Category Archives: Uncategorized

Common snipe

Common snipe, Gallinago gallinago, Single bird with leech in water, Hungary, September 2018. Olympus Em1 Mk2. 300mm lens plus 1.4 extender. 400 iso. 1250th at f5.6

 

This is my favourite image from Hungary. The snipe pulled up a leech and then walked with it a few metres into the open where he suddenly stretched upwards as a Marsh harrier flew overhead.

 

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Shoebill in Uganda

Shoebill, Balaeniceps rex, Single bird on grass, Uganda, August 2018.  Olympus Em1 Mk2. 300mm f4 lens. 1/1600th at f5.6. 400 iso.

We hired a Toyota Rav 4 in Uganda and did a self drive in three of their National Parks. Murchinson Falls was by far the best, but all of them were exciting because they are much wilder than the parks we have visited in South Africa and Namibia. Krugger and Etoshia National Parks are enjoyable, but the infrastructure so good that they can feel like a giant version of Longleat Safari Park.

In Uganda the tracks are not well maintained, there is little in the way of sign posting and no fence around the camp sites.

We ignored Mountain gorillas at 600 usd per person per day, but Shoebill was a must and needs a boat trip. We did this from Enttebe going out onto Lake Victoria at Mabamba swamp. I now have another favourite bird!

We were robbed twice, passport, £1000 cash, camera lens and an Iphone amongst others things. The passport was the worst. Time consuming multiple trips to the embassy. The second time the thief got nothing as my wife fought him off while I bravely photographed him from a distance. Do you know this man?

 

 

 

Little owl in flight

I am always looking for the opportunity to use Pro capture. It is my favourite feature of this camera. I manually prefocused in front of the post the bird was sitting on and used 60 fps. So long as the bird flies in the right direction it is easy. One frame is bound to be sharp.

 

Little owl, Athene noctua, single bird in flight, Hungary, July 2018. Olympus Em1 MK2. 300mm f4. 1/4000th at f5.6. 3200 iso. Pro capture at 60 fps manually focused in front of the post.

Stock dove in flight

I spent a lot of time on stock doves and am disappointed that my best image of a bird taking off was an immature one. In fact for the last few days most of the birds have been young ones and the pheasants and partridges also visiting have been moulting and tatty. Not my favourite time of year for photographing birds.

Stock dove, Columba oenas, single juvenile in flight, Warwickshire, July 2018. Olympus Em1 Mk2. 300mm f4 lens. 1/8000th at f4. 800 iso using Pro-capture at 18 fps.

Stock dove

Stock dove, Columba oenas, single bird on ground, Warwickshire, July 2018. Olympus Em1 Mk2. 300mm lens. 1/6400th at f4. 800 iso. Taken from a lie down hide at a spot I have been baiting for about a month. Other species have been coming in too, but I concentrated on the Stock doves trying to get them in flight as they took off. I have a few successful images, but they are still being edited. It takes a while at 60 fps.

Northern wheatear

I spent a few days in Wales, but on the way pulled my calf muscle. Never would believe how incapacitating such a thing could be. I was not able to get more than a few yards from the car and spent my time either sitting on a stool or lying on the floor. Walking was impossible. Lying on the floor does allow the wildlife to come so much closer and this female wheatear took little notice of me. To her I guess I was no more a threat than a fallen log.

Northern wheatear, Oenanthe oenanthe, single female on grass, Wales, May 2018. Olympus Em1. 300mm plus 1.4 extender. 1/800th at f8. 400 iso.

Red-legged partridge

Red-legged partridge, Alectoris rufa, single bird on post, Warwickshire, May 2018. Olympus Em1 Mk2. 300mm f4 plus 1.4 extender. 1/400th at F5.6. 1600 iso.

When Red-legged partridges start to call they do not open their bills at all. The throat feathers vibrate a little, which is the only sign they are calling, but after a few minutes they become more intense and the bill does open as the volume of the calls increases. Right at the end they stretch their necks and the whole body vibrates with the effort.

Spoonbill

I started off shooting this bird from the car window, but when it went behind some reeds ran down to the waters edge to lie down. No hide or scim netting. Amazing how a low profile allows birds to come so close. It is taken in the Coto Donana NP in Southern Spain, but around the Bonanza area where you can get good access to the birds. Most of th epark is very restricted.

Spoonbill, Platalea leucorodia, single bird in water, Spain, May 2018. Olympus Em1 Mk2. 300mm f4 lens. 1/2000th at f5.6. 800 iso.

Yellow-legged gulls

Yellow-legged gull, Larus cachinnans, two birds mating, Morocco, March 2018. Olympus EM1 Mk2. 300mm f4 lens plus 1.4 extender. 400 iso. 1/3200th at f5.6. This is my second trip to Morocco and neither has been great for photography. It is all car window photography and you can go many hours between photo opportunities. I did enjoy using the Olympus gear from the car as it is so much more manoeuvrable. Even better was the ease of getting my gear through the airport. I was below the weight limit for once.

Song thrush V Blackbird

Song thrush, Turdus philomelos, bird in snow fighting with Blackbird, Warwickshire, March 2018. Olympus Em1 Mk2. 40-150mm lens at 150mm. 1/4000th at f2.8. 3200 iso. Over exposed by 1.7 stops.

 

The last fall of snow did not last nearly long enough and I did not get as many images in it as I would have liked. This is my favourite. Two thrushes fighting over apples. The light was very dull, so I needed to overexpose by 1.7 stops and use the 40-150mm lens at f28. From a canvas hide.

I will probably buy a second 1.4 extender soon. I would like to have one fitted to both the 40-150mm and the 300mm lens.