highlighted the beasties - first time spot for me (I know some would say that's not necessarily a bad thing with these guys)

  • Hi Nick

    Just a quick question , is there a reason  you can't add photos to your thread?

  • Tells me the photos are too big for the posts Alan even though I've compressed them, not sure what the problem is as used to be fine on my old D50 but on my newer D5500 just doest seem to like them

  • Look at the photo properties in the software you view your photos Nicky, there is a 4MB size limit on uploading

  • I've just downloaded one of your photos Nicky and it is 9MB which is too large.


  • Yes but even when compressed they still wont load directly onto the page Alan - probably me

  • Hi Nicky, now I know who Nickynackynoo is!

    What software are you using? I know that at one time you could load any size images on the RSPB site and the interface was a lot simpler with a clear 'photos' tab. This forum was absolutely buzzing with loads of contributors. Then it went down for a while for 'maintenance'. Without notice as far as most people who contributed to the forum were concerned, although I found out by necessity that some people use the national forums' homepage where the notice was posted. Anyways when it came back on line it was in the form it is now with the tiny icons and the file size limitation. The majority of users were simply not able to adapt to this and gave up. Good people who had enjoyed posting pics and sharing their sightings. This was supposed to be an 'upgrade' but there was also something about not being able to re-licence the software, anyway we've ended up with this generic interface which is pretty poor with many redundant features, strike-through-letters anybody?, and is in no way an improvement on the original. i don't know if it was a coincidence but it was all about the time the RSPB had the big corporate makeover and came up with the slogan 'Giving Nature a Home' which I thought was a waste of our subscriptions when they had upset so many people by making this forum inaccessible to them. Rant over.

    If you are using 'Lightroom' this is a good tutorial

    If you are using Photoshop go to 'Image' > Image Size > set the resolution at 72 or 150 DPI (this is only displaying on a screen so doesn't need to be 300DPI for printing) then reduce the pixel size keeping an eye on the resulting file size.

    In 'Photos' on a Mac just choose 'Export' > Photo Kind > JPEG > Photo Quality > Medium > Colour Profile > Original > Size > Full Size

    I've got a Mac and can't remember the equivalent export for a PC but it will be there. 

    Hope this helps.

  • Hi John

    Yes used to be able to load directly onto the page without any problems but for some reason recently even when compressing them they wont accept them. I use GIMP on my laptop or our home mac but it seems to be the GIMP ones that i'm getting the issue and looking back possibly may be after the last update ps loving the vids

  • Thanks Nicola, glad you enjoyed them. Sorry to hear you're still having trouble.  I've got to admit I haven't used GIMP, but I've heard it's a useful public source image editing program. I used to use 'Aperture' on the Mac which was their equivalent of 'Lightroom'  but this has been discontinued and anyway most of its features are available within 'Photos' - if you add all the available image editing options, including clicking on the triangles to access the dropdown menus for tweaking the parameters for each function, it's absolutely fine and you can switch to other external editors such as Photoshop without leaving the program if you need any extra tools. Whatever happens I'm sure you'll sort it out and looking forward to your future posts.