Tuesday, 19 March 2013


Yesterday morning, despite the weather I ventured back onto the water at Wushantou reservoir and made three more discoveries. First, I found that the other wide-open passage leading from east to west at the south end of the reservoir eventually ends in a cul-de-sac, which leaves only the possibility of a narrow east-west passage lying slightly further to the north. The image below shows the expansive reed-bed at the end of the passage...

And here is the view looking back the way I had came (i.e. eastward), with the main body of the passage off to the right. The little harbour to the left complements the single house on the island...

The second discovery was a little channel heading off into a different reed-bed further back along the east of the passage, although I suspect that this was water heading out toward the south-eastern boundary of the reservoir rather than water heading in, although I cannot be sure...

The third discovery was that although an entry channel for the Guantian river was easy to find - and quite obviously looks like what it is - the actual Guantian river delta is somewhat further back from this channel and is so overcome with reeds that, beyond a certain point, it is difficult to tell precisely where the river begins to empty out into the reservoir, although the prescence of a small hamlet nearby suggests that I can probably find a second observation point - though I am doubtful whether the view will be worth the effort of another trip.

I was also able to take a few half-decent shots of one of the pair of Ospreys (the female I suspect, but I'm not sure) that live at Wushantou reservoir. Being a significantly smaller bird than the crested serpent eagle, and much more wary of human approach however, the Osprey is not an easy bird to photograph...

That shot above was taken from some distance away - perhaps fifteen meters or more - and so I probably should have switched to automatic focus for this shot rather than manual; it's not a very sharp image, but at least it's reasonably clear. Although I tried to get closer quietly, she had me clocked from the beginning and there was no way she was going to grant allow me to approach her perched on her bamboo branch and so I was reduced to taking shots of her flying around in circles in what may have been a defensive display (there is probably a nest nearby)....

Focus was again a slight issue in the first two of those shots above as was exposure (the first two were slightly under-exposed). What I ought to have done was keep my shutter speed at 1/500 or higher (at F 5.6) but raise my ISO to 200 or 400 to compensate for the comparative darkness of the background. Having said that, I do like that third shot.

In sum, I'm reasonably pleased with yesterday morning's work because it means first, I have some decent images of the river's entry point and a plan for how to get possibly better pictures from another perspective, and second I know now that if I want to take a picture of the upstream face of the dam and spillway in profile, I will probably have to take to the water from the northern end of the reservoir as I did last year, rather than from the south, and third, that I now have an opportunity to confirm what I am hypothesizing are landform changes to the reservoir by taking photographs of the south end passages - from the other side (i.e. from the west rather than the east). And as a bonus, I got some more Osprey pictures, one or two of which aren't too bad.

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