Thursday, 29 September 2011

Back again

Hmmm... Last time out I said I'd be back to stay, that was January, we are now a day or 2 away from October, so I'll not make promises.

Smiley Migrant Hawker
Anyway, here I am, with a couple of changes. I've moved from Sony to Canon camera wise. Think I had an A55 on my last post, which I added a Sigma 150-500 to, but the image quality wasn't there. The camera was slow to focus, and much too small a body to hold a big lens like that. felt uncomfortable and I had hand cramps from using it. I now have a Canon EOS 40D, with a Canon 300mm f4 fixed prime lens, which I have recently added a Sigma 1.4x Teleconverter to. I really love the new set up. It actually feels at last that the pictures I see on the screen are the ones I wanted to take when out in the field. The added bonus of the TC not altering the focus distance means that Macro function is improved greatly. The Dragonfly here was only slightly cropped.

Not a great Dipper shot, but a Dipper shot nonetheless!

Birdwise it's been a bit quiet, although this year I achieved both of the target birds I had this year. I managed to find a treecreeper early on, which I found at Hainault Forest (subsequently found a nest just outside Ware, Herts which I sat watching for hours as the parents flitted in and out of it feeding the squeaking chicks). And on my recent holiday to Somerset I found a Dipper in Porlock. Looked up and down a stream that runs through the village and just as I was about to give up found one as we were returning to the car. Learnt 2 things, 1, never give up and 2, Stay where you are and wait for them to come to you. Not sure the second one would work, but it would've saved a lot of walking!

Treecreeper (One of the Ware ones)

Not getting as much time to get out as I would like, but hoping this year to get a Waxwing, so my last couple of days holiday this year I will be holding back on until they arrive and then a trip up to Norfolk may be needed. Hopefully we get numbers as high as we did last year, can't believe I didn't see one last year, kept seeing reports saying they were all around us, but think they were avoiding me!

Anyway I'll be off now, back soon (hopefully) and I'm now on Twitter @mikeebateman  so if I have anything to say I shall shout it from there.