Saturday, 26 May 2012

Early days

I have finally taken the plunge and got a Canon 7D which I have wanted since this camera was first released. This week has been busy , busy and I am dying to get out properly with it. I already think the 8 fps are a great boost to flight photography.

I initially found some Sand Martins gathering nesting material and no doubt insecting on the ground but to be honest what looked quite god on the LCD was disappointing on the computer, not really sharp.

This is typical me I selected picture style 'standard' where sharpness was only 3 on a scale of 7.

I didn't realise when I took some Mallard flight shots, tracking is great but these again were not sharp, I do though like the picture where the fisherman got too close to me (or vica a versa).

So I cranked sharpness up to 7 in 'standard' picture style and that looks a lot better. The Dunnock shots were after I did this.

I know you can synchronise your 7D to the lens (most likely not for a Sigma me thinks). I need to read the manual.

Any advice is welcomed.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Barn Owl flight

Just a short trip out Tuesday evening. First I went out along a route where I have been seeing Little Owl in the last few weeks. I soon realised that the leaves have now opened up giving great cover and for light with trees either side of the road I need to be earlier when the sun is higher.

I then went down another local road where Barn Owls have always lived in a dilapidated old shed. Last year I never saw a Barn Owl all year until Oct/Nov and then I think it was a Barnie in East Yorkshire.

Anyway I was really pleased to go down there in good light and see two birds flying around the area. I was maybe only there 30 -40 minutes and got a few shots, a couple were half decent although not showing the spectacular colouring of their feathers.

Canon 40D, Sigma 50-500mm lens, f7.1 1/2000sec ISO 400, focal length 417mm

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Not a nice mouthful!

This Linnet had a lot of nesting material in its bill. Enough to make you gag. No problem to our feathered friends.

Canon 40D, Sigma 50-500mm lens, f6.3 1/640, ISO 400

Monday, 14 May 2012

A short walk

A short walk tonight down towards Wykeham Carrs produced loads of these little belters. The light was good although on the return walk it got very black, well it would wouldn't it. The Yellowhammers song of 'a little piece of bread and no cheese' is a sound of summer.

Canon 40D, Sigma 50-500mm lens. f6.3 1/1000sec ISO 250 500mm focal lens, hand held

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Mating Avocets at Top Hill Low

We had a great day yesterday at Top Hill yesterday with some additional migrants to add to the year list (Sedge and Reed Warblers).

Butterfly's seen included Orange Tip and Speckled Wood, 'White's' seen in the distance.

Another great sight was a grass snake swimming across South Marsh West lagoon.

On South Marsh in front of the hide a pair of Avocets were close and I was fortunate enough to get this sequence. I have omitted some of the sequence, well you only need so much excitement don't you!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Into the National Park and Year List Additions

Now we did not get off this morning as early as we might, by the time we had breakfasted done an errand or two it was mid morning and the clouds had replaced the early sunshine.

Where to go Flamborough, a Wryneck was there yesterday, Ravenscar, perhaps something good might have come in. Undecided we travelleds north and decided to head up to Danby Beacon on the Northern Edge of the North York Moors National Park.

It was the first time this year we had been into the Hational Park. As we traveled off the main road on a single track towards the beacon a Wheatear flew off. At the summit the wind was quite strong and fairly cold but a decent number of Red Grouse were flying and showing near parking area. Our first sighting of this species this year, we saw lots more of these birds as we traveled south. Meadow Pipits were everywhere.

Below the beacon is a grassy knoll where we have seen Golden Plover and Wheatears before. Immediately on arrival there was a stupendous Golden Plover (number two for year list) really near the car offering great views. It moved away slightly but it gave a great show. I was the wrong side of the car to take photographs but it was a great sight.

On the other side of the road a pair of Wheatears were flighty and distant but afforded record shots.

We worked our way south through Lealholm, Glaisdale. Here by the Pack Horse Bridge and below a rail bridge you get Dippers and Grey Wagtails on the Esk. Sure enough within minutes I bagged two more for the year. Both species seem to be nesting on the underside of the railway bridge.

Just hand held shots of the Dipper in poor light (1/60 sec!) but this one was ok.

Record shot of male Wheatear


Sunday, 6 May 2012

Willow Warbler

Every where I seem to go at the moment I here the song of the Willow Warbler. It's habitat is woods, forests, coppice's, and scrub. Anywhere with a few trees. Today I have seen and heard this lovely warbler in hedge rows with a few trees and on the edge of a forest.

It eats insects, mostly flies but also bees, beetles and aphids. Like a Chiffchaff it constantly looks on leaves and twigs looking for tiny insects.

This one seems to be gathering nest material, they nest on the ground in well hidden thick herbage, perhaps the nest was going to be nearby.

Once you get used to their song identification is easy.

ISO 200 f 6.3, 1/320 sec 500mm focal length

Thursday, 3 May 2012

A day off.

Sorry, for the lack of recent posts due to the awful weather and being busy when the weather gave us a slight glimmer of hope.

Today I have been on leave and although the sky was cloudy it DIDN'T RAIN!!!

Highlights were a pair of Wheatears at Scalby Lodge Pond, my first swifts of the year at Mowthorpe and Hackness and this splendid fresh looking Egyptian Goose that was present today at Scarborough Mere.

I only just got there in time as after I took a decent number of shots I was talking to some people and it flew off behind me.

I then went to Seamer Tip Pools where my only success was in seeing the two Common Sandpipers present.