Sunday, 30 December 2012

2012 In Pictures

We are now approaching  the end of the year; and what a year it has been; my Birdwatching and Photography only started seriously this year, and I am pleased with the results; I have been short-listed for two competitions and came runner-up in another.
To celebrate the coming of a new year I thought I would post my favourite image from each month this year

                                   An extremely confiding Robin at Fisher's Green Lea Valley

                              Walking along a beach in Ireland I came across this flock of Turnstones well                   
                                  camouflaged against the Sea-weed Cos Strand Co. Kerry Ireland

                                The beginning of Spring!  My Grandmother's ponds were filled with frogs, and I              
                                learned that they can't see straight ahead so I could get some interesting close-ups
                                    Kilgarven Co.Kerry Ireland

      I found this Male Greater-spotted Woodpecker building his nest on the edge of the foot path          
                 on my local patch!  Unfortunately in the strong winds the tree was blown down  
                                           Valentines Park Ilford Essex
                        In May I was fortunate enough to see Kingfishers fledging!  There were at least 7 
                        juveniles  being fed by both adults.  RSPB Rye Meads     

                          While waiting for a train I noticed a family of Blue Tits and managed to approach      
                          this one, and got within two foot!  Moulsecoomb Train Station.

                          The first day I got the Raynox DCR-250 I was in the garden photographing and      
                          came across this Willow Gall Weevil!  Ilford Essex

               I was back in Ireland again and when  photographing Dragonflies by the pond I  
               noticed a dead ant being carried!  Kilgarven Co.Kerry Ireland

                               After unsuccessfully looking for the Baillon's Crake at Rainham Marshes I found 
                               this Water Vole posing out in the open!  RSPB Rainham Marshes London

                               This flock of Goldfinches was busy feeding on Thistle Seeds before flying over to a    
                                muddy puddle to drink!  Abberton Reservoir Essex

                This shot of a Grey Plover was Digiscoped at Two Tree Island .  It was taken at dusk. 
                Two Tree Island Leigh-on Sea Essex Canon Ixus 120 IS

                              While waiting for a Nuthatch at my local Patch I saw this Robin who looked like
                               it had a scar on its cheek!  Valentines Park Ilford Essex
All of these shots were taken using a Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ38 and adapters unless otherwise said.
Definitely the most shots I've yet done in one post!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Brighton Robins

I am still ill, and so haven't done much photography today.  Of the pictures I did take my favorite was of a singing Robin.

                                                  Heavily cropped

As my mother and brother are watching some silly vampire program called True Blood which is not suitable for me, so I thought I would post some pictures of the Robins we have in the garden in Brighton.

Of late I have been seeing two Robins in the garden, they are constantly chasing each other and the other day I caught an image of them having a face off;  it is a little obscured and I had to high a shutter-speed.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Perch Photography

I have caught a cold which everyone in the house has at the moment, meaning no photography today, but hopefully it will clear soon.
 Over the last three days I've been photographing birds coming to a perch I set up; I used two small sticks which I stuck in the ground and then balanced a bigger branch on top of them.  Putting Suet Pellets, Peanuts and Mealworms out below it I managed to attract some birds down, they are quite nervous and flighty but I managed some shots.  As we have around 6+ Blue Tits, 3 Great Tits and 2 Robins there is often a lot of squabbling so the less dominant birds would use the perch rather than the feeder.
As I didn't want the images to be 'Noisy' I used an ISO of between 400-1600, this means a shutter-speed of around 1/160 and for some shots an aperture of F5.6, but the lens lacks sharpness at an F-stop that low, so for the most part I used F8.0.

This is the first result and probably the best result as I didn't get good light again.
 So far Blue Tits, Great Tits and Robins have landed on the perch and I also believe that a Jay did to, as something knocked it down.

Yesterday was hardest for photography as it was raining most of the time and so a shutter-speed of 1/100 was required so I couldn't catch the Robin looking the right way.
  Only five days until Christmas! I hope you all enjoy yourself!

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Unlucky For Some

On Thursday (the 13th), we had a great bad days' birding.  The plan was to go to Shenfield station, here Iain would pick us up and take us to Costco Lakeside car park where 23 Waxwings had been seen the day before.  If that failed it would be the nearby Chafford Hundred where 100 had been seen.  We arrived, and drove around the car park for a while seeing nowt.  We parked up and headed around the car park on foot.  As we walked round a fellow birder pulled up to ask if we were here to look for them, we said yes and he told us he had been here for a while and also had been to Chafford Hundred and had seen no Waxwings at all!  So we probably had no chance.  Iain went to the main Lakeside complex and we walked over to B&Q.  As we were walking up to the building there was a crash as something hit the floor; something black went bouncing ahead of us.  As it stopped I realised to my horror that it was the teleconverter:  Somehow it had come off the screw thread.  I grabbed it and on first inspection; "Phew!", it seemed alright, but then a crack along the plastic/metal holding the lens in place showed up, there was also a rattling from within. Great, my zoom is now reduced from 30x to 18x and a replacement would cost at least £40.  After buying an Outdoor security lamp for my Grandmother Amy we were back out and saw some Redwing in a disused part of the car park.

                                                             Heavily cropped
We walked around the back of Costco and my father pointed out a bird which turned out to be a warbler, not sure what kind.

Back at Amy's I took some macro frost images.

Oh, and I also managed to pull a muscle in my neck, A nice addition to the fact my Oyster Zip card stopped working and my father's Tivo (or something similar) Box needed replacing.
Today We went to the park, my neck is almost fine!  We saw Shoveler, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Mallard and Little Grebe and that is just some of the water birds.  Some Goldcrests were also seen.  A total of 29 species.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Patch Ticks

Yesterday I read that someone had seem a male Brambling and Nuthatch over at Valentines, so this morning we headed over to check it out.  The Brambling was last seen along the canal so that's the way we headed.  There were loads of birds: 2+ Chaffinch, c.30 Goldfinch, Grey Wagtail, a white headed Blackbird!  And a Great-spotted Woodpecker, the first we've seen here for about eight months!  No Brambling, so we headed to the feeders to look for the Nuthatch.  During a roughly fifteen minute wait e saw Blue Tit, Great Tit, Goldcrest, Collared Dove and Robin.
                                                        Looks like he's been in a fight!

As I was thinking the Nuthatch must have moved, my father pointed it out in the trees!  After surveying the area it flew down onto the feeder!  It was quite tolerant of other birds; allowing a Great Tit to use the same feeder, this must mean that it has not fully made this its territory.  Lets hope it will stay!

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Birthday Birding

Yesterday was my Thirteenth birthday!  I got some great presents; my father got me a better tripod which is amazing!  My mother got me a replica of an Eagle Owl skull, from my brothers I got a huge bag of mealworms which freaked everyone out, probably the fact they were abnormally large; about 2-1/2 inches.

At about twelve I went with my mother and father to Pulborough Brooks nature reserve for the first time.  It was a forty minute drive during which I saw: Buzzard, Lapwing and  Pied Wagtail.
As we pulled into the reserve I saw  a Green Woodpecker.  At the feeders were Nuthatch; too fast and infrequent for pictures. Also Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, House Sparrow, Robin and Dunnock.  There was also a posy Dunnock outside the visitor centre.
As we were walking we came across a small group of people taking pictures, I though that they may have seen the Lesser-spotted Woodpecker, but asking one of them found it to be two male Bullfinches! They were a bit distant for god pictures so this was the best I could do. They kept hovering but I couldn't catch this un-obscured

                                                       Catching the sun

We came to the first hide: Netleys Hide, I saw loads of waterfowl; Teal, Widgeon, Shoveler , Mallard, Pintail, Mute Swan (no Bewick's), Lapwing, Grey Heron and loads of Black-tailed Godwits on the far shore.  There were a load of birdwatchers in the hide and suddenly they called Hen Harrier I looked and there in the distance was this raptor causing an up upsurge of Waders and ducks, my first Hen Harrier!  The distant record shot below shows the white (ringtail) of the female Hen Harrier, a good way to separate it from Marsh Harrier.
When we left the hide a Kestrel flew over!

                                                          300mm lens and still a huge crop!

There was not much of note in the Little Hanger Hide save for a Green Woodpecker.  On the way to the next hide I saw some Rabbits, a Song Thrush and another Green Woodpecker!  We entered this hide and saw: Fieldfare, Lapwing, distant Roe Deer and more Wigeons.
On the way to the next hide I saw hundreds of Rooks and some nice views of a Rabbit!

                                 Probably my best action shot of a Rabbit, shame it was in the shade

In the next hide there was an amazingly close Lapwing! Close by Lapwing standard anyway; about thirty foot.  It was in some spectacular light!

All in all a great day and would highly recommend the reserve, great wildlife, next time I come though I don't think I will bring my mother as she was a little bored!  The new Tripod was also brilliant!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...