I’m sitting here writing this as a very happy person.
Wanting to do a bit of birdwatching this afternoon I decided to do a migration watch from the garden. The sun was quite hot so I thought it was good conditions for migratory birds of prey. Sitting in the garden for an hour I had a single Peregrine being mobbed by a Kestrel, which I’m presuming is one from the Peregrine pair in Birmingham. A Sparrowhawk flew through the garden made another bird of prey. This was followed by 2 Buzzards catching a thermal but they were lost to view after about 2 minutes. Relocating the 2 Buzzards again there was a third bird that had joined them. This bird was slightly larger, noticeably longer winged and white underneath. An Osprey!! Grabbing my camera very quickly, I managed to get some very distant (and I mean distant!!) record shots of the individual. Blowing the images up to 200%, I made out the slivery pattern on the upperwing and a lack of a sub terminal band on the tail making this a juvenile Osprey! Fantastic! Another tick for the garden bringing the total up to 69! I wonder what the next garden tick will be…
Time for a clean out so I’ve got some photography equipment for sale so please check the individual items and send me a message or an email if you are interested.
CANON 20D with Canon EF-S f/3.5-5.6 kit lens: http://www.gumtree.com/p/for-sale/canon-20d-with-canon-ef-s-18-55mm-f35-56-kit-lens/1076991265
CANON EOS 40D body with Canon BG-E2 battery grip:
CANON ET 1000 N3 10m extension cable:
SMARTDISK Flashtrax XT40GB portable harddrive:http://www.gumtree.com/p/for-sale/smartdisk-flashtrax-xt-40-gb-portable-harddrive-media-player-usb-20/1076763033
4 x INTERFIT Stellar X 600W studio lights with accessories:
I’ve split this kit into two lots of 2 lights:
One set here: http://www.gumtree.com/p/for-sale/2-x-interfit-stellar-x-600w-lights-with-studio-accessories/1076983782
and the other here: http://www.gumtree.com/p/for-sale/2-x-interfit-stellar-x-600w-lights-with-studio-accessories/1077602407
If you are interested in these or making me a sensible offer on anything please drop me a line.
Using a prime lens will always have its advantages and disadvantages with photography. Sharpness, focus speed and lens quality is a great factor to have but with closer subjects focal length and minimum focussing distances comes in to play. This was the case with this juvenile Night Heron.
This individual came within the minimum 4.5m focussing distance of the 500mm f/4 lens I was using. Attaching a 25mm extension tube (giving me 25% closer focus), this brought the subject back in focus again. The Night Heron was still huge in the frame but I wasn’t able to zoom out or move further back. Keeping the focussing point over the eye and creating the best composition was all I could do in this situation. This is one of the images I achieved.
Night Heron, Nycticorax nycticorax, Hungary, June, 2014.
Canon 5D3 with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens with Canon 25mm extension tube.
Often referring to this bird as looking like a ‘pick-axe’, in my opinion the Hoopoe has got to have one of the best latin names in the bird world… Upupa epops!
After successfully raising the first brood this little gift was for the female for the start of the second brood.
Hoopoe, Upupa epops, Hungary, June, 2014
Canon 5D3 with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens.
It’s great when everything comes together for an image. This Green Sandpiper had spent most of the time feeding against a muddy bank offering limited photo opportunities. I was lucky that the light was really nice when it walked into this clear area of water and started to preen itself.
Green Sandpiper, Tringa ochropus, Hungary, June, 2014.
Canon 5D3 with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens.
Wildlife photography at best can be very frustrating and this was one of those times… Black Redstarts in Hungary are a very common bird but trying to get an image of one that matched the one in my head proved to be a bit more difficult.
With several pairs of Black Redstarts feeding young within a 200m radius of my perch I was expecting a lot of activity but the different pairs have very confirmed feeding boundaries. I did witness 2 individual males singing from the same chimney proclaiming territory so this must have been the boundary between the two territories.
Eventually my patient paid off with the male sitting on the perch and having a preening session. Using a slow shutter speed (which was due to low light conditions) I was able to get a few frames with the head sharp and the rest of the body blurred.
Black Redstart, Phoenicurus ochruros, Hungary, June, 2014.
Canon 5D3 with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS with Canon 1.4x III teleconverter., car as hide.
Please click for larger image.
Definitely a marmite shot for the viewers of my blog. I wanted to capture the big flocks of Knot during the hide tides at Snettisham RSPB in Norfolk. Setting the alarm for stupid o’clock in the morning I arrived on site to the sound of hundreds of thousands of Knot on the estuary. I emphasise sound of Knots as I couldn’t see 20 metres in front of me because of a heavy sea fog that had enveloped the whole of the estuary. Getting into position I knew the fog would lift eventually but not as soon as I would have liked. As the tide came in all those thousands of Knot, Oystercatcher, Godwits, Dunlin, all those fantastic birds I should have been photographing were pushed off the estuary where they were feeding to roost on the reserve, straight over the top of my head. The only problem was the fog was still to thick to do anything with them. After an hour or so, the sun started to burn off the fog and small shapes were starting to appear. Even though you can’t make out what the birds are (unless you an expert in identifying birds’ silhouettes) I still liked the contrast and mystery of these images as the birds tried to find a place to roost.
Knot, Calidris canutus, Snettisham RSPB, Norfolk, September, 2013.
Canon 5DIII with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens.