With the first obvious signs of spring, male Bluethroats (Luscinia svecica, Blauwborst) return from the wintering grounds and start to form and defend a territory. This goes with a great display of song and colors, but only during a week or two. I can never resist to try and photograph these beautiful birds and this year is no exception. So I went to a newly formed patch of wet nature with Bog Myrtle, Willow bushes, Reeds, Cattails and Common Alder to try my luck. Sure enough, I found two individuals that were more than willing to perform for me. They sang all morning and let me approach relatively close without bothering. But, here comes the ever present but: they tend to sing from the highest vantage point available. There were several young Common Alder trees of some 3 meters height at all corners of the territory, so all I got were shots against the bland sky. I do like the high key effect of the washed-out sky, but I would really like to get a more close-up shot of a singing bird against a colored background. For that shot to work, I will need a territory with bushes instead of trees. I will continue to search and probably have one more week before the males turn into mute mode again.

Bluethroat; Canon 5D Mark II w. 500/4 IS and 1.4x; 1/160s at F5.6 and ISO400; tripod.