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Graham Whistler



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JK said last bird topic is getting too large so lets start a new one for 2020. Come on members lets see some more super bird photography.

Last edited on Fri Jan 31st, 2020 08:47 by Graham Whistler

Graham Whistler



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Eric has been working on my Little Owls from the old Bird topic so here is his skilled Photoshopping!
.

Eric



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Not sure it’s that good, there are several errors I couldn’t be bothered to correct. 😂 

But as I said in my email to you Graham...it poses an interesting conundrum when it comes to wildlife photography. Where do you draw the line with regard to a natural shot?

If a free flying bird lands on a water bath in your garden...is it ‘wrong’ to remove the concrete bath for a branch to make it more natural?

We put food out to attract birds, then try to photograph them on a posing stick next to the food. Isn’t that bending nature itself?


I personally feel that it’s the finished photograph that matters, not how it was achieved. 

Take for example Barrie....




Barrie was tethered to a block with Jessies in an open grass area with other hawks waiting for his turn at the free flying display. Crowds of people in the background, other birds, mowed grass etc. So I removed the Jessie’s, cropped the post and replaced the background with a barn. I liked the final image because I had introduced BACK a more natural setting. Is that ‘wrong’?


In this instance I was on the marsh in Norfolk trying to photograph spoonbills. You can see one in the background. Couldn’t hope to get closer and not having massive lenses back then it was a nothing image. But on visiting a bird reserve with walk through aviary I was fortunate enough to have a spoonbill fly across in front of me. So the caged background was edited out and the bird superimposed over my marsh image. Was that wrong?







Well it was actually wrong in one way....Mike (my birding expert) pointed out it was not a European spoonbill (think it’s Asian) and if that had been on the marsh the whole Twitching world would have been there too. 😂 


Should I have removed my patio from this natural visitor?






Not just birds. I have visited several breeding centres for big cats and wolves where chaperoned close access enabled the lens to go through the wire fences....being abruptly dragged back when the animals came too close. (I backed away myself from one approach and my rugsack came so close to the fenced area behind i was nearly grabbed by a snow leapoard poking its paw through to get me. 















Does Where and How matter more than the result??.

Last edited on Fri Jan 31st, 2020 12:49 by Eric

jk



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Answering Eric's points I tend to think that it is a question of content.
Removing distractions is fine, adding new backgrounds/compositing is not.
However who am I to judge if it pleases the taker/poster.

Eric



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jk wrote:
Answering Eric's points I tend to think that it is a question of content.
Removing distractions is fine, adding new backgrounds/compositing is not.
However who am I to judge if it pleases the taker/poster
I confess I have merely tarted up photos in recent times...but not from a feeling it was wrong to go further. I am simply being lazy. 😂 

I however don’t think it’s wrong to replace detail. Infra red photos are heavily edited to get the results. I’ve never had anyone say they are contrived and unreal.....because they ARE inherently unreal. We use HDR and selective masking for sharpness, noise reduction, adding dof lens blur and who knows what else. I don’t see that as interfering with the subject....merely enhancing it with respect to its surroundings. So why not change the perch or even the background?

Like I said, of late I have been trying to get it good enough in the camera to use ‘as is’.  But I have some cracking long tail tit shots...bathing and drinking in a concrete water bath which Graham tells me would be ‘marked down’ in a competition for not being natural enough. I could set up an infinity pool with moss covered stones for a more natural look. But that’s surely no different to redoing the setting in PS. o.O

Eric



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Sorry for thread drift Graham...no more furry critters.

Graham Whistler



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Now this IS a wild pair of African Spoonbills in the bush in Africa in eary morning sun. No messing in Photoshop apart from levels.
.

Last edited on Fri Jan 31st, 2020 17:15 by Graham Whistler

Graham Whistler



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Just to get things moving another wild bird for you, a Scarlet Ibis
.

Last edited on Fri Jan 31st, 2020 17:36 by Graham Whistler

Graham Whistler



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Then there were more!
.

jk



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I like the 'more' picture better. :applause:

Graham Whistler



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I agree they are a bit in your face.

Eric



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Graham Whistler wrote:
I agree they are a bit in your face. I suppose people who are colour blind won’t even see them.:lol:

Eric



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Graham Whistler wrote:
Now this IS a wild pair of African Spoonbills in the bush in Africa in eary morning sun. No messing in Photoshop apart from levels.
Are yes...maybe mine was an African one, not Asian?  Either way it was a lot less distance to see ...in Surrey. :lol:.

Eric



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Graham Whistler wrote:
Then there were more!
That shows the benefit of having the zoom lens, Graham..

jk



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I think the Nikon 200-500 AFS VR is probably one of my best purchases.  I resisted the 80-400 as the original lens was somewhat soft.  This new version however seems to be top notch.  

I think I need to go and sell my Nikon 400mm f2.8 AFS and D3S, I think I will trade it on for the next Fuji body I get which will be either Fuji X-H1 or XT4.  The XT4 is rumoured to have IBIS (In Body Image Stabilisation), and with my Z7, D850 and D500 my Nikon system is perfect.  I am very impressed by the Z7 with its IBIS, so much better and more useful than VR.

Eric



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jk wrote:
I think the Nikon 200-500 AFS VR is probably one of my best purchases.  I resisted the 80-400 as the original lens was somewhat soft.  This new version however seems to be top notch.  

I think I need to go and sell my Nikon 400mm f2.8 AFS and D3S, I think I will trade it on for the next Fuji body I get which will be either Fuji X-H1 or XT4.  The XT4 is rumoured to have IBIS (In Body Image Stabilisation), and with my Z7, D850 and D500 my Nikon system is perfect.  I am very impressed by the Z7 with its IBIS, so much better and more useful than VR.
I have resisted any trade ins of late because WEX (who are my nearest dealer) don’t give you cash for the equipment...you have to take the full value as a PX. I discovered Harrison’s do! In fact they give the same valuation for a trade in or a cash purchase! The quotes are the same as WEX and much better than the nett amount you would get from eBay.  May be doing some thinning out soon myself. ;-)

jk



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Thanks.
Harrison's are located where?  Sheffield?
https://www.harrisoncameras.co.uk/

Eric



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jk wrote:
Thanks.
Harrison's are located where?  Sheffield?
https://www.harrisoncameras.co.uk/
👍 

On line quote enquiry form....https://www.harrisoncameras.co.uk/sell-camera-equipment/

if acceptable they pick up the equipment for assessment. Then give you final price or return equipment to you.

Last edited on Sat Feb 1st, 2020 16:31 by Eric

jk



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Enquiry sent.
Thanks Eric.

blackfox



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that Harrisons link looks interesting ,a good heads up ... anyway back on thread we had gale force winds on the Irish Sea and the dee estuary yesterday , and as I was driving to my venue (which lasted 15 minutes after arrival due to the winds) I spotted this kestrel in its usual lamp post  lookout . pulled the car over and it took off hunting but was struggling against the wind this meant it was hovering at just above head height and allowed a very close approach pleased with the results . although this 15fps does tend to run away with you still got around 50 shots to edit if I can be bothered .





.

Graham Whistler



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Jeff those 3 shots are super. This is another pix of the African Sloonbill for Eric. His shot was a Eurasian Spoonbill that has black legs and grey bill with black tip to tail. The African one as you can see has red legs and face and is white all over. This shot was in the Nairobi Game Park.
.

Last edited on Sun Feb 2nd, 2020 11:17 by Graham Whistler

Graham Whistler



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Jeff thoese Kestrel pixs were very good I just tickled this on in Photoshop and bit of USM brings the detail up. Keep up the good work your new camera is pulling in some super shots for you.
.

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More Yellow-billed Storks with "friendly" crock from my Kenya trip
.

Iain



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One from today.

I50_0557-Edit by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

Graham Whistler



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Good quality clean and good detail, is this the full frame?

Iain



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D500 Graham.

Graham Whistler



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Blashford Lakes today better weather but very little about but got some reasonable Chaffinch shots. D850 500mm AF-S f5.6 FL Lens plus x1.4 = 700mm 1/400 sec f14  ISO 1250
.

Graham Whistler



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.

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This one for Eric as he is a bit more space man!
.

Graham Whistler



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There were also about 12 Linnets but we could not get as close.
.

Eric



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Graham Whistler wrote:
This one for Eric as he is a bit more space man!
Perfect..

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Male Blackcap on feeder bottom of our garden come mid pm for last few day this is best I could do through glass, it was 40 feet away so even with 700mm big blow up D850 1600 ISO. Stays less than 60 sec.
.

blackfox



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some red kite shots from yesterday at nant-y-arian mid Wales 





.

jk



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Is the kite attacking the grebe?

Iain



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No it won’t be JK it isn’t strong enough. There will be something on the water it will be after. About the only thing they can kill is mice.

jk



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Thanks Iain.

Eric



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jk wrote:
Is the kite attacking the grebe? Looks like a lady Goosander.



.

Last edited on Thu Feb 6th, 2020 22:37 by Eric

Eric



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Graham Whistler wrote:
Male Blackcap on feeder bottom of our garden come mid pm for last few day this is best I could do through glass, it was 40 feet away so even with 700mm big blow up D850 1600 ISO. Stays less than 60 sec.
What’s that in the feeder, Graham?
Try pinning an apple on a branch with the skin cut away a bit. Blackcaps often hang about longer on apples.

Not a good shot through blinds, but this lady sat here for some time.

.

Eric



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Speaking with Mike about Jeff’s Red Kite photo, he said it was quite possible the Goosander caught a fish and being a sawbill, left a portion of the fish behind or was simply scared off by the cruising Kite....which swooped in and picked up the remnant.21:31:06o.O

Eric



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Spent some time at a woodland reserve this morning. Hoping for Redpolls but the cold weather or lack thereof has meant none have ventured this far south this winter. So I had to put up with the usual cast......










.

Eric



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The funniest one was this Great Tit. One peck at its seed/nut and it shot off the branch. Managed to capture the bemused moment ...


.

Last edited on Fri Feb 7th, 2020 20:49 by Eric

Graham Whistler



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I like these very good crisp images. Eric what is bird no 3? I will put an apple out. Jeff liked your red kite pixs too thanks!

Eric



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Graham Whistler wrote:
I like these very good crisp images. Eric what is bird no 3? I will put an apple out. Jeff liked your red kite pixs too thanks! It’s a Reed Bunting. I dropped the file size at the upload interface on the first 3 images so they aren’t as sharp as the originals. The last one of the bemused tit, is actual file size....heavily cropped just to join the close cropping trend.

Very pleased with the D850 and 500mm. It’s become clear to me that if the light is excellent, and the ISO is obviously much lower, the D500 and D850 are very similar IQ. But as the light drops the need for higher ISO causes the D500 to lag behind in the noise stakes. So the noise level is not only more obvious but the ability to lift shadow detail or under exposed raw images, falls away. It’s my considered opinion that despite the D500’s much heralded superior performance for wildlife, it comes in a definite second to the D850 on results and processing capability, when the light drops...as it tends to do in UK winter woodlands!

Of course the alternative is to only use the D500 when the sun is on the subject matter...then it doesn’t matter.

Last edited on Fri Feb 7th, 2020 23:40 by Eric

Eric



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Three more to share...







.

Last edited on Fri Feb 7th, 2020 23:38 by Eric

Graham Whistler



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More good pixs Eric. Agree with all you say about D850 and 500mm PF lens and your results say it all.

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I'm after Kingfishers again this week before they go up river to breed. This was from this time last year on a very dull day Nikon D850 with 500mm f5.6 AV-S PF Lens & x1.4 = 700mm 1/320 sec f9 ISO 2500 I'm booked to go in the hide this Wed so hope weather improves by then. 
.

Eric



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Graham Whistler wrote:
I'm after Kingfishers again this week before they go up river to breed. This was from this time last year on a very dull day Nikon D850 with 500mm f5.6 AV-S PF Lens & x1.4 = 700mm 1/320 sec f9 ISO 2500 I'm booked to go in the hide this Wed so hope weather improves by then. 
It’s going to be hard to better that photo, Graham

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I've showing this as this is taken seconds before he caught the fish and exact same camera position and settings. I think this shows what Eric and I have been talking about the D850 with this lens is very good with retaining quality when you need to blow up a small bird like this simply because there is no easy way you will ever get much closer 90% of the time. 
.

Last edited on Sun Feb 9th, 2020 16:46 by Graham Whistler

jk



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I agree with Eric.  That is another exceptional photo.

Hope the weather clears for you and you have good light and cooperative subjects.

Eric



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In between repairing the neighbours carport, propping up my fence and fighting Ciara....I took some time to grab some more images. Poor lighting but in the middle of a storm beggars can’t be choosers....










.

Last edited on Mon Feb 10th, 2020 15:45 by Eric

Eric



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I wondered where the fat balls I rolled out for the blackbirds and magpies, had gone...


.

jk



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Down in one!

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Knowing gulls as I do, it will probably come out in one too ...:lol:

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By the look of my car I think a few of them gulls have deposited those fat balls on it.😂😂

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More good ones Eric love the Gull and fatball. After the Kingfishers and Kestrel in the morning so hope this good weather holds. Hope to be posting some more pixs soon.

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Iain wrote:
By the look of my car I think a few of them gulls have deposited those fat balls on it.😂😂 People pay a fortune for waxy protective coatings on their cars. I am providing a free product via an independent delivery service. :lol:

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:lol::lol::lol:

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One from this week.

DI5_0170 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

jk



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Good shot Iain.  Love the lichen on the tree.

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Shoot went well with plenty of wild birds and good winter sunshine. The afternoon with Kingfishers not very good and I think with Kestrel about they kept clear also first thing ice on water! D500 with 500 f5.6  AF-S PF and x1.4. Plenty more to come after I have a sort through.
.

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Very pleased to see a Yellow Wagtail and plenty of more to come lots of reasonable images to sort through.
.

Eric



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Excellent images Graham.

I cannot offer anything of that quality but I did today manage to capture a very rare visitor from North America 


It’s a Trump Duck....


.

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I had been asked to get some Blackbird pix for a member of my family while I was on yeaterdays shoot. 
.

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.

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.

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Bullfinch Male above and this is Female. Same shoot Nikon D850 and 500mm f5.6 AF-S PF Lens 1/640 sec F10  ISO 800
.

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Got a shock when this Buzzard landed just after the Kestrel had gone. Yes sorry Eric should have more bleed this is all the pix the 500mm was too much lens and it was only there for 5 sec so no chance to put the 80-400 on.
.

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Nice images Graham.

Eric



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Graham Whistler wrote:
Got a shock when this Buzzard landed just after the Kestrel had gone. Yes sorry Eric should have more bleed this is all the pix the 500mm was too much lens and it was only there for 5 sec so no chance to put the 80-400 on.
Hell’s teeth Graham, you are forgiven. That’s superb!  Who needs to go to Africa?.

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A Robin was there, but plenty of Finches and Logtailed Tits but they all stayed on the feeders not for photography! Eric thanks for you kind remarks it was worth the 8 hours in a cold hide weather was good with light and quality shows through. I may have miss-named the Yellow Wagtail, looking at my bird book just now I think with Grey Head and longer tail it was a male Grey Wagtail?
.

Last edited on Thu Feb 13th, 2020 22:52 by Graham Whistler

blackfox



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few from me . been playing with topaz de-noise and sharpen  Ai for a week or two .. seems to work extremely well with the smaller olympus sensors 

.

blackfox



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some superb shots on here lately

Graham Whistler



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It was raining today so I asked the Owl to come into the studio. D850 with Elinchrom studio flash!
.

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Later we were joined in the studio by a friendly Barn Owl that was also fed up with the rain. Daughter Clare and randson Oli also enjoyed photographing  them, Clare used her D300 and Oli used my D500. We had hoped to be photographing the Owls in the woods but the weather was not on our side. 
.

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The Kestrel lost interest in us when she was given her evening meal!
.

Last edited on Thu Feb 20th, 2020 16:24 by Graham Whistler

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This has just been accepted for the 2020 RPS Nature Group Exhibition: "Little Owl With 2 Young"
.

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Well done :-)

Robert



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Very good Graham, congratulations!

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Close up of the Barn Owl. Would you ever get this close to a live Owl outside the studio?
.

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.

Eric



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Graham Whistler wrote:
Lovely detail of the amazing world of ‘soundproofed’ feathers. Nature is outstandingly clever and beautiful. Well done.


Just one comment Graham, on the full owl photos.....do you not find the white balance temperature a bit warm? (Modelling light?)


.

Eric



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Graham Whistler wrote:
The Kestrel lost interest in us when she was given her evening meal!
I see it was Ratatouille for evening meal. :lol:

Was that shot indoors as well Graham?.

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Yes indoors Kestrel  all three done in Pete's studio and his electronic flash is slightly warmer than my older kit and my setting were for my Elinchrom and there was no time to reset my camera as the birds are bought in for a very limitedf time and we had to work fast. No problem have adjusted the NEFs now but I pulled these JPGs off quickly to share them with you all.

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Against all my acquired knowledge and common sense, when birding friend Mike said there was a Gt Grey Shrike 15min drive away, I agreed to accompany him. He’s trying to get see over 250 local birds this year (having seen 230 last year) so it was a case of b@gger the 45mph gale and torrential rain. [Aside: Ive never understood the logic in classifying rain showers ....they are ALL ‘heavy’ showers...or it wouldn’t come down 😆 ]. Of course gales mean the rain in Norfolk hits you horizontally. 

Still it gave the camera a good wash!

It was so windy we actually watched the GGShrike hovering like a Kestrel....something we had never seen before...




The days photos were not very good given conditions, subject distance, bird size and skittiness. But they were a decent enough record shots for Mike.




The poor bird was as disheveled as we were .... and we only got out of the car for 10mins. 😂 


A Red Kite cruised past .....





Nothing to write home about, but at least it got us out and rearranged our hair..

jk



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Sounds like just the weather for a beach holiday!

I think you did well to get the Great Grey Shrike.
The Red kite is good as well.

ISO 128000 for UK ;-)

Eric



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jk wrote:
Sounds like just the weather for a beach holiday!

I think you did well to get the Great Grey Shrike.
The Red kite is good as well.

ISO 128000 for UK ;-)
Not quite, but HUGE crop, even with 500mm. ☹️

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Some interesting windy shots there Eric. Another of Last weeks Kestrel shots just as she landed.
.

Eric



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Graham Whistler wrote:
Some interesting windy shots there Eric. Another of Last weeks Kestrel shots just as she landed.
Well interesting is about the limit of their ‘worth’. I am afraid I haven’t been able to get anywhere with good weather and close enough proximity to do anything of real merit. :thumbsdown:

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My 15 year old grandson Oli was in the studio with me last week and used a DSLR for the first time (My D500 with 18-140mm AF-S Lens) I set the camera up for him and like me he was hand holding and got plenty of good pictures of the very active Tawny Owl. Quality as good as my D850 pix as posted above!
.

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A couple of in flight shots from this week.

DI5_1522 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

DI5_1440 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

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Those are super Ian.

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Please send those blue skies down here Iain.:needsahug:

I see you are using the d500 again...what’s happening with the Olympus?

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Still waiting for blue skies but a couple more garden birds...and a duck!













.

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I couldn’t get away with the electronic viewfinder and poor noise control compared to the D500 Eric.

Last edited on Sun Mar 1st, 2020 20:10 by Iain

jk



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Eric what camera are you using these days?
I think you got rid of the Fuji but have you moved back to D850 or D500?

Eric



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jk wrote:
Eric what camera are you using these days?
I think you got rid of the Fuji but have you moved back to D850 or D500?
Correct. I’ve got both.
I am trying to use the D850 exclusively for everything at the moment...to see if I can dispense with the D500.

I prefer the feel of the D850, it has better low light noise control, greater dynamic range and (pixel) detail. I haven’t found it especially slower to lock and hold focus, than the D500....I find ‘I’ am slower than both. 😂  

Cropping a D850 image is slightly better than a straight D500 image when lighting is less than ideal. In bright lighting they are virtually indistinguishable.

I got rid of all the Fuji gear except the IR body and a wide angle zoom that doesn’t hotspot.  In truth I have tired of IR, so it may go in my next clear out with my DX equipment. I am basically an FX guy. 😆 

I haven’t ruled out a Z camera. But I see no point in adding one while I have the D850. Besides, I am not using my cameras enough at the moment.
One unused camera on the shelf, is better than two unused ones on the shelf.

Last edited on Sun Mar 1st, 2020 21:03 by Eric

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Super weather today for a change so to Chichester Harbour and walked in at low tide to a remote area. Birds at medium distance so there D850 images are about 25% of full frame 500 f5.6 AF-S FL 1/800 sec at F13 800 ISO. 
.

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.

jk



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Wow that curlew is very sharp and detailed.
Great shot Graham.

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It was there for some time so was spoilt for choice!
.

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Slightly better comp of the Redshank pix.
.

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I have posted this to show how big a blow up the above shot was and same for Curlew pixs. As I have said many times all you need for birds  is a Nikon D850 and the 500mm f5.6 A-FS PF Lens. As previous Chichester Harbour pixs this good winter late pm light sun with haze 1/800 sec F13 800 ISO one spot focus AF-C hand held with VR on.
.

jk



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Graham, looking at your exposure data, you are using 1/800 sec, F13, 800 ISO.

F13 is possibly suboptimal for diffraction effects.  Or do you think that effects are not really noticeable until f16.

https://www.slrlounge.com/diffraction-wedding-photography-something-to-worry-about/

I try to adjust my exposure so that I use f8 or max f11.  I know f13 is very close to f11. ;-)
Also as a rule of thumb I use max f8 on APS-C (DX) compared to f11 on FF (FX)


What are your thoughts?

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You made me go back and look at the info for the days shoot. Early in day I was getting F13 and was on 800 ISO but these shots as posted were as light was going and were at 1000 ISO still 1/800 sec (I nearly always shoot shutter priority and fixed ISO) sorry as posted shot: F11 or F10.   With this lens I am very happy if I can get to f16 as dof is a major problem with birds and very long lenses as I was shooting all day with 500mm plus x1.4 = 700mm.  I agree with shorted focal length lenses  F11 is best news but deffraction with small f nos does not seem to be the same problem is was with the older lenses in film days. Then when I did a lot of studio work with 4x5 and 8x10 view cameras I often shot at f32 and got very sharp pix but it was with long focal lenses and the hole is much larger for the same f no with a small camera! Deffraction is the bending of light round a small hole is about tec as I get!
I was talking to another serious bird photographer and was interested to hear he always shoots with aperture priority and auto ISO. (He is a Canon person!!!)

Last edited on Sun Mar 8th, 2020 14:40 by Graham Whistler

Eric



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Graham Whistler wrote:
You made me go back and look at the info for the days shoot. Early in day I was getting F13 and was on 800 ISO but these shots as posted were as light was going and were at 1000 ISO still 1/800 sec (I nearly always shoot shutter priority and fixed ISO) sorry as posted shot: F11 or F10.   With this lens I am very happy if I can get to f16 as dof is a major problem with birds and very long lenses as I was shooting all day with 500mm plus x1.4 = 700mm.  I agree with shorted focal length lenses  F11 is best news but deffraction with small f nos does not seem to be the same problem is was with the older lenses in film days. Then when I did a lot of studio work with 4x5 and 8x10 view cameras I often shot at f32 and got very sharp pix but it was with long focal lenses and the hole is much larger for the same f no with a small camera! Deffraction is the bending of light round a small hole is about tec as I get!
I was talking to another serious bird photographer and was interested to hear he always shoots with aperture priority and auto ISO. (He is a Canon person!!!)
I have tended to err on the side of caution at f11 even with the 500mm. As a result on small bird shots the dof hasn’t always been enough. I have also been concerned going smaller aperture would mean compromising on shutter speed or ISO....both of which bring their own potential negative effects.

I suppose at the end of the day (or even on a UK winter midday 😆) we have to decide which of the three ‘priorities’ is going to be sacrificed. (ie Shutter speed, aperture or ISO)

I often set the camera to Manual and the ISO to auto. I then have selection choice of both shutter speed and aperture... at the expense of the ISO, which is less of a concern with the D850.

Even so, something still has ‘to give’ if lighting is poor.......

1/400th (too slow for small bird) @ f11 (too wide for a small bird) and 4500 ISO (starting to show noise even with the D850).

Perhaps the answer is not to bother taking the photo, if this is all the light allows you. o.O

.

Last edited on Sun Mar 8th, 2020 18:24 by Eric

jk



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Still plenty of detail there for a good A4 print, Eric.

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Interesting reading this as I use f5.6 to f8 for my wildlife shots.

jk



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Being a geeky sort of nerd I have an app and it says in general terms that diffraction effects start for FF at f11 and for APS-C at f8.  
Of course unless you are nerdy enough to go and shoot with each lens on each format at every aperture in 1/3 stop increments then look in pixel peeping mode you probably wont notice it or even see it in real life use!

Eric



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Iain wrote:
Interesting reading this as I use f5.6 to f8 for my wildlife shots. I suspect there are many situations when the critters are big enough or distant enough to give sufficient dof at wider apertures. It’s really only an issue using the 500+1.4xtc at close range.  
720mm focused at 5m and f11 means just 30mm dof. :needsahug:

Last edited on Sun Mar 8th, 2020 22:40 by Eric

Robert



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Eric wrote:
Perhaps the answer is not to bother taking the photo, if this is all the light allows you. o.O Well, perhaps but this is a superb image, in my opinion at least, it's spectacular and finely detailed, while you are complaining about some aspects, my only complaint is the 'camera shake' effect on the large tree in the background.  That I find objectionable, never mind the bird, that's fine, look at the background.  I  assume it's a 'feature' of the PF lens causing this effect, I never seen this with conventional telephoto's, or never noticed it anyway...  I imagine a quick application of a blur brush would fix it.

I think you are all too critical of the minutiae in these images while missing the 'whole picture' occasionally.  My eye is drawn instantly to the apparent camera shake on the tree, which it obviously isn't!

As for enlarging it to A4, I just viewed it full width of my 27" iMac, the bird was 14" long from tail to tip of beak and it still looked superb.  I guess that's twice to three times life size?

jk



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Think you are probably correct Robert.
Wood for the trees!

I hadnt noticed the shake on the trees.  Easy to get rid of especially with Eric's Photoshop skills.

Of course it is all about the light, the image, the subject!

Eric



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Robert wrote:
Well, perhaps but this is a superb image, in my opinion at least, it's spectacular and finely detailed, while you are complaining about some aspects, my only complaint is the 'camera shake' effect on the large tree in the background.  That I find objectionable, never mind the bird, that's fine, look at the background.  I  assume it's a 'feature' of the PF lens causing this effect, I never seen this with conventional telephoto's, or never noticed it anyway...  I imagine a quick application of a blur brush would fix it.

I think you are all too critical of the minutiae in these images while missing the 'whole picture' occasionally.  My eye is drawn instantly to the apparent camera shake on the tree, which it obviously isn't!

As for enlarging it to A4, I just viewed it full width of my 27" iMac, the bird was 14" long from tail to tip of beak and it still looked superb.  I guess that's twice to three times life size?
Hmmm. That’s me told off. :lol:

I take your point....something else for me to bitch about....the branches. 😆 

It seems like a rim lighting effect. o.O  It’s there on the nef file so it’s obviously not software or processing related. Maybe it is an effect of the fractal lens resolving back lighting when out of focus?  It’s reminiscent of colour fringing without the colour.



Ive just spent a bit of time looking back at my garden birds files and came across some that were perfectly alright. No sign of this edge effect.

I then looked at the exif ....and they were taken on the Fuji I sold.  :banghead:

Don’t let JK see this post ....I will never hear the last of it. :no:

Robert



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Eric wrote:
Hmmm. That’s me told off. :lol:

I take your point...

I then looked at the exif ....and they were taken on the Fuji I sold.  :banghead:

:lol:  Say no more!!!  :lol:

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Has this bit of noise reduction in Photoshop raw filter correction?
.

jk



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Eric wrote:
Hmmm. That’s me told off. :lol:

I take your point....something else for me to bitch about....the branches. 😆 

It seems like a rim lighting effect. o.O  It’s there on the nef file so it’s obviously not software or processing related. Maybe it is an effect of the fractal lens resolving back lighting when out of focus?  It’s reminiscent of colour fringing without the colour.



Ive just spent a bit of time looking back at my garden birds files and came across some that were perfectly alright. No sign of this edge effect.

I then looked at the exif ....and they were taken on the Fuji I sold.  :banghead:

Don’t let JK see this post ....I will never hear the last of it. :no:
Haha I saw it!  :lol::needsahug:
I can sell you a nice XT2 if you like but I actually suggest that you get an XT4 when it arrives as that also has IBIS (no not the bird, but In Body Image Stabilisation) but it is more expensive than the XT3 but it also has a bigger battery.
Bad luck I am no1 on the list to get one from Wex/FixationUK when it arrives in April/May.

I have to say that IBIS like that found in the Nikon Z7/Z6 and Fuji XH1 is a wonderful find.  So much better than the VR offered by Nikon on F mount lenses.  I am wondering if the new S mount lenses are more about the IBIS in the camera than the ability to make better lenses if they have a wider lens/camera body throat.

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ah well I'm still plodding on with my olympus gear . as older age and my dodgy ticker are definetly limiting my carrying capabilities but still getting the shots heres a few from yesterday 



.

Eric



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Lovely lighting and exposure there Jeff. Well done.

Eric



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I haven’t been able to get out and about much lately (wife under the weather) so I’ve been playing with the D850 and garden birds.

Nothing to write home about, just a blackbird in poor lighting. So poor this was at ISO 25,600...and yes I did do some noise reduction on the background but the bird is untouched. I suppose the noise is hidden better on a black bird?



.

jk



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I think we need to be aware and not overly critical of high ISO images.

Eric's blackbird is effectively taken at 5 stops above anything possible by film in times gone by!
Sometimes we forget where we have come from.
I remember push processing Ektachrome 400 to 1600 ISO (+two stops) and the results were muddy golfball grain and mushy images that were dull and almost colourless.

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Yes JK. How far IQ has progressed in 25 years. 1995 I purchased my Nikon Coolscan for £2000. Before that the Kodak 35mm scanner was £22,000. Five year latter the Di. I too remember the golfball sized grains regularly pushing Fujichrome to 1600 for sport.

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Eric that Blackbird is amazing I have never pushed ISO like that. Good to see your interesting images Jeff thanks for sharing them with us.

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Graham Whistler wrote:
Eric that Blackbird is amazing I have never pushed ISO like that. Good to see your interesting images Jeff thanks for sharing them with us. If you zoom in on the branch around it’s claws you can see how noisy the whole image was before I de noised the background. I haven’t done any noise reduction on the bird or it’s perch. I did remove one or two hot pixels (chromatic dots) that were visible on the black bird but left the rest of the bird unmolested.

I get the impression that the appearance of intrusive noise seems to occur above ISO 3000 on the D850. But the incremental amount of noise doesn’t seem to be 8x the problem at 25000.

Think I’ve mentioned this before; the ISO level for obvious noise appearance hasn’t changed much from the old days...eg iso1600. It would have been nice to have noise free images up at iso5000, (comparable to the old iso 400) on newer cameras, but it seems as though all the noise control improvement has gone at the higher levels and the middle ground (eg iso2000-6000) less so.

Last edited on Tue Mar 10th, 2020 14:31 by Eric

Eric



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I’ve reworked the goldfinch image to (hopefully) make the background less objectionable to young Plowden. :devil:


Also, livened up the image contrast and sharpness. It’s still not as punchy as Mr Whistlers version of the image. Maybe that’s a limitation in the sharpening algorithm of Affinity Photo compared to Photoshop?


.

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I think the Photoshop version has opened up the shadows a bit and the USM has improver sharpness quite well wjt out looking over processed.

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Eric wrote:
I’ve reworked the goldfinch image to (hopefully) make the background less objectionable to young Plowden. :devil:
:lol: I was feeling pretty weary 'til I read that, thank you kind sir!  I just spent the day on the lathe making a special tool to use in the reassembly of a Land Rover gearbox.

Much better, thanks.  There was nothing wrong with the bird, superb in my opinion.

For those who use current versions of Photoshop and Lightroom the detail enhancement tools are getting better and better, I seem to remember reading somewhere that they are using artificial intelligence to find and enhance fine detail.  I find it very effective, not that I am taking many photo's at the moment.

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Robert wrote:
:lol: I was feeling pretty weary 'til I read that, thank you kind sir!  I just spent the day on the lathe making a special tool to use in the reassembly of a Land Rover gearbox.

Much better, thanks.  There was nothing wrong with the bird, superb in my opinion.

For those who use current versions of Photoshop and Lightroom the detail enhancement tools are getting better and better, I seem to remember reading somewhere that they are using artificial intelligence to find and enhance fine detail.  I find it very effective, not that I am taking many photo's at the moment.
That makes me feel really redundant.:needsahug:

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Eric wrote:
That makes me feel really redundant.:needsahug: Awwww, didn't mean to make you feel redundant, I think it's supposed to bring us up to your level?

Chips are becoming so small and powerful I expect much more processing will take place in the camera in the future.

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The Fujis now have that feature in camera using X RAW Studio.  When linked to a computer a RAW file can be converted in camera and sent to computer as a jpg in any of the simulations e.g. Velvia, Acros, Provia, Classic Chrome, etc.

https://www.fujifilm.com/support/digital_cameras/software/x_raw_studio/mac/

"Overview

"FUJIFILM X RAW STUDIO" is new RAW conversion software completely different from conventional RAW conversion software.
Once connecting a digital camera to a computer, "FUJIFILM X RAW STUDIO" allows users to:
Convert RAW files in a short time just almost same duration as a camera takes a photo. And it does not depend on the performance of your computer as the FUJIFILM X RAW STUDIO system utilizes the image processor in the camera instead of the CPU in the computer.
Get an image with retained exceptional image quality (tonality, color reproduction, noise reduction, and so on of the camera)."

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Here is a dull light 2500 ISO  1/250 sec f8 VR  D850 with 500mm PF Lens plus x1.4 so lens wide open.
.

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Yes this IS a wild free Starling. D850 with 500 PF  1/400 sec f10 ISO 1600
.

jk



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Certainly pulling them in Graham.
Superb shots, great quality.

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Prervious image had a drip!
.

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I like the one with the drip Graham. :thumbs:

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Yes - and the drip has an image of the drop above which has an image of branches?

And the eye has an image of Graham with the sun over his shoulder.

Wheels within wheels :coffee:

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I am always looking for images within the image, often rewarded.

My most remarkable reflection was in the ball of a ball point pen at 5X!  It showed an image of the entire room, almost like a fisheye lens

Eric



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Robert wrote:
I am always looking for images within the image, often rewarded.

My most remarkable reflection was in the ball of a ball point pen at 5X!  It showed an image of the entire room, almost like a fisheye lens
Here’s one I prepared some time ago....especially for you Robert....


Click here to comment on this image.

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I tried the ball bearing thing, but all I got was the very fine scratches on the surface of the ball - need to find an unused one!

Talking of images in images, I used to do artwork and printing for the local Lib Dems - one of the councillors was a bit of a donkey, so I used to hide the image of a donkey somewhere in the background of the photos of him doing his "good deeds" ....

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chrisbet wrote:
I tried the ball bearing thing, but all I got was the very fine scratches on the surface of the ball - need to find an unused one!
Or a polished chrome or stainless one.  You can get them on eBay, quite big too, up to about a foot in diameter,  no chance of hiding from that, unless you hide in a bush with a very long lens...

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Eric wrote:
Here’s one I prepared some time ago....especially for you Robert...

Thank you Eric, very clever!

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Posting this pix as test as I have not been able to upload today internet problems with people working at home?


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This is an amazing link to some very high quality bird photography:
Amazing Bird Photography Osprey VS Pelican - Sony A9 - Sony A7RIV

chrisbet



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Hi Graham - you need to use the YouTube link button in the editor and enter the video page link - I have done it for you and edited your post above.

Yes pretty amazing photos but best viewed with the sound off!!! :lol:

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We had a 2nd trip to Chichester Harbour this week but tide was better but light not so good and less birds! Sadly our Gosport Camera Club now shut for the rest of the season. We are like many of our age now cancelling our two holidays and plan to spend most of our time as instructed at home. The World is in lockdown!

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The lockdown is a good time to learn, practice, or refine skills.

I found this on a friend FB page.  It led me to research where it came from.


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https://www.oshonews.com/2020/03/19/poem-kathleen-omeara/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=poem-kathleen-omeara&fbclid=IwAR03G7ix8c1Xzv734eBdo9Rodny4S3nd9nUG5YiZzBPgDsqDRPewJYXAjxY



Sometimes we find great nuggets from digging small holes!

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and, sadly, it never happened.

jk



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OK back on topic!
:offtopic:

I think that I need to put some more food out for the birds so I can join in this thread.

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female stonechat taken a week or so back BV

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jk



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Nice shot Jeff.  Hope you are staying isolated.

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Another Kestral from previous shoot: Nikon D850 500 PF Lens 1/640 sec f11 at 800 ISO did not publish before as needed Photoshop, head and upper body in quite strong shadow now sorted!

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Last edited on Wed Mar 25th, 2020 16:38 by Graham Whistler

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Sorry uploaded the wrong file with poor colour balance. 

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Cant see the difference between the two.o.O

What are the differences between the two images?

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-15 Cyan but it seems to be lost in uploading to the forum?

jk



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That is probably too subtle a change to be seen on my ipad.  I will see if my colour calibrated monitor can spot the difference.

I find it remarkable that the displays that we use for editing can see these differences but when we upload the image to internet site that such subtleties are lost.

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The Hhead and shoulders of the bird was in quite deep shade with rest of body OK in sun. Did local exposure correction in Photoshop but colour was bit cyan compared with rest of bird.

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The second upload overwrote the first because the same filename was used - add a suffix e.g. kestrel_4460a.jpg instead of kestrel_4460.jpg if you want to keep the original.

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Chris many thanks it's no big deal it is very small amount.

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It's a very nice photo - I was just satisfying JK's insatiable appetite to know why does what :lol:

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Yellowhammer D850 40-80mm Lens3200 ISO

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jk



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Got my 400mm f2.8 AFS ED ii back from FixationUK.  They said it had a squeaky SWM but that happens when the lens is not used all the time!  Bad Nikon design or sourcing of bits.  However if you know about these motors it is not eminent failure but usually complaint of lack of use!
I am not giving them a superb lens of value £4k for £1200.

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jk wrote:
Got my 400mm f2.8 AFS ED ii back from FixationUK.  They said it had a squeaky SWM but that happens when the lens is not used all the time!  Bad Nikon design or sourcing of bits.  However if you know about these motors it is not eminent failure but usually complaint of lack of use!
I am not giving them a superb lens of value £4k for £1200.
I had a squeaky Nikon lens and was told that there was an aluminium strip ‘in there’ that can oxidise and needed regular use to wear it off...if possible. It was suggested I put it in manual and focus it rapidly back and forth for a new days - ‘sometimes they free themselves up”.

So I did this and I have to say it did quieten it down a bit but there was always a faint squeak. I eventually sold the lens on eBay declaring the squeak and it made 3/4 the price ‘perfect’ examples were making.
  
I suspect the resale price of these heavier long primes will have been influenced by the new FP lenses in some quarters. It will be even worse if/when Nikon bring out 400mm and 600mm version.  With Sony bringing out lightweight telephoto lenses it may spread up that release...once the world heals.

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The 400mm f2.8 is a bit of a beast as far as weight is concerned and there is a bit of a selective market for it.

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Eric wrote:
 was told that there was an aluminium strip ‘in there’ that can oxidise and needed regular use to wear it off Aluminium forms a thin oxide layer immediately it is exposed to oxygen - so all regular aluminium surfaces are "oxidised".

I would have thought the issue is more likely to be galvanic corrosion due to the use of other metals in contact with the aluminium or just a poor choice of material in the first place.

If indeed, that is the source of the noise - lenses aren't THAT difficult to disassemble, I'd be tempted to take it apart and clean / lubricate.

jk



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chrisbet wrote:
Aluminium forms a thin oxide layer immediately it is exposed to oxygen - so all regular aluminium surfaces are "oxidised".

I would have thought the issue is more likely to be galvanic corrosion due to the use of other metals in contact with the aluminium or just a poor choice of material in the first place.

If indeed, that is the source of the noise - lenses aren't THAT difficult to disassemble, I'd be tempted to take it apart and clean / lubricate.
I agree it is a poor choice of material in this and other SWM lenses.  I would have thought that a different metal or a plastic covering would be useful alternative.

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super kestrel shot graham was this at a paid hide ?

blackfox



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female stonechat a few days before lockdown . olympus omd1-mkii plus PL100-400 .taken from mobile ford 

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mondeo hide.

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I love it, thats a super image Jeff well done, keep well and keep shooting!

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blackfox wrote:
female stonechat a few days before lockdown . olympus omd1-mkii plus PL100-400 .taken from mobile ford 

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mondeo hide
That’s a lovely image, Jeff. Cracking bird 👍.

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thanks Eric,graham appreciated

blackfox



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heres her partner a few minutes later 

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Very good again!

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Not doing so well with just my garden birds to photo this Blackbird on the bird bath was better than on the feeder. D850 500mm PF + x1.4=700mm VR 1/250sec f9 iso 1600

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Similar set-up 850 but F8 is 700mm lens wide open and 1/250 sec hand held shows that VR does work well with this lens ISO1600 fading evening light.

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Iain



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Getting a bit jealous of you guys with a garden as I’m stuck in the house with only a backyard that no birds come near because of all the cats.

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It's not all good news Ian with all this good weather we have 3 days of catching up with the garden jobs. Today is a day of rest for the sake of the stiff bits in the back and legs! Evening light now so will get camera out to try for the evening feed time. Eric has been sending me some very interesting movie bits of gulls and hedgehog feeding.

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We have a garden and lots of birds nesting here but also many trees so getting a clear pic of them is difficult.

There are a pair of Jays, a pair of Magpies, a pair of Blackbirds, a pair of Blue Tits, a pair of Wrens and the ubiquitous Robins as well as Doves & Pigeons. Just waiting for the Pipistrelles to come out of hibernation.

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Lesser black back



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Eric



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And another flypast...



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Time of year that those big guys are looking for young in the nest for a snack.

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Nice one Eric! Happy Easter all, lets hope Eric's gulls do not come here and eat the little Dunnock on our bird bath.

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I think this shows yet again how good the D850 is with this Nikon 500mm PF lens plus x1.4 This is the whole frame as shot lens fully open F5.6 but with x1.4 is F8 1/500 sec hand held with VR ISO 1250 same shot as above was cropped from this.

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Not able to go out to photograph birds away from home so sorry to let you down but I have painted an Owl for you this week (from one of my photographs)!

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I love it Graham!

Never mind the D850, a set of paintbrushes are a brilliant substitute.

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Got out for sea front walk today in between some serious showers. Plenty of Gulls, D850 with 500mm PF lens 1/1600 sec f20 ISO 2500.

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I am afraid lockdown has curtailed excursions for more exotic birds And garden birds are the order of the day.....




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Eric



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The ducks have arrived for their summer holiday (one pair or another have been coming here for over 10 years). They no a soft touch ...and get a scoop of corn. Thus replete they obligingly cr*p on the patio and return to the river for a bath. Nice!

We have an ailing hedgehog with a swelling on the side of its face. It comes out prematurely before dark (not sure if it’s eyesight or timing sensor is effected). To give it a fighting chance we distribute a handful of dried mealworms in its path. The ducks however have discovered THEY like mealworms ....but are too timid to face a grunting brush. But as soon as the hog emerges about 6pm the ducks see him trundling across the lawn they give chase... they KNOW their will be mealworms.....


Isn’t their a pub called The Hog and Duck?




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Eric wrote:
The ducks have arrived for their summer holiday (one pair or another have been coming here for over 10 years). They no a soft touch ...and get a scoop of corn. Thus replete they obligingly cr*p on the patio and return to the river for a bath. Nice!

We have an ailing hedgehog with a swelling on the side of its face. It comes out prematurely before dark (not sure if it’s eyesight or timing sensor is effected). To give it a fighting chance we distribute a handful of dried mealworms in its path. The ducks however have discovered THEY like mealworms ....but are too timid to face a grunting brush. But as soon as the hog emerges about 6pm the ducks see him trundling across the lawn they give chase... they KNOW their will be mealworms.....


Isn’t their a pub called The Hog and Duck?




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Is that a hedge duck?

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Looks like a very poorly hedgehog, that is one bad swelling.

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Robert wrote:
Looks like a very poorly hedgehog, that is one bad swelling. Yup.
But it’s eating well, it curls up when approached. No point in taking it to the RSPCA because their needles are too ready in cases like this. (Not a fan of that organisation)

I fully expect it not to come one day but in the meantime it still wants to eat...which is a sigh it hasn’t given up yet.

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Like Eric and many others we are spending lots of time in the garden. This Starling not at all bothered that I was sitting quite close with my cup of tea when it came down to drink.

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Graham Whistler wrote:
Like Eric and many others we are spending lots of time in the garden. This Starling not at all bothered that I was sitting quite close with my cup of tea when it came down to drink.


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People dismiss them but they have such lovely markings.

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Overcast and very windy here today. Shots through dirty double glazing :thumbsdown:




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Last edited on Sun May 10th, 2020 18:46 by Eric

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Nice ones Eric. We are seeing some of this years starlings for first time today, also for first time a coal tit, I must try for a photo it was posing well today but camera not handy!

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Graham Whistler wrote:
Nice ones Eric. We are seeing some of this years starlings for first time today, also for first time a coal tit, I must try for a photo it was posing well today but camera not handy! Tell me about it! I had a lovely Jackdaw land for a drink, full frame! If only I had the camera in my hand and not a coffee cup. 😆

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There nice Eric.

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Starlings feeding young this morning not my best as through window glass. Opened door and they flew away and I got told off for letting in very cold air!!! Nikon D850 with my 500mm PF lens (no x1.4) 1/640 sec f14 ISO 1600

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Last pix of the day plenty of action and a few good ones missed!

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Thank you Graham, excellent pictures, particularly interesting to see the interaction between the birds.

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The Jackdaw returned today....hoping it will come back tomorrow, when the wind drops and I can open the window to get a clearer shot!!!!




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Very common here in Cornwall Eric.  They seem to spend all day bobbing around my garden or on the roof but they are quite shy so if I go out they clear off.

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jk wrote:
Very common here in Cornwall Eric.  They seem to spend all day bobbing around my garden or on the roof but they are quite shy so if I go out they clear off. Yes very skitty. But will persevere.

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Eric wrote:
Yes very skitty. But will persevere. Yes they are.

Their plumage around the head is beautiful grey and black that is so subtly blended.

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jk wrote:
Yes they are.

Their plumage around the head is beautiful grey and black that is so subtly blended.
Like mine. :lol::lol::lol:

jk



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:lol:
You know that we are all jealous of your wonderful plumage!

Mind you if they don't allow barbers and hairdressers to unlock soon I will be going for the Albert Einstein trophy!

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jk wrote:
:lol:

Mind you if they don't allow barbers and hairdressers to unlock soon I will be going for the Albert Einstein trophy!

I did some hacking at my mop yesterday, only the bits I can see in the mirror, I daren't tackle the back, so I now have a short front and sides!  Perhaps two mirrors? :lol:

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It's a bit like reversing a trailer - takes practice because everything goes the opposite way - I don't suppose my trick of holding the wheel at the bottom works with scissors ... :lol:

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my hair is fine :lol::lol:

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My wife cut mine....so I cut hers!

The bruises are fading and the swelling going down. 
I may be able to see out of my left eye in a day or two.

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Bath time...



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Last edited on Wed May 13th, 2020 19:57 by Eric

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Well caught Eric good shutter speed! Our starlings with plenty of young still flat out. Sadly one youngster hit a window and was dead Jackdaw down at once and had a go at the little body! Too little water in my shot!

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Last edited on Wed May 13th, 2020 22:36 by Graham Whistler

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These are good guys. :thumbs:

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One more and I am done...got to find another species to photograph.  A female bull finch flew across the garden this afternoon ...at 200mph. Never to be seen again. 



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Nice portrait Eric.

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Yes Eric we need a change from the 30 noisey starlings every day. One of out 4 or 5 regular dunnocks is best I can do.

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Young Robin having a drink this morning, starlings still flat out and driving even the Jackdaws away!

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I shoud have added I had a fault with the D850 shortly after this pix: the parent came down to feed the young robin I picked up the camera in hurry with 500mm to grab a shot and it would not fire! Birds flew pix missed. "for" displayed in top window, looked at back of camera "card not formatted". I must have touched menu button because last night changed battery and formatted both cards. So now camera locked at this could not take any more pixs even took out battery but "for" still dispalayed. Up to computer as I did not want to format cards or pixs would be lost. Down loaded pixs see above all pixs OK.  XQD card back in camera formatted both cards all work well again!

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Those are very fine images Graham.
Beautiful.

Eric



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One of our ‘new’ visitors....



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And a ‘not so new’ visitor....




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What is the "New" visitor Eric?

chrisbet



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Graham Whistler wrote:
What is the "New" visitor Eric? Thrush?

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Graham Whistler wrote:
What is the "New" visitor Eric? New as in newly hatched ....blackbird

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Thanks Eric thought it might be and have just seen one in our garden.

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Doesn't look like the fledgling blackbirds we have in the garden, they don't have the mottling.

Thrush and blackbird are same family.

Counted in the garden today (but  no pics as I am busy fixing the garage roof ) wren, house sparrow, blackbird, jay, magpie, collared dove, blue tit and heard but not seen - gulls!

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Definitely a juvenile blackbird and a nice one at that.

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chrisbet wrote:
Doesn't look like the fledgling blackbirds we have in the garden, they don't have the mottling.

Thrush and blackbird are same family.

Counted in the garden today (but  no pics as I am busy fixing the garage roof ) wren, house sparrow, blackbird, jay, magpie, collared dove, blue tit and heard but not seen - gulls!
The mottling is there in the early stages like the Robin by gradually goes once they are fully feathered.
We have a pair of Song thrush that nest at the very bottom of the garden. Very shy rarely come closer to the house. Would love to see some success for them this year as Song thrush are getting very scarce, but they teach the young to be elusive as well.

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Thanks for the explanation. We used to have very tame song thrushes in the garden years ago, but they have gone now. Shame because their song is beautiful.

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The humble house sparrow is a beautifully marked bird.....just a bit fidgety when searching for greenfly....




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Eric your young blackbird is much darker that the two presently in our garden.  I will try and get a picture of one but we are so busy working in garden at present there my be a problem if a camera is seen by senior managment!

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Take senior management a cup of tea and declare a tea break :lol:

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Graham Whistler wrote:
Eric your young blackbird is much darker that the two presently in our garden.  I will try and get a picture of one but we are so busy working in garden at present there my be a problem if a camera is seen by senior managment! It may be my processing but from memory that’s about right...similar to adult female except the speckle breast.

Speaking of which ....just discovered that young goldfinches have a speckled breast too...



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I love the bemused look on its face....”you mean, stick my head in that hole?”.

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You are right Eric our Young Blackbird much same as yours. Poor light this morning hope it brings rain our waterbuts all run out! D850 Lens 500mm PF no x1.4  1/500 sec f6.3 ISO 1250

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Same as above but much further away so lager blow-up.

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Double take!




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Older brother or sister......





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Last edited on Sat May 23rd, 2020 20:50 by Eric

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Nice set of pixs, super little birds.

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Well that’s it folks. I am giving up photographing baby’s starlings. 

I foolishly sprinkled some mealworms on the lawn closer to the house and did some videoing of them feeding, drinking /bathing in the water bath. Lovely close footage using the 500mm lens on the D850. The squawking and feeding frenzy was very loud. 

So much so, it attracted one of the several killer cats in the area which shot out of the border and grabbed one of the young birds I had been filming.  

I chased after the b*stard and it dropped the bird to escape over the fence ...but the damage had been done. One of ‘my cast members’ died in my hands.

To make matters worse, in the process of acting like a 20 year old,  I fell over and b*ggered my arthritic toe ...that had only just recovered from several weeks of a gout attack.   :needsahug:

Who would have thought bird photography could be so dangerous?

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This is the best I can offer as I only have a yard and don't get much in.

Attachment: DI5_2320.jpg (Downloaded 58 times)

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Clearly much more risky than you thought!

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Eric wrote:
Well that’s it folks. I am giving up photographing baby’s starlings. 

I foolishly sprinkled some mealworms on the lawn closer to the house and did some videoing of them feeding, drinking /bathing in the water bath. Lovely close footage using the 500mm lens on the D850. The squawking and feeding frenzy was very loud. 

So much so, it attracted one of the several killer cats in the area which shot out of the border and grabbed one of the young birds I had been filming.  

I chased after the b*stard and it dropped the bird to escape over the fence ...but the damage had been done. One of ‘my cast members’ died in my hands.

To make matters worse, in the process of acting like a 20 year old,  I fell over and b*ggered my arthritic toe ...that had only just recovered from several weeks of a gout attack.   :needsahug:

Who would have thought bird photography could be so dangerous?
Thats the trouble when you still think your 25. I don't have the cat issue with three dogs. :lol:

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Lol - my 3 dogs try to take out the pigeons when they land in the garden!

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Iain wrote:
This is the best I can offer as I only have a yard and don't get much in. When are likely to be able to get out to your reserve, Iain?  
I know the public hides are shut at RSPB et al sites but I thought you had a private place to visit like Jeff?

Incidentally has anyone heard from Jeff? He’s not been posting and do hope he has stayed safe away from the virus with his heart condition. 🤞

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I can get out to the reserves now but not into the hides. The problem now is with the trees etc in full leaf you don’t see much. The feeding stations/hides is where you would see things at this time of year so in a catch 22.

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Rather a grey day here but looking out the window I noticed an odd bird on the birdbath - it seemed to have a white rump and dark wings - went to grab the camera but it had flown. So I waited a while to see if it reappeared which it didn't!
However I did have the blackbirds screaming back & forth - not settling for a drink - then I spotted one of our noisy neighbours up in the top of the trees -



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and a moment later, which explains the blackbird's antics -



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Iain wrote:
I can get out to the reserves now but not into the hides. The problem now is with the trees etc in full leaf you don’t see much. The feeding stations/hides is where you would see things at this time of year so in a catch 22. My birding friend Mike was telling me that the Cley reserve has been completely closed off to the public, not just the hides. In the few weeks we were all in total lockdown, many birds have started nesting within feet of the paths....including a Bittern! They don’t want to risk scaring them off before the young fledge. I suspect the wardens and friends are getting some good photographs. ☹️

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chrisbet wrote:
Rather a grey day here but looking out the window I noticed an odd bird on the birdbath - it seemed to have a white rump and dark wings - went to grab the camera but it had flown. So I waited a while to see if it reappeared which it didn't!
However I did have the blackbirds screaming back & forth - not settling for a drink - then I spotted one of our noisy neighbours up in the top of the trees -



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and a moment later, which explains the blackbird's antics -



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Nicely caught. Magpies can be very skitty and ‘shy’. I find them difficult to get optimum exposure due to the intense white and black. 
There’s also something prehistoric about how a magpie moves about. I reckon they are closely related to velociraptors 😆 

We have a family that visit us. With all the small bird nesting that must be in the guarding we put food out for these predators to try to defray loss of there offspring. Magpies love corn, Jays love half peanuts, jackdaws love mealworms and squirrels eat anything but prefer nuts and sunflower hearts. Interestingly the Tits don’t like half peanuts especially without the husk. I suppose they like a round object they recognise as the real McCoy? If we put half peanuts in a feeder they regularly through away several whities before getting one they like....the ground crew (pigeons and doves) are always appreciative. It’s quite a complicated (not to mention expensive) life managing wildlife mealtimes in this place. 😞

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I never feed the birds - we have a very woodland like garden with a variety of trees and surrounding wild hedges that attract and feed the birds, from the hawthorn that the doves & pigeons love to eat the buds in May through to the apples & plums in autumn. The garden is full of insects that attract the bats as well. We have several species that nest every year, blue tits in the boxes, blackbirds, wrens & robins in the hedges and doves, magpies and pigeons in the trees.

The problem is that they have such good cover that getting a clear shot of them is usually only possible if they are at the bird baths or the pond.

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chrisbet wrote:
I never feed the birds - we have a very woodland like garden with a variety of trees and surrounding wild hedges that attract and feed the birds, from the hawthorn that the doves & pigeons love to eat the buds in May through to the apples & plums in autumn. The garden is full of insects that attract the bats as well. We have several species that nest every year, blue tits in the boxes, blackbirds, wrens & robins in the hedges and doves, magpies and pigeons in the trees.

The problem is that they have such good cover that getting a clear shot of them is usually only possible if they are at the bird baths or the pond.
Sounds perfect.  I am inclined not to do so as well, but I am afraid if I didn’t feed them the wife wouldn’t feed me. :lol: 
I am happy to prepare my own meals ...but she won’t let me in HER kitchen. o.O

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Eric wrote:
My birding friend Mike was telling me that the Cley reserve has been completely closed off to the public, not just the hides. In the few weeks we were all in total lockdown, many birds have started nesting within feet of the paths....including a Bittern! They don’t want to risk scaring them off before the young fledge. I suspect the wardens and friends are getting some good photographs. ☹️ I hope things open up as we are due to come down to Norfolk in July if we can. Just watching what is being said.

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A few form one of the reserves today.

DI5_2356 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr


DI5_2370 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

this not a bird but thought I would include it.



DI5_2372 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

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Ian glad you are out and getting some good pixs.

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Birdwatching is a fascinating hobby....




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For some reason, this Song Thrush which has been shyly keeping to the bottom hedge in the garden, today decided to forage in the open. It came very close considering we were sat outside and not trying to hide out of sight.

I suspect it’s because it’s feeding young, as I then threw out some bread and it grabbed several mouthfuls before flying back to the bottom hedge.

Will have to keep an eye out for it’s fledglings. 🤞 



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Second image shows the beautiful markings really well.

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Super inages, long time since I have seen one. Hope to get some new pixs out in local wood on Friday.

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"My" Magpie has been foraging bits of bread from somewhere - it brings them to our bird bath and dunks them!

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Last one...



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Good capture but you were a bit dark? Very slight shadow detail in Photoshop bring out detail, I wish we had Thrushes in our garden. In wild bird local wood tomorrow hope to get some changes of subject matter. 

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Nice shot Eric.

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Iain wrote:
Nice shot Eric. Thanks  Iain.
Are you still using Affinity Photo for processing your images?

Ive been a little disappointed with these recent images in terms of sharpness. And wondered if it’s raw converter is the root cause.  
I’ve sent a batch to Mr Whistler to see if he can get more out of the NEFs using Nikon Capture. If he can, it may be time to stop the iPad - Affinity experiment and go back to the desktop. If he can’t, then either I am doing something wrong, or the equipment has an issue. 8-)

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Barn Owl this evening in the woods Nikon D500 with 80-400mm Lens 1/400sec f13 ISO 2000

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Last edited on Fri May 29th, 2020 18:04 by Graham Whistler

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This morning in the woods a wild Kestrel  Nikon D850 500mm PF Lens + x1.4 = 700mm 1/400 sec f13 ISO 1600

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Eric wrote:
Thanks  Iain.
Are you still using Affinity Photo for processing your images?

Ive been a little disappointed with these recent images in terms of sharpness. And wondered if it’s raw converter is the root cause.  
I’ve sent a batch to Mr Whistler to see if he can get more out of the NEFs using Nikon Capture. If he can, it may be time to stop the iPad - Affinity experiment and go back to the desktop. If he can’t, then either I am doing something wrong, or the equipment has an issue. 8-)
No, I use a mix of Lightroom and Nikon’s software. The Nikon software gets the best out of the files but is a bit slow even on my Mac Pro with 32g of ram and 8 core cpu

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This is damage control only saved by the amazing dynamic range of the Nikon D850 camera. The kestral above was spot on exposure and needed little Photoshop but it the flew to another post with very deep shadow in the woods. I had to move quickly as it only stayed for a few seconds so had no time to add -2 stops to camera settings before it flew away for a 2nd shot. (IE Classic subject failure) Below is as shot with no Photoshop or RAW adjustments. It was also 2 hours before the above shot and light was not as good sun was still low and not at best angle. I also noticed how clear the light was with much reduced pollution since I was last out in the woods two months ago!!!!!

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Last edited on Sat May 30th, 2020 11:58 by Graham Whistler

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Later in the day just caught it as it landed for another mouse. Better light but not quite enough DOF with 700mm   1/500 sec f13 ISO 1600

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Graham Whistler wrote:

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Later in the day just caught it as it landed for another mouse. Better light but not quite enough DOF with 700mm   1/500 sec f13 ISO 1600
Great capture Graham.
Perfect timing.

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Sorry Eric todays pix is a family of young Starlings with parent bird! D500 with Nikon 80-400mm lens

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.

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:lol::lol: Love the story line Eric and the pic's.

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I was trying to photograph Swifts at a 1000 feet. 


Still having a bit of sharpness issues in my photos....but it was travelling 37,000 feet and 450knots





Needless to say it’s a heavily cropped image. 😆.

Last edited on Mon Jun 1st, 2020 09:28 by Eric

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Hmm, I wonder if there is some haze / air shimmering involved?

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Eric wrote:
I was trying to photograph Swifts at a 1000 feet. 


Still having a bit of sharpness issues in my photos....but it was travelling 37,000 feet and 450knots





Needless to say it’s a heavily cropped image. 😆
Should have been pin sharp then. :lol:.

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chrisbet wrote:
Hmm, I wonder if there is some haze / air shimmering involved? And Eric wobble.... as it went virtually overhead

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Eric wrote:
And Eric wobble.... as it went virtually overhead I had that problem taking photo of a red kite the other day as it went over the top of me I went back over, luckily there was a fence behind me so no harm done.

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Iain wrote:
I had that problem taking photo of a red kite the other day as it went over the top of me I went back over, luckily there was a fence behind me so no harm done. We are hoping to visit a CL with the caravan in early Sept (after the traditional school holiday period) which had Red Kites overflying regularly. The owner told me last year that a few chunks of cheap corned beef chucked over the fence into (his) adjacent field gets them sitting on the fence posts. 8-).  So we will be taking stocks of corned beef this time. 😆

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I need a bigger bath than this one please.

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Eric wrote:
I was trying to photograph Swifts at a 1000 feet. 


Still having a bit of sharpness issues in my photos....but it was travelling 37,000 feet and 450knots





Needless to say it’s a heavily cropped image. 😆
Do you have a license to photograph endangered species?.

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GeoffR wrote:
Do you have a license to photograph endangered species? Plenty of them still whizzing over us.




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Eric, looking at the image it looks like the camera has focussed on the moon not the aircraft. 
I dont know what you had your AF focus point on but I guess it was not the moon, but I might be completely off on this.

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Eric wrote:
Plenty of them still whizzing over us.
The endangered species is the 747 being relegated to carrying cargo and probably gone from passenger service by 2025.

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jk wrote:
Eric, looking at the image it looks like the camera has focussed on the moon not the aircraft. 
I dont know what you had your AF focus point on but I guess it was not the moon, but I might be completely off on this.
You are too observant Jonathan .:lol:

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I think you are slightly missing the point as beyond infinity everything is in sharp focus so both should be in focus and it must be movement of the plane and not even Eric shake!

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Surely even "Trekkers" can't go beyond infinity   :lol:

Eric shake would have blurred the moon?

Plane movement would have blurred the leading and trailing edges only.

I am guessing that the photo was taken by a long focal length lens and the focus field fell beyond the plane.

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I'm not sure there is a lack of sharpness, I think the lack of contrast between the aircraft and the sky is being interpreted as a lack of sharpness. Looking at the contrails they are sharp and they must be on, or very near, the same plane as the aircraft.

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I am surprised no one has questioned whether they were two images. ;-)


With only 700mm I would never achieve that level of foreshortening ....the plane was too small (37,000 feet!) as it passed the moon.

I sectionally enlarged the plane (+ contrails) and streeetched them relative to the moon.

So the loss of detail in the plane is mainly over enlargement....but a silver body in a blue sky didn’t help with definition.

Last edited on Thu Jun 4th, 2020 11:03 by Eric

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Carrying on my unhealthy obsession with ornithological ablutions, the Blackcap came for complete immersion therapy ....requiring a good deal of dehydration afterwards.  1/250th @f11 2000iso (as the sun went in 😡)




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Last edited on Thu Jun 4th, 2020 11:06 by Eric

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Lol - cheeky!

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We'll not argue Eric but the aircraft is in the colours of Atlas Air Cargo and is thus White and Blue Fuselage and vertical stabiliser with Grey wings and horizontal stabiliser, engine cowlings are Blue. There is a grey section on the lower fuselage, mainly because Boeing do it that way.

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Anti-clockwise sparrow



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GeoffR wrote:
We'll not argue Eric but the aircraft is in the colours of Atlas Air Cargo and is thus White and Blue Fuselage and vertical stabiliser with Grey wings and horizontal stabiliser, engine cowlings are Blue. There is a grey section on the lower fuselage, mainly because Boeing do it that way. :bowing:  Yes you are right .....I misremembered the wrong plane.

I was photographing a US Airforce transport plane just before this one...that was the grey beastie.

No wonder I had difficulty separating it from the blue sky. 😆

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A VERY heavy crop...but couldn’t resist this almost prehistoric look...



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Eric I love the Blackcap bathing! Another Barn Owl pix from last Friday D500 image with 80-400mm lens.

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Not sure why my saturated image was duplicated post...perhaps mods would remove one?

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Graham Whistler wrote:
Eric I love the Blackcap bathing! Another Barn Owl pix from last Friday D500 image with 80-400mm lens.

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Lovely shot Graham. Amazing legs on those birds.

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Eric wrote:
Not sure why my saturated image was duplicated post...perhaps mods would remove one? Done - looks like you hit quote & post ...

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Eric wrote:
I am surprised no one has questioned whether they were two images. ;-)
I spotted it immediately but who am I to interfere with Eric's manipulations, in my view that's what photography is all about, having fun and exercising one's skills creating an image.  Combining images and emphasising one aspect is all part of it.  Nice one Eric.

Another possible explanation for the slight loss of sharpness in the plane is the pixel size enlargement as the software rearranges the pixels as the second overlaid image to the same grid pattern as the background image, think micro mosaic?  Less of an issue with a modern high res DSLR but with the D1's 2.7 Mp it was very evident when I tried similar tricks with almost brick sized pixels.  As well as movement, air distortion around the plane, eddies and fast flowing air-pockets must have an effect on sharpness I would have thought, compressed and expanded air create distortion and air shimmies, especially when it's being compressed and expanded when a bloody great lump of metal is being propelled through it at such high speed, think ship and wake?

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Robert wrote:
I spotted it immediately but who am I to interfere with Eric's manipulations, in my view that's what photography is all about, having fun and exercising one's skills creating an image.  Combining images and emphasising one aspect is all part of it.  Nice one Eric.

Another possible explanation for the slight loss of sharpness in the plane is the pixel size enlargement as the software rearranges the pixels as the second overlaid image to the same grid pattern as the background image, think micro mosaic?  Less of an issue with a modern high res DSLR but with the D1's 2.7 Mp it was very evident when I tried similar tricks with almost brick sized pixels.  As well as movement, air distortion around the plane, eddies and fast flowing air-pockets must have an effect on sharpness I would have thought, compressed and expanded air create distortion and air shimmies, especially when it's being compressed and expanded when a bloody great lump of metal is being propelled through it at such high speed, think ship and wake?
In mitigation it wasn’t actually 2 images. It’s just the plane was a lot smaller below the moon. All I did was lasso a section and stretch it bigger upwards, then erase/feather the top edge where the sky overlapped the moon. Crude ...but sufficient for a bit of fun and discussion.

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chrisbet wrote:
Done - looks like you hit quote & post ... Thanks Chris...my digits have a life of their own. 😆

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Bob Bowen wrote:

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I need a bigger bath than this one please.
Same problem with my bird baths Bob....too small for some.




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Bob nice one we have same problems with WPs in bird bath, one did its business this morning then had a drink!!!! I have to clean it out every day. Look what they do to the bird feeder too.

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Bad weather today so didn’t get any chance to try new camera settings. (Graham)  There was a brief burst of sunlight which saw the family of Song Thrushes emerge en masse. 3 young plus both parents. The young stayed in the borders for most of the time but one popped out when Dad came close with food....but right at the bottom of the garden. ☹️



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Tap, tap, tap on the patio door. 

Spun chair round, nearly spilling coffee, and there’s a young jackdaw trying to come in.

Of course with 700mm on the camera it wasn’t going to focus at 2feet!

Dashed into office grabbed the D500 which had a 100mm lens on it.

No time to juggle setting as he was off as soon as I pointed camera at him...through dirty (yes Ive got another job tomorrow) window.

Not brilliant but another crazy moment in a crazy springtime.






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A Goldfinch from today and a Jackdaw portrait from earlier this year.

DSC_0354-Edit by Iain Clyne, on Flickr


P1190038-Edit by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

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Spot on Ian. Wendy just forwared this laugh to me so hope it is not too rude:

A guy goes into the confessional box after years being away from the Church.He pulls aside the curtain, enters and sits himself down. There's a fully equipped bar with crystal glasses, the best vestry wine, Guinness on tap, cigars and liqueur chocolates nearby, and on the wall a fine photographic display of buxom ladies who appear to have mislaid their garments.

He hears a priest come in:"Father, forgive me for it's been a very long time since I've been to confession and I must admit that the confessional box is much more inviting than it used to be".

The priest replies, "Get out, you idiot, you're on my side".

Last edited on Sat Jun 6th, 2020 17:39 by Graham Whistler

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Very good Graham, reminds me of another priest story but that is definitely too rude for this genteel gathering... :lol:

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Graham Whistler wrote:
Spot on Ian. Wendy just forwared this laugh to me so hope it is not too rude:

A guy goes into the confessional box after years being away from the Church.He pulls aside the curtain, enters and sits himself down. There's a fully equipped bar with crystal glasses, the best vestry wine, Guinness on tap, cigars and liqueur chocolates nearby, and on the wall a fine photographic display of buxom ladies who appear to have mislaid their garments.

He hears a priest come in:"Father, forgive me for it's been a very long time since I've been to confession and I must admit that the confessional box is much more inviting than it used to be".

The priest replies, "Get out, you idiot, you're on my side".
Very good. :lol:

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Iain wrote:
A Goldfinch from today and a Jackdaw portrait from earlier this year.

DSC_0354-Edit by Iain Clyne, on Flickr


P1190038-Edit by Iain Clyne, on Flickr
Lovely lighting and detail in that Jackdaw, Iain. I always seem to have the wrong light direction for my garden birds ....and my black birds all seem to have dark shadow. Will have to move my seat. :lol:

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Or put your food in a better position so that the light is right when you are sitting in your chair.

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One from yesterday

Attachment: _DSC3494_M_M.jpg (Downloaded 295 times)

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And another

Attachment: _DSC3503_M.jpg (Downloaded 292 times)

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GeoffR wrote:
One from yesterday Lovely grey wag...one of my favourite birds. Not sure where you found the sun yesterday. It was wet wet wet here. ☹️ 

I only managed a couple of distant and bedraggled solitary visitors to the garden.



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We didn't actually find any sun, it was just a short period of thinner cloud.
I did get one with her having her lunch but she had her back to me.

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Good shots Eric and Geoff. I think pics of wet birds are good as it shows what these little things have to go through at this time of year if they have young.

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Eric those look good and sharp and Geoff nice capture.

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Just a Dunnock in fron garden this morning they have two nests and are feeding, stood in window for 1/2 hr and best I could get they do not hang around! D850 700mm 1/400 sec f11 ISO 1600 quite dull light.

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Lovely Dunnock Graham. Can’t seem to get close enough to them ☹️ 

The 3 young Thrush have been following Mum and Dad around the garden all day. One of them is self feeding and came quite close....



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Couldn’t resist this shot....

(For the uninitiated a Sprog is a nickname for the Sparrow,  and a Drog is a cross between a dragon and a dog.....according to the bloke who made the statue. 😆)



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Not sure if this should be in a another thread....New Pub names.

In the absence of any Hounds ....


The Fox & Thrush



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Or perhaps... The Fox & Squirrel



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Last edited on Tue Jun 9th, 2020 21:27 by Eric

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Some good pixs there Eric focus looks spot on , I wish we had thrushes here.

Last edited on Tue Jun 9th, 2020 22:35 by Graham Whistler

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Graham Whistler wrote:
Some good pixs there Eric focus looks spot on , I wish we had thrushes here. Thanks.
There were 5 thrushes on the lawn today. Parents and 3 young. We have never seen so many young birds for some years and we’re thinking it was down to the reduced disturbance. But it dawned on us that for the last 10 years we have been holidaying in mainland Europe every May/June...and probably missed it all!

This virus has made us realise that being home in our garden, which excels in Springtime, is far better than visiting foreign parts. We may well switch to just September trips in future...once normality returns.

Last edited on Tue Jun 9th, 2020 23:39 by Eric

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These photos are nice. Your getting a good selection of wildlife in you garden.

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One from today a Willow Warbler, big crop though.

DI5_3050 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

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Ok Iain....how is your gull recognition?  Haven’t seen Jeff on the forum for a while to ask him as well.

I’ve had lesser black back gulls dropping in to steal the sparrows bread. Take a look at this pair........




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According to the ringing detail the one in the foreground is a lesser black back gull possibly ringed in Holland (although the smaller metal ring states Natural History Museum SW7 🙄).  What I want to know...is the the one behind it a yellow legged gull?  It’s legs are obviously more yellow than the normal ‘faded yellow’ legs of a LBB gull and it’s slightly larger. Of course there’s a lot of variation on both counts but what made me wonder was it came on it’s own and despite mingling with up to a dozen other LBBs it stayed a bit remote in behaviour and didn’t leave when they all did. 

Mike my birder friend saw the photo small on the camera and is inclined to think it may be a YL gull...they are common along Norfolk coast. But it would be a first for my garden. 🥳🥳🥳. What do you think?

Last edited on Fri Jun 12th, 2020 19:48 by Eric

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A couple more of the LBB or YL gull.....



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Interesting set of pictures Eric, let us know when Mike has a better look.

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At the other size extreme a baby blue tit learning the ropes.....



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Eric wrote:
Ok Iain....how is your gull recognition?  Haven’t seen Jeff on the forum for a while to ask him as well.

I’ve had lesser black back gulls dropping in to steal the sparrows bread. Take a look at this pair........




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According to the ringing detail the one in the foreground is a lesser black back gull possibly ringed in Holland (although the smaller metal ring states Natural History Museum SW7 🙄).  What I want to know...is the the one behind it a yellow legged gull?  It’s legs are obviously more yellow than the normal ‘faded yellow’ legs of a LBB gull and it’s slightly larger. Of course there’s a lot of variation on both counts but what made me wonder was it came on it’s own and despite mingling with up to a dozen other LBBs it stayed a bit remote in behaviour and didn’t leave when they all did. 

Mike my birder friend saw the photo small on the camera and is inclined to think it may be a YL gull...they are common along Norfolk coast. But it would be a first for my garden. 🥳🥳🥳. What do you think?
I think it’s a lesser black backed gull, you get them with bright yellow legs as well.

Last edited on Sun Jun 14th, 2020 14:05 by Iain

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Iain wrote:
I think it’s a lesser black backed gull, you get them with bright yellow legs as well.
:needsahug:

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:lol::lol: Keep trying!

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Robin just for a change today. D850 and 500mm PF

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Nice Graham

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Night Owl in the woods this evening wild Tawney Owl Nikon D850 500mm PF lens three electronic flash heads.

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As above but slight correction to exposure in PS. 1/250 sec f16 ISO 640 

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The next frame D850 set on max 9 FPS  The Tawny came several more times but this was the best of the night, This was a first for me of night bird action and it is a wild bird!!!
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The set-up before dark when Owl came an hour later.

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I'm waiting for another mouse please!

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This was I think an also run? It came in so fast when another mouse was put in place you had to be very quick on the shutter. Camera was set on M  with 9 points focus points but on C, Colour balance    6250 K. 

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Last edited on Thu Jun 18th, 2020 12:47 by Graham Whistler

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Nice set of pictures Graham.

Please report your issue that you had during the shoot to Nikon.
I have not seen this before but I dont use the touch screen feature at all.  I use the command dial for scrolling and occasionally a pinch zoom but I have my centre CMD button set up for checking focus.

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Well done Graham...you cracked it!

I prefer the first image for its composition and lighting...with adjusted exp.

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What was bad news was that half way through the shoot with my D850 I was reviewing my shots waiting for the Owl to come back (about every 10 mins) I noted my best pix as above and marked it with the image protect key I then started to: on the view back monitor touched and slid with finger  to advance up the time-line to see next pix, At once I was locked out with caption "card not formatted!"  I was unable to look at rest of my images. Turned off display still there took out XQD card and message still there with SD card. 
Turned camera off and on again still not able to see any of my pictures. Much time lost new cards on board fully formatted camera back to normal. 
Back home faulty"?" XQD card into PC all NEF files there copied into folder and opened at once in Nikon Capture NX-D SD card also OK. Images all 100% OK. Card back in Camera same "Card Not Formatted" notice. Formatted both cards and all back to normal. Not funny at the time and Pete a Canon man was very kind but no doubt not impressed. Boy was I glad to be able to share these pictures with you all today. 
Spoke to JK on phone never heard that one so I phoned Nikon NPS and gave my membership card no. Gave very helpfull chap full details. Not heard this but has registered my complain and will advise further but will pass info on.
Perhaps by sliding my finger to see more pixs after protecting my selected photo this now caused both cards to be protected? Nikon man said no. However if I need to protect a pix again I will then return to shooting mode then go back to viewing mode in normal mode, just in case. I will repot more if Nikon come back to mre. PS he agreed that I have kept all firmware up to date for info last update was 30/4/2020 C1.11 CD 2.016

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Graham Whistler wrote:
What was bad news was that half way through the shoot with my D850 I was reviewing my shots waiting for the Owl to come back (about every 10 mins) I noted my best pix as above and marked it with the image protect key I then started to: on the view back monitor touched and slid with finger  to advance up the time-line to see next pix, At once I was locked out with caption "card not formatted!"  I was unable to look at rest of my images. Turned off display still there took out XQD card and message still there with SD card. 
Turned camera off and on again still not able to see any of my pictures. Much time lost new cards on board fully formatted camera back to normal. 
Back home faulty"?" XQD card into PC all NEF files there copied into folder and opened at once in Nikon Capture NX-D SD card also OK. Images all 100% OK. Card back in Camera same "Card Not Formatted" notice. Formatted both cards and all back to normal. Not funny at the time and Pete a Canon man was very kind but no doubt not impressed. Boy was I glad to be able to share these pictures with you all today. 
Spoke to JK on phone never heard that one so I phoned Nikon NPS and gave my membership card no. Gave very helpfull chap full details. Not heard this but has registered my complain and will advise further but will pass info on.
Perhaps by sliding my finger to see more pixs after protecting my selected photo this now caused both cards to be protected? Nikon man said no. However if I need to protect a pix again I will then return to shooting mode then go back to viewing mode in normal mode, just in case. I will repot more if Nikon come back to mre. PS he agreed that I have kept all firmware up to date for info last update was 30/4/2020 C1.11 CD 2.016
Not ‘yet’ experience that with the D850 but I did having something similar with my d750....while on a shoot at a posh house. 😳

On that occasion I removed the camera battery for 30secs a bit like when the computer freezes ...remove power supply and reboot.

It worked on the d750 but of course it may have been a different problem.  Await nikons response 🤞

Last edited on Thu Jun 18th, 2020 18:30 by Eric

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Graham, I'm not talking to you! Those are superb, I just wish I could afford a 500 PF, absolutely brilliant.

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I am told this is a Wood Duck, not native to the UK apparently. Thank you RSPB

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Another angle from the shoot. Sorry Geoff yes it is a good lens and far sharper than my previous Nikon 500mm F4 that cost twice as much  and weighed twice as much nearly. Interesting duck not much wrong with that either.

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Now at last I have fed the family and I can enjoy my meal in peace. Yes Whistler you can go home now and stop flashing me!

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Thanks Graham, it is a crop, quite a heavy one I used a Nikon 70-200 f2.8 with a TC17E on a D4

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Geoff what is the quality like of images with the x1.7 extender and the 200mm lens?  I have the TC14E-3   x1.4 extender, the new one, NO loss of quality with the 500 PF and it turns it into 700mm with loss of one stop. Some 8 years ago I had an early version and it was very poor not worth using. Your 200-80mm AF-S f2.8 is one of Nikon's all time best lenses and if you traded in for a 500 PF you would get a very good price. Sadly for you I have never heard or seen a 500mm PF on 2nd hand market.

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Graham, all the images I have posted were taken with the 70-200 and TC17 and I have no complaints about the quality. The converter is a TC17E-2 so an improved one.

As to longer lenses I am considering the 200-500 f5.6 an absolute bargain of a lens and hopefully suitable for what I want.

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What? Like this one?  500 PF

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Geoff plenty of good reports for the 200-500mm F5,6 and good price at bit less than £1200. I also like and often use the slightly more expensive 400-80mm see my Kenya pixs on here from last year with that lens and my D500.

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Yes Chris that's the one, one of the best lenses I have ever had. How the auto foucus worked at night on the Owl I could hardly see to frame the pictures! There was hardly an unsharp pix.

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chrisbet wrote:
What? Like this one?  500 PF Very nice, still three times the price of a 200-500!

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Agree Chris, but it is half the price of my previous Nikon 500mm f4 and nearly 1/2 the weight and size. Quality of images is best ever far better auto focus compared with my old lens and you can carry it round all day. That is what you get for first class results at a very reasonable price.

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Aso even at 79 yrs old I can hand hold it for flying pixs no problem, thats what you pay for QED.

Last edited on Sun Jun 21st, 2020 12:14 by Graham Whistler

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The ravages of parenthood......



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The freshness of youth.....




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Tastie morsels.....




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Quality not best...taken through dirty window. Well it was windy and senior management said the door needed to be shut. :needsahug:

Last edited on Sun Jun 21st, 2020 12:42 by Eric

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Not bad at all through a window. Sorry had go in PS and pulled out a lot more detail. Are you using 9 point focus now , this is spot on?

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Last edited on Sun Jun 21st, 2020 14:34 by Graham Whistler

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Graham Whistler wrote:
Agree Chris, but it is half the price of my previous Nikon 500mm f4 and nearly 1/2 the weight and size. Quality of images is best ever far better auto focus compared with my old lens and you can carry it round all day. That is what you get for first class results at a very reasonable price.

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Aso even at 79 yrs old I can hand hold it for flying pixs no problem, thats what you pay for QED.
Lovely portrait, Graham

There is no doubt that the D850 and PF 500mm lens are capable of superb clarity and the lens weight makes it a joy to handle. Not actually sure where my tripod is? 🤔 You are really getting the best out off the equipment. Well done.

The only point I would add, is that one’s technique has to be spot on to capitalise on the massive potential of the combination. I confess when at home I am less precise, perhaps even a bit slapdash (eg shooting through windows and using less than optimum settings),being happy to just record the event/creature. As we have discussed, Affinity Photos raw converter is not getting the most out of the Nikon raws....something I need to address when I have a moment. So HOW you handle the raw image is a significant factor to quality results.

My fieldcraft also has a lot to be desired. A Great Spotted Woodpecker landed in our old apple tree and I started off photographing from the house but every time it went behind a bough I crept closer....finally resorting to stealth mode....



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Jan captured the moment my crawling dragged the trousers off...but I’ve spared the world that horror. 😂 

I am currently waiting to be airlifted to a vertical position.
Once that has been achieved and I have removed the imbedded bread, corn, mealworms, peanuts, squashed fruit, hedgehog droppings and bird poo from my clothes, I will attempt to process and post what I got..

Last edited on Sun Jun 21st, 2020 15:03 by Eric

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Graham Whistler wrote:
Not bad at all through a window. Sorry had go in PS and pulled out a lot more detail. Are you using 9 point focus now , this is spot on?

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Yes ...the 9 point is better than single spot and group modes that I WAS using.
Youve convinced me I need to dump Affinity if I want the best out of the images....just have to get Photoshop onto my laptop. Or maybe a new laptop? 🤔

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Super shots Eric.

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Graham Whistler wrote:
Super shots Eric. Thanks. I love the lychen dust being scratched off by his claws as he scrambled up the tree in the 2nd image.

 Ridiculously slow shutter speed given the lighting under the tree shade....the sun only appeared as it flew away! 😡 

I had the iso at 2000 (should have gone higher) and using f11 meant I was hand holding 700mm at 1/200th. A testament to the lightweight nature of this combination. 

His head was moving around like ...err...a woodpecker, so I was lucky to get some stationery shots. I ditched over 100 blurred ones. 😔 

Mike tells me this is an juvenile male, as the red on the head extends completely forward. When they are full adults, bizarrely only the nape retains the red. I would have expected a breeding adult to have the greater decoration? Nature is complicated.

Last edited on Mon Jun 22nd, 2020 07:45 by Eric

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A super set of pictures well taken you were lucky it stayed so long. I have tested the 500 PF  hand held and still sharp at 1/60 sec the VR works very well. But as you say faster speeds needed for noving bird. Sorry for off topic but this shows how good VR is taken in a French chateau in 2004 Nikon D70 18-70mm lens at 18mm with VR hand held 1/2sec f5.6 it is very sharp even on a 16x20 inch print. I also often say we forget just how good these early DSLRs from Nikon were.

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Last edited on Mon Jun 22nd, 2020 10:24 by Graham Whistler

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One from today. The debate is still on, I think its a juvenile Willow Tit but I've asked a friend with about ten times my knowledge on birds to see what he says.


DSC_0883 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

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I meant to say Willow Warbler which it has been confirmed as.

I must read what I write before posting.
I must read what I write before posting.
I must read what I write before posting.

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Ian nice shot I agree 90% it is a Willow Warbler, colour looks right,thin pale strip over eye, pale yellow/brown legs, short thin bill here in Summer. See what Eric thinks.

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Another vote for Willow Warbler. Head is flatter than the Chiffchaff.

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A recent visitor, taken through glass. The white lines are rain drops.

Attachment: _DSC3746_M.jpg (Downloaded 226 times)

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They say raising a family can take it out of you....



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The culprit......



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Very nice shots Eric spot on.  Our robins have also produced a 2nd lot two new young in the garden last night.

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Blue Tit in the rain.


DSC_1078 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

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A pair of Stock Doves made a surprise visit today. I’ve seen a single one before flying with the the wood pigeons, but he seemed to want to bring his partner for a feed. Very shy birds couldn’t get them too close and lighting was really naff.



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The amusing part was as this bird walked past out plastic fox, it actually jumped sideways before realising it wasn’t real. I was quite pleased my paintwork was so realistic. 😆 


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Last edited on Wed Jul 1st, 2020 23:32 by Eric

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I see the fox is eyeing one up for dinner. Good to see them in your garden.

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Nice Dunnock Graham.

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This upload went mad again I loaded it last night from my laptop saw it on the website this morning far too dark could not edit it so tried to reloaded correct lighter pix and both came up! We should be able to correct a posting error ourselves?

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Graham Whistler wrote:
This upload went mad again I loaded it last night from my laptop saw it on the website this morning far too dark could not edit it so tried to reloaded correct lighter pix and both came up! We should be able to correct a posting error ourselves? Not sure about that Graham, the upload procedure has become rather convoluted since it uploads to the gallery then references the image in the forum, even preventing the image from being deleted from the forum if it's deleted from the gallery (all for good reasons).  I think for the rare occasions it happens just make a new post and perhaps a PM to Chris, JK or myself asking to delete the particular 'wrong image version' post might be the best solution?

Chris, JK, do you agree?

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While we are questioning images presentation in posts....why do some images have a ‘viewed x times’ under the image and others don’t? Apart from the obvious. 😆  

For example ....Graham’s first dunnock has no views...but merely posting it second time it has 22? Not that it matters [how many views an image has] as there are no comments made ...not sure why we need that link under the image?

Last edited on Thu Jul 9th, 2020 06:53 by Eric

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Easiest way forward is to make a new post as Robert suggests and the PM one of the admins to delete the old post.  

If you want a post deleted then please reference the old post with the post number (top right corner of every post).

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If you want to edit an image then just upload it again to your gallery - no need to do anything else - this will replace the original image wherever it appears on the forum.

If using the blue cross then upload but do not paste it to the post.

If you want to keep the original image as well as the new image then rename the new image and paste as normal.

Images with the "viewed x times" subscript have been ATTACHED as a file, not uploaded to the site.

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A Blue Tit before a corvid 19 hair cut.


D44_4808 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

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That corvid has shrunk to the size of a tit - maybe too much rain ??

.... or did you mean covid .... :lol:

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chrisbet wrote:
That corvid has shrunk to the size of a tit - maybe too much rain ??

.... or did you mean covid .... :lol:
Random letters is another side effect of this virus.  A good friend of ours persists in talking about all these people that have been furlonged. I said it will soon be over as they are in the final furlong from home....it went over her head. Bless.

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Eric wrote:
I said it will soon be over as they are in the final furlong from home....it went over her head. Bless. Lol - as long as it doesn't fall at the last fence .... :lol:

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Thanks JK sorry to mess you about here is the correctly exposed Dunnock in future I will not upload direct from my laptop as not as good as my Lacie monitor on the PC.

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Looks good to me Graham.
Very good image.  Seems that D850 and 500mm are a great birding combo.

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chrisbet wrote:
That corvid has shrunk to the size of a tit - maybe too much rain ??

.... or did you mean covid .... :lol:
:lol::lol: my dislecsick fingers:thumbs:

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At the other end of the scale...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-53383387

A bearded vulture seen in Derbyshire.  It's not that far from here, question is will I need a wide angle lens? :lol:

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Thanks for that Robert most interesting the Bearded Vulture is also called Lammergeyer, I have never seen one. Very rare in Southern Europe mostly in the mountains of N Spain. South Africa: Cape Town, Drakensberg, Lesotho,  also the Himalayas and China. We did not have them in Rhodesia. It could have come up in rough weather from Spain or maybe escaped from a zoo.

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One from today. Cropped a bit.

EE1C6B19-4EF7-4957-9D55-10FF73E15BA7 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

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Graham Whistler wrote:
Thanks for that Robert most interesting the Bearded Vulture is also called Lammergeyer, I have never seen one. Very rare in Southern Europe mostly in the mountains of N Spain. South Africa: Cape Town, Drakensberg, Lesotho,  also the Himalayas and China. We did not have them in Rhodesia. It could have come up in rough weather from Spain or maybe escaped from a zoo. That's interesting Graham but you seem to have studiously avoided my dilemma about the wide angle lens... LOL

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I doubt if you would get that close its wingspan is nearly 9 feet so it is quite big and has a habit of dropping large bones from high up to crack them! So watch your head! Here are some white-backed vultures from my Kenya trip.

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Robert wrote:
That's interesting Graham but you seem to have studiously avoided my dilemma about the wide angle lens... LOL Well if you are going to use your wide angle lens then dont lie down close by else you will be with the angels!

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Thanks for the tips!

I think I will stick with stars and other heavenly bodies...

I understand we are currently enjoying a rare visit from Comet Neowise. 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-53383007

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Robert wrote:
Thanks for the tips!

I think I will stick with stars and other heavenly bodies...

I understand we are currently enjoying a rare visit from Comet Neowise. 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-53383007
I stopped going to Comet because I thought their spotty- faced technical staff were Neowise too. :lol:

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Spotted Thick-Knee Nikon D500 with 80-400mm lens in Kenya. Very similar to the UK Stone Curlew.

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Eric wrote:
I stopped going to Comet because I thought their spotty- faced technical staff were Neowise too. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Robert wrote:
:lol: :lol: :lol: That is the trouble when we have a PC World!:lol::lol:

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Young Reg our new young Robin just getting his new redbreast, still bit tally top end. He is very shy still not like his old father Reg who once landed on my shoe when I was digging the garden. Its taken two days to get this fleeting shot of him with Nikon D850 and 700mm lens.

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Just doing some noise reduction tests with the much improved RAW in Photoshop latest release 21.2.1 The NEF was imported into RAW and noise reduction slider 60% and sharpness 40% in two easy steps a small amount of highlight help and opened as a TIFF this is about a 50% blow up from the original D500 image. Nikon 500mm AF-S f4 Lens 1/3200 sec f4 ISO 3200. 

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This is the original as shot with no noise reduction.

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The ancient reptilian creature it’s standing on is an interesting addition. Looks well peeved ....it’s back ‘skin’ has been eroded by a pesky perching bird that keeps smashing fish to death on its back 😆 




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I personally think the bird is looking a bit ‘over smoothed’.

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:lol:   Enter the Dragon!

Nice image Graham.
Super sharp as always.

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I was sitting at the back of the car drinking a cup of coffee when this handsome little fellow landed not too far away. luckily the camera was at hand.


500_0511 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

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Iain wrote:
I was sitting at the back of the car drinking a cup of coffee when this handsome little fellow landed not too far away. luckily the camera was at hand.


500_0511 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr
And the camera was switched on. :lol:
He is in good nick for this time of the breeding season? Would he be an early juvenile or non breeding Male?

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Eric wrote:
And the camera was switched on. :lol:
He is in good nick for this time of the breeding season? Would he be an early juvenile or non breeding Male?
There is a heavy ringing presence in the area I was at so I would say a juv from this year as no rings.

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Well taken Ian, good looking bird.

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Graham Whistler wrote:
Well taken Ian, good looking bird. He is Graham. He was there again today even though it was raining.

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One I caught recently.


500_0764 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

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I like that Ian well taken.

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did a 40 mile round trip up the coast today to try and find something decent . no such luck holidays are now in full swing to many covid carriers for my liking , came back to town and popped down the estuary (rob knows where) for a quick look and fell upon this lovely posing wheatear ,seemed attracted by the shutter noise 

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Ian that is a winner I wish I had taken that!

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A Dunnock from today to try and get this tread going again.


D75_1836 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

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Iain wrote:
A Dunnock from today to try and get this tread going again.


D75_1836 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr
Is that a different camera/lens to normal, Iain? Very nice natural colour and dof smooth.

Edit: just noticed your file name. Is that a d7500?

Last edited on Mon Aug 10th, 2020 18:04 by Eric

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Well done Ian another good image and your's Jeff.

Last edited on Mon Aug 10th, 2020 22:40 by Graham Whistler

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Eric wrote:
Is that a different camera/lens to normal, Iain? Very nice natural colour and dof smooth.

Edit: just noticed your file name. Is that a d7500?
It’s the sigma 150-600 Eric but on my D750

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Iain wrote:
It’s the sigma 150-600 Eric but on my D750 Ah didn’t know you had a 750. How do you get on with it?  I had one for a while to replace the D3 and enjoyed using it but found the buffer a bit slow to clear. Maybe it was card speed back then?

Last edited on Wed Aug 12th, 2020 07:26 by Eric

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This chap or chapess visited the lawn this morning. 

D500 + 500mm + 1.4x tc




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Last edited on Wed Aug 12th, 2020 08:56 by Eric

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Very interesting is this a Grey-headed Woodpecker? Good sharp pix too.

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Juvenile Green I am sorry to say 😧

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Nice shot Eric. They are like gold dust up here.

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Iain wrote:
Nice shot Eric. They are like gold dust up here. It’s strange how some species have survived better in different areas. You have posted birds we rarely see down here.

Every year around early September (usually) we get a Yaffle drop in. Within 48 hours we get a great spotted drop in!
It’s got to the point where as soon as we hear the Yaffle call we keep watch for the GS.

We assumed it was a displacement after fledging or the start of a migration movement (although they a-patently don’t move far from their birthplace).

This year it’s been much earlier and the reverse. Last month we had the GS juvenile coming here and hanging about for 2 or 3 days ...now it’s the Yaffles turn. I suspect like everything else it’s been a perfect breeding Spring and they are dispersing earlier.

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A lot of birds were breading early this year, I think the hot spring my have helped.

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We only see GS in our garden fairly regular but plenty of Green just up the road in the downs. Not many birds at present as we give up feeding mid July start again in Oct. Wendy thinks the young should learn to find normal food in the summer.

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Graham Whistler wrote:
We only see GS in our garden fairly regular but plenty of Green just up the road in the downs. Not many birds at present as we give up feeding mid July start again in Oct. Wendy thinks the young should learn to find normal food in the summer. I actually don’t think it makes a lot of difference. We have left the feeders filled up and the birds don’t seem to be bothering with them apart from the odd tit, greenfinch, robin and goldfinch. I mean literally one of each! The birds have dispersed naturally. The few remaining sparrows and blackbirds aren’t bothered with bread any more. The lesser black backs have started to migrate and common gulls have returned to take the bread. The 5 squirrels are down to 3 and are leaving the feeders alone.....taking first the hazel nuts and now the walnuts. (They even took a pigeons egg yesterday and left it on the patio unbroken). The hedgehogs are leaving food we put out. So I am pretty convinced THEY know what they should be eating and going having fledged.

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The only bird on our rather wet front lawn this morning D850 with 500 PF Lens

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Unfortunately no photograph but a report which some may find interesting...

I was at a friends yard last evening about sunset when I noticed, against an approaching bank of thick black cloud, an enormous skien of Geese in several very large V formations flying South, about a couple of miles away, over the Kent estuary.

As they disappeared, another even larger skien followed and another and another, I didn't know so many Geese existed, they just kept coming. I watched for about 15 minutes as they flew by at a distance, their white bodies standing out against the black background of a heavy black raincloud which soon dumped a very heavy rain shower on us and we lost sight of the Geese.

Presumably they have started migrating South, but where from and where might they be going?  It seems early in the year for birds to be migrating and in such large numbers.  Is this a harbinger of bad weather to come...

Do they fly on in the dark?

jk



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What type of geese were they Robert?
Apparently there are between 60-190k Canadian geese in UK.

Dont think they fly in the dark but dont know.  I think they land and feed and rest overnight.

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Canada geese certainly fly at night, well the do around here. We get migrant Canada geese from the north in the winter, resident Canada geese that remain all year and we get returning migrants from the south in summer so it is reasonable to assume that migration is pretty near constant.

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Most Geese will fly at night. Like you I think its a bit early for migration but it could have been Canada or Greylag on the move.

Robert



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Thanks for the info, it was the vast numbers which struck my attention, we do get migration one way or the other but I have never seen so many and I assume they where many more than those I saw in the few minutes I happened to notice them.

They were too far away for me to ID them, although no doubt an expert would recognise their flight per species.

Eric



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I guess a bit late now but you can often identify which species they are by their calling...

https://www.british-birdsongs.uk/greylag-goose/

Compare call to Canada which is higher pitched.

jk



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I find these audio clips really useful when bird watching as especially in marshes and reed areas.  You hear the bird call but spotting them is more difficult unless you know what you are looking for.

Iain



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Not the best photo I've taken as it was hiding in the branches.

D75_1984 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

Eric



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Iain wrote:
Not the best photo I've taken as it was hiding in the branches.

D75_1984 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr
Very nice capture. You got the important parts perfectly. I never get to areas that have whitethroats that are easier to approach. They are always miles away. ☹️

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Thats a very nice photograph of a bird I have yet to see.

Iain



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Thanks both. This one came on to some blackberries next to where I was sitting in the car and I managed to get a few shots off through the gaps.

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A flock of rather a large lady birds, Nikon D3X in S Atrica

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Graham Whistler wrote:
A flock of rather a large lady birds, Nikon D3X in S Atrica

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Presumably all watching and waiting for the even larger gentlemen birds to arrive?:-)

Last edited on Sat Aug 29th, 2020 22:41 by Eric

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I just love juvenile Robins. This one in the environment that they spend most of there time looking for food.


500_1549 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

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Iain wrote:
I just love juvenile Robins. This one in the environment that they spend most of there time looking for food.


500_1549 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr
I agree, they are such perky characters.  Sorry ...I couldn’t resist removing his point.:thumbs:



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Yes the green horn wasn't a good look. :lol:

Eric



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Iain wrote:
Yes the green horn wasn't a good look. :lol: I’ve added the horned robin to my tick list:lol:

We had a cormorant nearly land in the garden during the recent gales. He was obviously short cutting from the river to the coast and nearly hit some overhead cables in the wind. Not sure which of us was most surprised. That would have been a new tick for the garden....if it had landed.:doh:

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Can't you have a sighted list as well as a landing list? After all birds do fly more than walk... perhaps?

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Eric wrote:
I’ve added the horned robin to my tick list:lol:

We had a cormorant nearly land in the garden during the recent gales. He was obviously short cutting from the river to the coast and nearly hit some overhead cables in the wind. Not sure which of us was most surprised. That would have been a new tick for the garden....if it had landed.:doh:
I am wondering if you have correctly identified it as a horned .
I think it maybe a unicorn robin. 
It was promised by Boris and friends that we would have cake and unicorns! :lol:

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a few from yesterday testing out my new olympus 100-400mm lens fitted with a 1.4tc  560mm x 2 = 1120mm in FF terms HANDHELD  shots 

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Last edited on Sun Sep 13th, 2020 08:13 by blackfox

jk



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Very fine shots Geoff.
All very sharp.

The last shot is very impressive as that requires the fastest AF performance by the camera and lens combo.

Iain



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A nice set of Kes shots.

blackfox



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jk wrote:
Very fine shots Geoff.
All very sharp.

The last shot is very impressive as that requires the fastest AF performance by the camera and lens combo.
the amazing part is the lens retails for just £1099 ,they literally cant make them fast enough at the moment

blackfox



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just to prove it wasn't a fluke shot

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heres another  these are with a 1.4 t.c on as well so FF equiv of 1120mm hand held

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Super images. You have a real talent for wildlife work keep them coming please. I can only dream nowadays.

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Super shots Jeff

Eric



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Yes Jeff makes it look easy...when it aint! ☹️ 

Waiting for Red Kite to fly closer today. 

This one was across the field and wouldn’t move..



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A peregrine shot past (about 500m UP) as I was waiting for the Kite to take off.....



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When it eventually flew, it still was too far away (heavy crop)...




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Maybe tomorrow they will come closer. 🤞🤞🤞

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There is always another day.

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couple of distant spoonbills in flight  with the new 100-400 mm lens ,love the sheer amount of detail this lens acquires . the hills in the distance are north Wales across the Dee Estuary and up where I live 

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Iain wrote:
There is always another day. Today the wind helped slow them down. :lol: 



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They are frustrating to photograph.  When they do land they choose fence posts at a distance. There are loads of posts ...why this one way across the other side of the field?




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Last edited on Wed Sep 16th, 2020 20:19 by Eric

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Very nice!

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In most cases Eric, the ones around me tend to have a post or branch that they like to go too. If it’s not the same one than it’s one somewhere close.

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Iain wrote:
In most cases Eric, the ones around me tend to have a post or branch that they like to go too. If it’s not the same one than it’s one somewhere close. Unfortunately there were so many here that I couldn’t identify which one was going to land where. We had 10 flying around the same tree in front of us. If you still have a caravan, Iain, you ought to put this campsite on your list .. https://www.rockinghamcl.co.uk

The problem I had was the wind direction this week. It was from the north. It meant the birds were flying from the south into the wind to hover over food, making them back lit. I need to come back again when wind is more from sw, so there’s less exp comp required.

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Unfortunately we don’t have a caravan any more, too much work was needed as the damp had got in and we didn’t bother to replace it.
It’s now B&Bs or cottage rental.

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Iain wrote:
Unfortunately we don’t have a caravan any more, too much work was needed as the damp had got in and we didn’t bother to replace it.
It’s now B&Bs or cottage rental.
That’s a shame. Ideal for away trips with optimum isolation, in these troubled times. We’ve said we won’t replace ours if it ‘fails’.

blackfox



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redshank heading for the last bit of dry land as the tide rises . olympus 100-400 + 1.4 tc 560mm   hand held 

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Eric wrote:
That’s a shame. Ideal for away trips with optimum isolation, in these troubled times. We’ve said we won’t replace ours if it ‘fails’. Your right, I do miss it for that.

Iain



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That looks good Jeff.

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Super shot Jeff

Eric



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While photographing Kites there was an interloper watching in the tree.....

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This is more (sliced) Chicken Hawk than Red Kite. 

Took the filling right out of my sandwich!!!



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Peacocks are noisy things. Strutting about ‘Crying’.

Had to whack this one on the back of the neck to get it to shut up and stand still.




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Don’t you point that thing at me!




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Last edited on Tue Sep 29th, 2020 09:41 by Eric

Eric



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One more...



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Looking good Eric.

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They look good Eric.

Eric



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Thanks. I learnt a lot those few days. Not the least was getting sun and wind direction correct. Unfortunately the wind wasn’t right and the birds were hovering in backlight.  I think I will go back next May when they are perhaps more interested in bait  (feeding young) ....if the wind is coming from the more normal South west.

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Redshanks Titchfield Haven D500

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Just found a couple more kites....



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A Kite from the other day. Its the same Kite in both pics.


500_2400 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr



500_2495 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

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Nice captures Iain.

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Thanks Eric.

Eric



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Iain wrote:
Thanks Eric. Were going to have to find another species to photograph :lol:

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The gold crests are starting to build up on my patch.

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flock of oystercatchers in flight  yesterday olympus omd1-mkii + olympus 100-400 hand held 

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kingfisher ,massive crop to love the new olympus 100-400 lens 

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You pulled it in nicely Jeff.

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Super shot and pin-sharp well done!

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He’s back! 

But now in full adult plumage.....



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Classic Woodpecker ‘jump’...




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Last edited on Fri Oct 16th, 2020 21:36 by Eric

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It’s suffering from Coloboma in its right eye (gap in the eye tissues)



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jk



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Great shots Eric. 
Are you using D500 or D850 with 500mm f4?

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Very nice shots Eric well done. No birds in our garden but Wendy starting feeding again this weekend.

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jk wrote:
Great shots Eric. 
Are you using D500 or D850 with 500mm f4?
D850 exclusively these days.

I understand your point that the D500 is better for BIF with its extended width focus points. But I’ve found that if I need to use the frame edge focusing points the bird is too small in the frame anyway.

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I like those Green Woodpecker shots Eric, they are few and far between up here.

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Iain wrote:
I like those Green Woodpecker shots Eric, they are few and far between up here. Thx Iain. They have made spasmodic visits to our garden over the years. Never been able to photograph them. This year there seems to have been young ones that fledged here and they (I am assuming it’s them) have visited 2 or 3 times this Summer. With the caravan in the back garden I was able to get a closer concealed position. This time I was in the house. I stalked it a bit but made one wrong move ...and it was gone. 😞

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The stalking but get a bit harder with age.:lol::lol:

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Iain wrote:
The stalking but get a bit harder with age.:lol::lol: The creeking bones and moaning tends to alert the birds when I am ....getting out of the car. 
:lol:

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I always wondered why the local jackdaws left when I got out the car!
It must be my rattling bones.
:lol:

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I can get out the car and get down on the ground, it’s the getting back up that’s the problem.😂🤣

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Iain wrote:
I can get out the car and get down on the ground, it’s the getting back up that’s the problem.😂🤣 I normally check the tyres while I am down there. :lol:

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So far I have found mine to be roundish and black

Last edited on Fri Oct 23rd, 2020 14:49 by GeoffR

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GeoffR wrote:
So far I have found mine to be roundish and black but unfortunately not a rarity. :lol:

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A few snaps from the weekend in one of our local coastal reserves. These reserves are great for birding and native orchids. 

Nikon D500 with 200-500mm lens

#1 Grey Butcherbird


#2 Rufous Whistler


#3 Eastern Rosella


#4 White-plumed Honeyeater


#5 Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike


#6 Shining Bronze-Cuckoo

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Thank's for posting Richard, lovely specimen images. 

Particularly like that you took the trouble to number and name them.  Despite that they are all so nice I can't single one out for special praise, except perhaps #3 which is very eye-catching, perhaps a tighter crop of the left and bottom?   

Do you have any orchid images?  Our range of orchids in the UK is somewhat limited and for most of the more special species they are very rare to find due to robbery.  If you do have any flora images please will you post them in a new thread... 😇

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Robert wrote:
Thank's for posting Richard, lovely specimen images. 

Particularly like that you took the trouble to number and name them.  Despite that they are all so nice I can't single one out for special praise, except perhaps #3 which is very eye-catching, perhaps a tighter crop of the left and bottom?   

Do you have any orchid images?  Our range of orchids in the UK is somewhat limited and for most of the more special species they are very rare to find due to robbery.  If you do have any flora images please will you post them in a new thread... 😇
Thank you for your kind comments Robert.

I would normally crop a few of these, or photograph them, in portrait. We’re currently getting images for our annual family calendar. This year it is birds, hence why most of these are in landscape to help my wife choose which images to go into the selection folder, then from there select the ones to be included. The Grey Butcherbird was never going to be a contender hence the portrait presentation.

With regards native orchids, yes I do have many images which I will start sharing a few in a new post.

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A lovely selection of well captured images Richard. Excellent.

You are blessed with some lovely coloured species in your country ...and strong light. 
Sadly we suffer from damp dark miserable lighting a lot of the time here in the UK. 😞 

I would agree with Robert’s crop comments on image 3 but also add that the light from behind the bird subdues the breast colours being in shadow... which might be a less than ideal choice.  
I also think the pose in image 5 is very ‘static’, showing just the back. The branch (don’t you love tree branches when photographing small birds in them ? ) coming out of its head detracts from the image.  

Just my 2 cents.

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Richard_M wrote:
With regards native orchids, yes I do have many images which I will start sharing a few in a new post.
My pleasure!

I look forward to seeing some of your orchid images.  Mine are largely limited to botanic garden visits, which is far from ideal with other visitors jostling for position and limitations on the use of tripods, practical, if not by regulations.

Last year I had the excitement of seeking out a rare, non-native orchid which I believe was a native of Canada, on the Isle of Skye, with a well known Norwegian botanist. We found it but I had been using her Z7 and didn't think to ask for the image files I made on her camera so I don't have any decent images, the iPhone snaps I took (mainly to get the GPS coordinates) were very poor as the red of the flower oversaturated the sensor.

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A nice set of images Richard, the bright colours are great. If only we had a few of those here.

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Eric wrote:
A lovely selection of well captured images Richard. Excellent.

You are blessed with some lovely coloured species in your country ...and strong light. 
Sadly we suffer from damp dark miserable lighting a lot of the time here in the UK. 😞 

I would agree with Robert’s crop comments on image 3 but also add that the light from behind the bird subdues the breast colours being in shadow... which might be a less than ideal choice.  
I also think the pose in image 5 is very ‘static’, showing just the back. The branch (don’t you love tree branches when photographing small birds in them ? ) coming out of its head detracts from the image.  


Just my 2 cents.
Thank you Eric.

We don't always have good light here in Melbourne, after all we're known to have 4 seasons in the one day. There is a saying, if you don't like the weather, just wait 15mins :-) 

With regards the Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, there was also a juvenile near by 



The images posted plus others which I haven't posted were all taken in under an hour. We've been under strict Covid lockdown for weeks where we were only allowed to travel 5km from home, and for 1hr per day. Luckily these restriction's are starting to be eased.

As for the Eastern Rosella I did get a few images of them on the day.



While many of our local reserves have a good selection of birds and native orchids, they also have a lot of snakes. Looking for orchids, at least you're looking down, when out birding you need to keep looking where you're walking.

Lowlands Copperhead





Where possible if its a dreary overcast day I try to photograph birds against a backdrop other than the sky. It doesn't always work out that way.

Here are a few images taken on dull overcast days

#1 Sacred Kingfisher


#2 White-naped Honeyeater


#3 Red-browed Finch


#4 Eastern Yellow Robin

Richard_M

 

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Robert wrote:
My pleasure!

I look forward to seeing some of your orchid images.  Mine are largely limited to botanic garden visits, which is far from ideal with other visitors jostling for position and limitations on the use of tripods, practical, if not by regulations.

Last year I had the excitement of seeking out a rare, non-native orchid which I believe was a native of Canada, on the Isle of Skye, with a well known Norwegian botanist. We found it but I had been using her Z7 and didn't think to ask for the image files I made on her camera so I don't have any decent images, the iPhone snaps I took (mainly to get the GPS coordinates) were very poor as the red of the flower oversaturated the sensor.
Always special when you find something which is rare or unique. A pity you didn't get a copy of the files.

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Iain wrote:
A nice set of images Richard, the bright colours are great. If only we had a few of those here. Thank you Iain

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Good shots Richard.

You have the D500 with 200-500, do you have the XT3 with 100-400 as well?  If so how do they compare as birding setups?  Of course this coming week we have a firmware update for the XT3 that promises faster AF.

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jk wrote:
Good shots Richard.

You have the D500 with 200-500, do you have the XT3 with 100-400 as well?  If so how do they compare as birding setups?  Of course this coming week we have a firmware update for the XT3 that promises faster AF.
Thank you Jonathon.

Yes I do have the XT3, but not the 100-400 lens. I do have the Panasonic 100-400 which I use from time to time with the Olympus E-M1 MKII.

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Richard super shots great to see some new pictures and so well taken.

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Graham Whistler wrote:
Richard super shots great to see some new pictures and so well taken.
Thank you Graham

Hopefully some of our great birding spots will reopen once Covid restrictions are lifted. I miss the birds of prey








jk



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Great shots Richard.
So sharp.

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jk wrote:
Great shots Richard.
So sharp.
Thank you Jonathon!

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Richard we are enjoying your pictures, thank you again for sharing them with us. I have been to Sydney only for a short time on my way to N Zealand 2006 so now with great regret that I did not see more of your amazing country and bird life.

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Richard this is one for you  I took this Kingfisher locally last year Nikon D500 with 500mm Nikon  lens 1/3200 sec at F4 3200 ISO

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Richard this is one for you  I took this Kingfisher locally last year Nikon D500 with 500mm Nikon  lens 1/3200 sec at F4 3200 ISO That is a great photo Graham. Focus and SS are spot on. Well done!

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It was a foggy and overcast morning when I went out birding on the weekend. 


#1 Sulphur-crested Cockatoo


#2 Eastern Spinebill


#3 Yellow-faced Honeyeater


#4 Silvereye


#5 Scarlet Honeyeater

jk



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Great set of images again Richard.
Those yellow faced Honeyeaters were fairly plentiful around the trees where I was staying south of Adelaide but they were very shy and keep themselves very well hidden.

The Scarlet Honeyeater is very spectacular.


Keep us entertained with tropical birds and send some sunshine, it has been typical grey, rainy and blustery here. 
FYI: No, I am not talking about Boris Johnson.

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Thank you Jonathon

As we've had a few consecutive days of zero covid cases, hopefully this weekend the restrictions will be lifted and we'll be able to travel again. It'll be great to visit a few of the good birding spots we have.

Yesterday was Melbourne Cup, so I ventured out early to a local reserve.

#1 Sacred Kingfisher


#2 Sacred Kingfisher


#3 Sacred Kingfisher


#4 White-naped Honeyeater


#5 White-naped Honeyeater


#6 Yellow-faced Honeyeater


#7 Grey Shrike-thrush


#8 White-eared Honeyeater


#9 White-plumed Honeyeater


#10 Common Starling

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More good pixs Richard, your Starling much the same as ours.

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jk



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I am no bird expert or even un-expert as I certainly dont know many of the names.

Are starlings in Australia the same species as Starlings in UK?  Probably named the same by settlers as they looked similar but I dont think that they are the same species due to geographic distance.  I guess they must have come from a similar lineage though.

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They are an introduced species in Australia

https://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Sturnus-vulgaris


Habitat:

Once a common bird of European deciduous woodlands (now in more rural and urban areas), the Common Starling was introduced into Australia in the late 1850s through to 1870. It has become well established and is expanding its range.

jk



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So what has happened to the removal of non-indigenous species program?  Does it not apply to these starlings?
The cane toads are being removed.

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jk wrote:
So what has happened to the removal of non-indigenous species program?  Does it not apply to these starlings?
The cane toads are being removed.
I have absolutely no idea. If the cane toads are being removed, hopefully they will do the same with the Queensland population :lol:

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Richard_M wrote:
I have absolutely no idea. If the cane toads are being removed, hopefully they will do the same with the Queensland population :lol: I trust you mean the toads not the people!  :lol:

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jk wrote:
I trust you mean the toads not the people!  :lol: Here in AU it is customary to hang s***t on any other state other than the one you reside in, particularly when it comes to sport. Queenslanders are colloquially referred to as Banana Benders :-)

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A quick wander around one of our local gardens yesterday


#1 Dusky Woodswallow


#2 Superb Fairy-wren


#3 Eastern Yellow Robin


#4 Red-browed Finch


#5 Spotted Pardalote


#6 New Holland Honeyeater


#7 Welcome Swallow, feeding time


#8 I don't think the chick is too impressed with the meal  :)

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There is no end to the great birdlife in your part of the world, keep em comming!

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Not a regular, at the bottom of our garden this morning! Nikon D850 500mm AF-S PF lens 1/800 sec f9 1000 ISO

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Robert



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Nice one Graham.

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Later today problem: "I got here first this is my flutter-butter!" D850 500mm PF lens. 1/1600 sec f5.6  ISO 3200 quite dull light.

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Last edited on Tue Nov 24th, 2020 22:18 by Graham Whistler

Eric



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Graham Whistler wrote:
Not a regular, at the bottom of our garden this morning! Nikon D850 500mm AF-S PF lens 1/800 sec f9 1000 ISO

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Wow!

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morning all , some snow bunting shots from this week on Rhyl beach ... olympus omd1-mk2 + olympus 100-400is  

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Super little bird thanks for sharing them with us. Hope you are keeping well and good to see the Olympus is still taking good pixs for you.

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thanks graham ,yep all well despite the travel restrictions being imposed on us

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Bit of fun on a very cold dull morning with a small flock of town pigeons flying round and round our house. Had a go with 10 frames sec D850 500mm PF lens 9 point focus 1/2000 sec with +2 extra exp against light sky. Picked out birds from 4 best shots to make a comp image on this rather bland landscape in Photoshop. Needed a bit more work on noise in the birds.  

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This lady did the same to the black birds feeding on the lawn. She swooped in at them, missing one lucky chap by inches. 

She then circled and landed in the Acacia tree of the neighbours garden...quite a long way off in low overcast light rain, so not ideal exposure conditions even for the D850/500mm+1.4tc (and a heavy crop!)



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She kept her eyes on me....



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Last edited on Thu Dec 3rd, 2020 19:58 by Eric

jk



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Good shots of the hawk Eric.
The 500mm certainly performs very well.

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A Nutty taken with the good old D3.

D3C_3866 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

jk



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Great shot of the Nuthatch.  
Beautiful exposure.

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jk wrote:
Great shot of the Nuthatch.  
Beautiful exposure.
The old D3 can still produce the goods.

Eric



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Iain wrote:
The old D3 can still produce the goods. My favourite camera!  It just delivers.

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A wander around one of our local gardens on the weekend.

#1 New Holland Honeyeater enjoying the Kangaroo Paw


#2 New Holland Honeyeater


#3 European Goldfinch


#4 Masked Lapwing


#5 Willie Wagtail


#6 Dusky Woodswallow


#7 Red-browed Finch


#8 Yellow-faced Honeyeater


#9 Spotted Pardalote


#10 Superb Fairy-wren


#11 Welcome Swallow

Eric



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I was sitting in the armchair looking out at the subzero icy garden and the myriad of blackbirds, starling, pigeons and doves feeding off the items we had scattered on the lawn. This dove was waiting for its turn....



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My attention turned to the blackbird at the base of the bird table. I believe I am right in saying it’s an immigrant from Netherlands (predominantly black beak and much more sooty looking than UK male blackbirds).....



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He was quite static and I wondered if he was either frozen or unwell. However he suddenly disappeared from the viewfinder and as I looked up from the camera, a return visitor landed on the top of the birdhouse.... the lady from a few days ago......

 





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She was also surprised that the blackbird had gone.....



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I might sit in the armchair again tomorrow and see what else comes by. 👍

.

Last edited on Mon Dec 7th, 2020 21:09 by Eric

jk



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Seems like you comfy chair is also a good hide.
I think that it is better than venturing out into Covid world that is cold and grey.

BTW: My near neighbours have chickens and they tell me that DEFRA have instituted a 'pen and cover your chickens' program because of worries about bird flu.

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Eric wrote:
I was sitting in the armchair looking out at the subzero icy garden and the myriad of blackbirds, starling, pigeons and doves feeding off the items we had scattered on the lawn. This dove was waiting for its turn....



Click here to comment on this image.






My attention turned to the blackbird at the base of the bird table. I believe I am right in saying it’s an immigrant from Netherlands (predominantly black beak and much more sooty looking than UK male blackbirds).....



Click here to comment on this image.


He was quite static and I wondered if he was either frozen or unwell. However he suddenly disappeared from the viewfinder and as I looked up from the camera, a return visitor landed on the top of the birdhouse.... the lady from a few days ago......

 





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She was also surprised that the blackbird had gone.....



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I might sit in the armchair again tomorrow and see what else comes by. 👍

.
Nice set of images Eric. Like the Collared  dove.
It might not last long with that Sparrowhawk about.

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Iain wrote:
Nice set of images Eric. Like the Collared  dove.
It might not last long with that Sparrowhawk about.
Yes...it almost looked like it was fixed on a baited hook .....ready meal 😆

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Sorry more starlings on the flutter butter. D500 18-140mm lens at 140mm Camera on tripod with TW-283 wifi remote warm indoors! 1/2000 sec f7.1 ISO 3200 AFC 9 point and 10 fps. I have also had another go with Nikon SnapBridgelinked to my iPhone SE but not good with Bluetooth through glass and 10 fps crashed it at once!

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Eric



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Graham Whistler wrote:
Sorry more starlings on the flutter butter. D500 18-140mm lens at 140mm Camera on tripod with TW-283 wifi remote warm indoors! 1/2000 sec f7.1 ISO 3200 AFC 9 point and 10 fps. I have also had another go with Nikon SnapBridgelinked to my iPhone SE but not good with Bluetooth through glass and 10 fps crashed it at once!

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Nicely framed action shot....from your armchair as well. 😆 

I still think the D850 is better for ISOs over 2000. Have you tried that DX lens on the D850? It might give you the best of both worlds?

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I have found that the D500 gets noisy at 1000iso to about 4000 but at 6400 mine is clean again. If I’m going to know I need between 1000 - 4000 I use the old D3.

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Iain wrote:
I have found that the D500 gets noisy at 1000iso to about 4000 but at 6400 mine is clean again. If I’m going to know I need between 1000 - 4000 I use the old D3. I agree that over 1600 ISO it becomes noisy but I never tried it higher up.
Another thing to test.
The D500 is not in the same class as the D850 wrt noise.

When you consider the 45MP of the D850 with the 21MP of the D500 then it really should do better.  I know that the FX tends to work better than DX due to photo site size.
Maybe we should be thinking of a D510 coming with the new EXPEED6 support chips as these help to reduce the image noise.

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I agree the D850 is very much better re high ISO noise but just used the D500 for this test and the noise can be sorted quite well in Photoshop. 
Just had a Christmas card from an old friend from the very early days of our forum: Carol Steele she is retired from professional photography, still in Devon but still using a D800 just had a good talk on the phone.

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Iain wrote:
I have found that the D500 gets noisy at 1000iso to about 4000 but at 6400 mine is clean again. If I’m going to know I need between 1000 - 4000 I use the old D3. That’s interesting Iain. I feel a test coming on, weather permitting, tomorrow.


I’ve long criticised Nikon for pushing ‘acceptable’ noise at much higher levels whilst the improvement at lower levels has lagged behind. 

My D3 was relatively noise free to around 3000iso outdoors and 2000iso indoors. I would have much preferred this noise free ceiling to be lifted to around 5000, rather than being able to have noisey images at 64,400! The D850 is little better than the D3 below 2000 and probably inferior at 3000!



Whilst I accept that software can reduce noise, they all work by softening the image to some degree. Though this can be managed reasonably well with a bit of precision, the fact remains if noise were not there in the first instance, the image wouldn’t need softening...... quite the reverse, it would respond to sharpening even better.

A camera that achieves noise free quality up to 5000 without any post processing intervention would get my vote.

Last edited on Wed Dec 9th, 2020 16:39 by Eric

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Eric wrote:
That’s interesting Iain. I feel a test coming on, weather permitting, tomorrow.


I’ve long criticised Nikon for pushing ‘acceptable’ noise at much higher levels whilst the improvement at lower levels has lagged behind. 

My D3 was relatively noise free to around 3000iso outdoors and 2000iso indoors. I would have much preferred this noise free ceiling to be lifted to around 5000, rather than being able to have noisey images at 64,400! The D850 is little better than the D3 below 2000 and probably inferior at 3000!



Whilst I accept that software can reduce noise, they all work by softening the image to some degree. Whilst that can be managed reasonably well with a bit of precision, the fact remains if noise were not there in the first instance, the image wouldn’t need softening...... quite the reverse, it would respond to sharpening even better.

A camera that achieves noise free quality up to 5000 without any post processing intervention would get my vote.
I used to use my D3 at ISO 3200 but my D3S works at ISO 6400.

My D850 seems to work very well, but I havent really pushed it past ISO 3200.


I agree a camera with smooth noiseless results to ISO 6400 would be a real winner but I am sure that the cut-off limits for others such as sports shooters might be ISO 12800.

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That’s true...but they wouldn’t be buying a D850. More likely a D6,7,8 for speed and extra durability.

jk



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Z9 is also the logical next step as it should be a mirrorless D7!

I am all cameraed out.  45MP Z7 and D850 make me a contented soul.  No more lenses or cameras required.

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An introduced bird into Australia, European Goldfinch

#1


#2


#3


#4


#5

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Super shots looks just like ours we have 1-5 in our garden most days.

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Graham Whistler wrote:
Super shots looks just like ours we have 1-5 in our garden most days. Thank you Graham

They are becoming more common each season. I was also surprised how common they are in New Zealand, the last time I visited.

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Here are a few snaps from one of our trips to NZ. 

#1 Tui


#2 Tui


#3 European Goldfinch


#4 Sacred Kingfisher

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Fine shots Richard.

Which camera did you use for the Goldfinch series?

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jk wrote:
Fine shots Richard.

Which camera did you use for the Goldfinch series?
Thank you Jonathan. D500



I called past a local reserve this morning before work

#1 Eastern Yellow Robin


#2 Grey Shrike-thrush


#3 Rainbow Lorikeet


#4 White-plumed Honeyeater


#5 White-eared Honeyeater


#6 Common Bronzewing


#7 Willie Wagtail


#8 Australian White Ibis


#9 Australian White Ibis


#10 Australian White Ibis


#11 Sacred Kingfisher

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a couple of shots of stonechats from a dull horrid rainy north Wales day yesterday . most at 6400iso with the olympus rig 

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Loving those stonechat photos @blackfox
Very good IQ considering ISO 6400 and 4/3 sensor.


4/3 sensor format is only 2/3 sized DX or 19.2 x 13 mm. (250mm square), I think this is the next APS-C (23.5 x 15.7mm) (370mm square) against FX (35.9x23.9)(858mm square)!!

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A lovely morning for a wander around one of the local gardens

#1 Silvereye


#2 Rufous Whistler


#3 Red-browed Finch


#4 Eastern Spinebill


#5 Little Wattlebird


#6 Superb Fairy-wren


#7 Dusky Woodswallow


#8 Welcome Swallow


#9 New Holland Honeyeater

jk



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Love that Fairy-wren.  Spectacular plumage.
Never saw one when I was in Oz.

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Those pixs from Aus are amazing! Sorry more Starlings on the Flutter Butter again today. Very dull so pushed the ISO to 4000 with Nikon 850 hardly any noise 1/1600 sec with Nikon 500 PF AF-S lens at f5.6 wide open. The camera on area focus and 10 frames per sec. Eric you are right about high ISO on the D850 I hardly ever use 4000 ISO but this is very low noise.

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The D500 is great in good light like Richard has in Oz. Here in the uk if it’s dull I reach for the D3. 

Unfortunately I can’t afford a D850. :praying:

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I am disappointed that the D500 being great to almost useless due to noise is a step that occurs at such low ISO.  It is little better than the D300 in this aspect but the AF is so good that it does justify the upgrade tag.
The D850 is the new D3S. I never upgraded to the D4 or D5 as I just thought the D3S was so good the D4 seemed like a high cost upgrade for little value and while the D5 has great AF once you get used to the D850 it is just as good for my use.

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jk wrote:
I am disappointed that the D500 being great to almost useless due to noise is a step that occurs at such low ISO.  It is little better than the D300 in this aspect but the AF is so good that it does justify the upgrade tag.
The D850 is the new D3S. I never upgraded to the D4 or D5 as I just thought the D3S was so good the D4 seemed like a high cost upgrade for little value and while the D5 has great AF once you get used to the D850 it is just as good for my use.
I'm sad that my dodgy ticker forced me into leaving nikon  I was getting some good stuff . I had just acquired a really good D3S if you remember which I had to send back as I  can no longer handle the weight . needs must I suppose and im still here taking pics within my own limitations .. happy xmas all

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jk wrote:
I am disappointed that the D500 being great to almost useless due to noise is a step that occurs at such low ISO.  It is little better than the D300 in this aspect but the AF is so good that it does justify the upgrade tag.
The D850 is the new D3S. I never upgraded to the D4 or D5 as I just thought the D3S was so good the D4 seemed like a high cost upgrade for little value and while the D5 has great AF once you get used to the D850 it is just as good for my use.
My relationship with the D500 is a bit love hate and seems to be more hate than love. I think that FF is better but it’s finding a compromise that I can afford. A D810 or D750 or D4 they have all been in my thoughts and all in my price range but as of yet I can’t make my mind up.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Last edited on Mon Dec 14th, 2020 20:31 by Iain

jk



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I think if you do birds, sports and news then the D500 is great if it had better high ISO noise handling.
The D850 is great but if you want a long lens for sports or birds then it gets expensive.  I would advise anyone wanting a landscape camera to go for either the Z7 or the D850.

I have no experience of the D750 as I already had the D600 and was and still am very happy with it but I prefer my Fuji (DX/APS-C) cameras as they are all 26MP and have superb lenses.
The old mantra of DX for sports and animals, FX for landscape and humans still holds.
The D500 in great light works brilliantly and it was great in Spain or Australia (look at Richard's bird images) where the light is so much brighter but here in UK it definitely a lesser camera.

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I already had the D600 and was and still am very happy with it What is it that you find good about it?

jk



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chrisbet wrote:
What is it that you find good about it? It is not so heavy and bulky as my D850 and its files are still pretty good.  I tend to use it less now I have the D800 and D850 but the 24MP files are neither so large that a big shoot takes up a large chunk of hard disk space no too low in resolution to look grainy.   The results are slightly better in good light than my D3S but in poor light the D3S is less noisy.  AF speed seems similar as well but the D3S is a little surer!  Since the D750 was larger and the same MP it is one of the reasons I didnt bother with it but went for the D800 then D850.  The quality out of the D850 and the speed of AF is excellent.  I think Nikon will struggle to improve it.

There are advantages with mirrorless over DSLR but the same is also true in reverse.  Horses for courses.

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My D500 never gets used now, unless I have a sudden impulse to test it reassure myself the D850 is a ‘better’ camera.

I’ve always been a one camera person, only hanging onto an alternative while I make up my mind which one I prefer to use. 

By ‘prefer’, that invariably relates to handling of the camera just as much as the images it takes. I hung onto my D3 for many years because it just felt right and delivered faultlessly at 12mp. I had the D300 at the same time and sold it, despite it being an exceptionally good camera....because the D3 all round worked best.

Let’s face it, most of today’s DSLRs are more than adequate for our needs .....because it’s getting the lighting, framing and your preparedness right,  that capture the image. 

If the lighting is poor, switching to a camera that has minor ISO advantage is never going to satisfy. It’s the light that’s wrong....change it or if outdoors choose another day.

Last edited on Wed Dec 16th, 2020 09:42 by Eric

Iain



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I have lost a bit of faith in the D500 and still prefer full frame. 
So still thinking.

Eric



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Iain wrote:
I have lost a bit of faith in the D500 and still prefer full frame. 
So still thinking.
I wouldn’t go for a D750 for birding.
Despite what I just said about most modern DSLRs being good for our purposes, the D750 buffer was lacking.
Even taking indoor room setting shots (with copious bracketing) I found myself having to wait for the buffer to clear.

It was however one of the earliest models and SD cards were slower back then. Maybe they upgraded the firmware, perhaps newer cards have helped it? Worth testing that specific feature before buying.

Felt lovely in the hand though.

That’s what endeared me to the D850...it has the same deep grip that feels more balanced in the hand than the D500 ...and many other bodies.

jk



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I agree with Eric.
The D750 is not a cheaper D850 but an earlier lesser model from 2014, that hasnt had the latest tech from 2016 as applied to the D500 and D850.

Many people really like the D750 and it is very good IQ but as Eric says the buffer is not enough for fast shooting or action.  It is great for home use and the odd portrait and landscape but for serious use and professional day to day use it is lacking.

GeoffR

 

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The D4, despite opinions to the contrary, is a good upgrade from the D3. The focusing seems more capable and an extra 4MP makes a difference when cropping. The down side is that the EN-EL18 battery is massively over priced, the focus point joystick cover for vertical (portrait format) shooting is very easily displaced and a Nikon replacement is expensive but a cheap cap is £8 and easily fitted. XQD cards are very expensive, but still cheaper than CFExpress cards.

I have two D4 bodies and I prefer the output to that of the D3. If you really can't afford a D850 the D4 is a good option and is very solid.

jk



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GeoffR wrote:
The D4, despite opinions to the contrary, is a good upgrade from the D3. The focusing seems more capable and an extra 4MP makes a difference when cropping. The down side is that the EN-EL18 battery is massively over priced, the focus point joystick cover for vertical (portrait format) shooting is very easily displaced and a Nikon replacement is expensive but a cheap cap is £8 and easily fitted. XQD cards are very expensive, but still cheaper than CFExpress cards.

I have two D4 bodies and I prefer the output to that of the D3. If you really can't afford a D850 the D4 is a good option and is very solid.
Geoff have you compared D4 with D5.

I think that Nikon have lost their way with respect to new models.
In the past certainly with the film models but also certainly up until the D3S it was a clear to see the advantages in the new model.
I really cant see this in the case of the later and latest models.


For example Iain with his D500 yes it is a better camera in my opinion and it is better than my D300 or D300S (my underwater cameras) but how much better than my D300S? 
The AF is better but the sensor having more MP is just as noisy.

The D850 is better than the D800 not only at a sensor level with 45MP v 36MP, and less noisy but also the AF is better and there are many new features.

My Z7 has now been superseded by the Z7ii, likewise the Z6 v Z6ii, but Nikon have not offered an update to the Z7/Z6 to allow the use of the new battery pack that is for the Z7ii/Z6ii.  This is a relatively simple update by the local country service department.  Similar things happened in the further past with the Nikon lenses being updated to Ai/Ais.

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Little Egret in Farlington Marsh reserve this afternoon. Very low light but D850 with 500 PF coped well.

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jk



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Very fine capture and lovely image.
Thanks for sharing Graham.

I really would like to test my Nikon 200-500mm against your 500mm.

blackfox



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a trip along the coast yesterday in a brief spell of winter sun combined with high spring tides got me some rather good purple sandpiper and turnstone shots olympus 1.mkii + olympus 100-400 lens hand held 

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blackfox



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and a message from a mate last night led to seeing this one of mine being used by the BBCon instagram .. what they didn't do was read the text as it was a play with photoshops sky replacement :applause::lol:

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jk



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Stunning light in those images @blackfox.

Iain



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:offtopic: I have bought a D4 which is producing good results even in the c**p weather we are having up here at the moment.

GeoffR

 

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jk wrote:
Geoff have you compared D4 with D5.

I think that Nikon have lost their way with respect to new models.
In the past certainly with the film models but also certainly up until the D3S it was a clear to see the advantages in the new model.
I really cant see this in the case of the later and latest models.


For example Iain with his D500 yes it is a better camera in my opinion and it is better than my D300 or D300S (my underwater cameras) but how much better than my D300S? 
The AF is better but the sensor having more MP is just as noisy.

The D850 is better than the D800 not only at a sensor level with 45MP v 36MP, and less noisy but also the AF is better and there are many new features.

My Z7 has now been superseded by the Z7ii, likewise the Z6 v Z6ii, but Nikon have not offered an update to the Z7/Z6 to allow the use of the new battery pack that is for the Z7ii/Z6ii.  This is a relatively simple update by the local country service department.  Similar things happened in the further past with the Nikon lenses being updated to Ai/Ais.
No I haven't had my hands on a D5 but I would suggest that the D5 is what the D4 should have been (20MP) and the D5 should have moved up further. I know speed of transfer and file size are considerations for the target user so much more than 24MP would be wasted.

Nikon missed out a D400, which would have been a DX version of the D4 and probably lost sales to the 5000 and 7000 series, people who would have bought the D500 had a D400 been in between the D300s and D500. The used market is important because being able to trade up matters.

The D800 doesn't do anything for me but the D850 looks good, if fairly expensive even used.

The Z series likewise don't appeal, largely because of the mess Nikon have made with the grips. A good design would have had the grip designed as if it were a part of the camera rather than just a box hung underneath. Had they got that right the FTZ adaptor wouldn't have had an unusable tripod socket.

The other thing that annoys me is that there was no need to change the battery between the D3 and D4, the EN-EL18c has exactly the same capacity as the EN-EL4a yet Nikon stated that Japanese law required a lower energy density. The latest iterations appear to have the same energy density so what was the point.

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Jeff super images, thanks for sharing them with us. Glad you picked up the RPS link about new software for your Olympus.

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I went to another reserve this morning. I haven't been to this reserve since before our COVID restrictions. Even though it is only 20mins drive from home, it was outside my 5km limit. Now we're getting back to some normality its great to get out and about.


#1 Australasian Darter (Male)


#2 Australasian Darter (Female)


#3 Great Cormorant


#4 Straw-necked Ibis


#5 Striated Pardalote


#6 Blue-billed Duck (Male)


#7 Golden-headed Cisticola doing the splits


#8 Little Pied Cormorant


#9 Galah


#10 I also managed to photograph a Fox while there :)

jk



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Great set of images Richard.

Love #7 Golden-headed Cisticola doing the splits.  So sharp and well timed.
I admire your patience and skill.

jk



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Great set of images Richard.

Love #7 Golden-headed Cisticola doing the splits.  So sharp and well timed.
I admire your patience and skill.

How close are you to where Richard_R lives?

Richard_M

 

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jk wrote:
Great set of images Richard.

Love #7 Golden-headed Cisticola doing the splits.  So sharp and well timed.
I admire your patience and skill.
Thank you Johnathan

No patience when it comes to me and photography. I generally only go for an hour sometimes a little longer when I go birding depending on the size of the reserve. Any longer than that I'm usually bored. I mainly visit local reserves for this reason, which also restricts the variety of birds to see and photograph.

Robert



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Richard_M wrote:
Thank you Johnathan

No patience when it comes to me and photography. I generally only go for an hour sometimes a little longer when I go birding depending on the size of the reserve. Any longer than that I'm usually bored. I mainly visit local reserves for this reason, which also restricts the variety of birds to see and photograph.
I can't wait to see the wider variety if you ever get the urge to go further from home!

Amazing images compared with our mostly somewhat dull and drab species in the UK.  Thanks for posting.

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Richard more super images when can I jump on a plane with my camera and come and see you!!!!?

Eric



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Richard_M wrote:
Thank you Johnathan

No patience when it comes to me and photography. I generally only go for an hour sometimes a little longer when I go birding depending on the size of the reserve. Any longer than that I'm usually bored. I mainly visit local reserves for this reason, which also restricts the variety of birds to see and photograph.
I agree with your approach.

In fact, from a pure bird ‘observation’ point of view, I’ve always said 20mins in a hide and you know what’s about. If nothing shows, move on. Of course if your aim is photographing the birds, you may have to stay longer, if only to get more / better opportunities.

jk



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Then you must go at the best times!

Did you use the D500 for the "Golden-headed Cisticola doing the splits", I cant see any EXIF details?

Iain



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One form the D4 a Chaffie.
DN4_8564-Edit by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

jk



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Looks good, Iain.
I can see why GeoffR likes the D4.

Robert



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Pennies well spent Iain!

Richard_M

 

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Robert wrote:
I can't wait to see the wider variety if you ever get the urge to go further from home!

Amazing images compared with our mostly somewhat dull and drab species in the UK.  Thanks for posting.
Thank you Robert

There are reportedly 828 bird species in Australia

Seeing many of the birds being posted on local social media groups, does bring home how many I have not seen

Richard_M

 

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Graham Whistler wrote:
Richard more super images when can I jump on a plane with my camera and come and see you!!!!?
Thank you Graham

If you're ever down our neck of the woods, I'm sure we'll be able to show you some of the local bird life.

Richard_M

 

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Eric wrote:
I agree with your approach.

In fact, from a pure bird ‘observation’ point of view, I’ve always said 20mins in a hide and you know what’s about. If nothing shows, move on. Of course if your aim is photographing the birds, you may have to stay longer, if only to get more / better opportunities.
I agree, it usually doesn't take too long to know if you're likely to see many birds or not. Knowing where popular spots are for birds does help as well. This is where social media has helped, but also has been detrimental. When a locally rare bird has been spotted in a reserve, it can cause a big influx of birders which ultimately causes distress for the birds. Particularly when they are Owls, and photographer's harass them while they sleep so they open their eyes.

Richard_M

 

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jk wrote:
Then you must go at the best times!

Did you use the D500 for the "Golden-headed Cisticola doing the splits", I cant see any EXIF details?
I usually try to be at a reserve about an hour after sunrise to ensure there is plenty of light and the sun is still low. It also allows me to observe birds of prey once the temp starts to rise to hopefully be in a good spot to see and hopefully photograph them.

Yes I did use the D500 with 200-500mm lens
Here is another image taken not long after the previous one.

Iain



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Robert wrote:
Pennies well spent Iain! There is something about the images that the big pro Nikon’s produce.

Eric



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Trying out the new Click & Collect service.



I wondered why there were no birds on the feeders this morning.....




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Eric



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Two frames...and she saw me through the patio doors...gone 😞 




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jk



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Looks like you have a new garden pet Eric.
:thumbs:

Iain



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Eric wrote:
Trying out the new Click & Collect service.



I wondered why there were no birds on the feeders this morning.....




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Looks like its thinking this Bl***y click and collect service is useless!

chrisbet



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Iain wrote:
Looks like its thinking this Bl***y click and collect service is useless! That's because he should have used the cluck & collect service instead .. :lol:

jk



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Eric's food bill just got more expensive.   Steak bits required!!!

Eric



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No photographic record, it was over before my coffee cup hit the carpet:whip:

Sat calmly sipping my 11am brew when I was startled by a mass of furred and feathered bodies bouncing across the patio. 

The sparrow hawk had swooped in to grab a blackbird at the same time as the local feline assassin had gone for the same blackbird. 
Those talons would have hurt the moggy but as is often the case with birds of prey, despite potentially more lethal weaponry they don’t risk flight incapacity in a fight and it flapped a hasty retreat. 
The blackbird sat stunned into motionless. So did the cat a mere foot away from his prey.

I unlocked the patio door (that sound is all that’s needed) and the cat was off. The bird sat motionless. I noticed it was blood red in the beak....not a good sign.

I decided to leave it and let nature take its course....but kept an eye out for the cats return.

15mins later the bird was still sat motionless there.

After 20mins I decided to go out and ‘do something’. But as I approached the window the blackbird turned its head to reveal it was holding a red holly berry in its mouth, not blood. One click of the door lock and ...whoosh....it flew off down the garden. One lucky blackbird. Wonder if he had time to swallow that berry?

About 20 mins later a black and white figure slinked across the patio to the spot where the blackbird had sat. The bird had clearly left the scent of his panic...... if not a residue. 😂 

Happy New Year to everyone....and the blackbird.

Last edited on Wed Dec 30th, 2020 11:42 by Eric

jk



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Well another year nearly finished.  We are going to need a new Bird Photography thread for the new year.
I hope that 2021 is a more productive year than 2020.
A Happy and Vaccinated New Year to you all.

Iain



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Happy new year everyone, let’s hope we’re as lucky this year as Eric’s blackbird.


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