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jk



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Please post your new bird images in this new topic.
This helps the topics load quickly for all members and allows us to remember more clearly where certain images that we are trying to find may be located.

Richard_M

 

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I start by posting a few snaps

D500 with 200-500mm lens

#1 Common Tern


#2 Common Greenfinch


#3 Yellow-faced Honeyeater


#4 Red-browed Finch


#5 Striated Pardalote

Richard_M

 

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#6 Sacred Kingfisher


#7 Wedged-tailed Eagle


#8 Eastern Yellow Robin


#9 Red-rumped Parrot


#10 Tawny Frogmouth

Robert



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Thank you Richard, a lovely set.

Gets 2021 off to a great start.

Edited date... Sorry!

jk



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Great start to 2021 Richard.
Fine set of images.

GeoffR

 

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Robert wrote:
Thank you Richard, a lovely set.

Gets 2020 off to a great start.
Pardon? Let's not go through 2020 again.

Iain



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Robert wrote:
Thank you Richard, a lovely set.

Gets 2020 off to a great start.
Noooooooooo

Graham Whistler



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Happy NY to All!  Richard more super photo thank you. Modest studio portrait of a tame Tawny Owl with studio flash and a D850 Nikon>.

Graham Whistler



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Another pix from my studio session with my Tawny friend. Lighting is with pro electronic flash.

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blackfox



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couple from me last Sunday fieldfares at a local industrial park ,luckily no traffic to spook them taken from the mobile mondeo hide olympus omd1-mkii + olympus 100-400 

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Graham Whistler



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Jeff super pixs, well done!!! I have been busy with a trail cam at night and took (not very good quality) footage of a fox catching a large rat under our bird table at 2.00 am in the morning -3C IR B&W not very good quality but interesting I have reset it again tonight. Plenty of rats at the moment with the local river Meon in flood.

jk



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Well instead of WinterWatch we will have WhistlerWatch! :lol:

Sounds like you are having fun Graham.  

You can upload mp4 file to Vimeo or YouTube and link to here so we can watch.

Iain



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Instead of a Robin in the snow here's a Dunnock in the snow.


DN4_9623-Edit by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

Graham Whistler



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Nice one Ian. JK here is the trail cam footage from last two nights as requested.

https://www.facebook.com/graham.whistler/videos/10225730267072066

Iain



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At least the Fox is trying to keep the rat count down for you Graham.

jk



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You have quite a colony of rats there.  Need a second fox or a Jack Russell! :lol:

blackfox



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just signed a (model) release form for winter watch to use 2 of my images .. whether or not they appear is I presume down to schedules and overruns

jk



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Which ones so we can look out for them.

blackfox



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close up of a blackbird and a unspecified magpie Jonathon

Iain



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blackfox wrote:
close up of a blackbird and a unspecified magpie Jonathon Are they paying you for their use?

jk



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I would hope so but it is the BBC!

Richard_M

 

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It was grey and overcast this morning, before the cloud moved away and it became bright and sunny. Great weather to put the Fujikon to the test.

These were all taken using a Fuji X-T3 with Fringer NF-FX adapter and Nikkor 200-500mm lens

#1 White-eared Honeyeater


#2 Yellow-faced Honeyeater


#3 Laughing Kookaburra


#4 Galah


#5 Little Wattlebird


#6 Red Wattlebird

Richard_M

 

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#7 Eastern Rosella


#8 Red-browed Finch


#9 Willie Wagtail


#10 White-naped Honeyeater


#11 Spotted Pardalote


#12 Superb Fairy-wren

jk



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Looks like you have it cracked Richard.  Lovely images.
So a 200-500 on an APS-C  Fuji XT3 camera so x1.5 straight away to 300-750mm. 
Looks like you have got the AF working well.
I guess you are using one up from smallest AF box and on AFS AF setting?.
XT4 with IBIS will give further flexibility but no better quality.



Pssst, dont tell Eric, he will be sorry he got rid of his XT3 but I am sure he is happy with the D850.

Richard_M

 

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jk wrote:
Looks like you have it cracked Richard.  Lovely images.
So a 200-500 on an APS-C  Fuji XT3 camera so x1.5 straight away to 300-750mm. 
Looks like you have got the AF working well.
I guess you are using one up from smallest AF box and on AFS AF setting?.
XT4 with IBIS will give further flexibility but no better quality.



Pssst, dont tell Eric, he will be sorry he got rid of his XT3 but I am sure he is happy with the D850.

I was having a few issues with focusing. According to the Fringer manual, if you use a smaller focus point the focusing uses contrast detect. Some birds worked fine using the larger focus point, whereas others, the Superb Fairy-wren for instance would not focus. Luckily the bird stayed around long enough for me to change the focus point to the small one and it focused straightaway.

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jk wrote:
Looks like you have it cracked Richard.  Lovely images.
So a 200-500 on an APS-C  Fuji XT3 camera so x1.5 straight away to 300-750mm. 
Looks like you have got the AF working well.
I guess you are using one up from smallest AF box and on AFS AF setting?.
XT4 with IBIS will give further flexibility but no better quality.



Pssst, dont tell Eric, he will be sorry he got rid of his XT3 but I am sure he is happy with the D850.
Not really. Although the IQ was very good there were aspects of the XT3 functionality I found less appealing.The D850 is superb camera but in all honesty more features than I am ever likely to use and heavy/bulky/expensive as a walk around camera...which tends to be my main requirement these days. Richard and Jeff’s image are spectacular to see, but I fear my commitment to bird photography will never be sufficient for the application required.

jk



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Eric wrote:
Not really. Although the IQ was very good there were aspects of the XT3 functionality I found less appealing.The D850 is superb camera but in all honesty more features than I am ever likely to use and heavy/bulky/expensive as a walk around camera...which tends to be my main requirement these days. Richard and Jeff’s image are spectacular to see, but I fear my commitment to bird photography will never be sufficient for the application required. I agree with you but I do find the XT3 a nice light camera to walk around with.  The battery can be a limitation but that is easily solved by a second battery.  The D850/Z7 really are superb cameras and I really dont push their capabilities these days.

Iain



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I’m afraid I gone back to using my D3 and 4 for wildlife as I can’t get away from the iq they produce. Yes there heavy but sometimes you have to have some give and take.

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Iain wrote:
I’m afraid I gone back to using my D3 and 4 for wildlife as I can’t get away from the iq they produce. Yes there heavy but sometimes you have to have some give and take. I never used anything else!


Except during the time before I had a D3.

blackfox



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hi all winter watch used 3 of my images in the current series so quiet pleased , must be doing something right I suppose .. and no they dont pay to use them unfortunately ..photos below 

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Eric



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blackfox wrote:
hi all winter watch used 3 of my images in the current series so quiet pleased , must be doing something right I suppose .. and no they dont pay to use them unfortunately ..photos below 

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Well done Jeff. I did see the Turnstone image last night. Lovely image. 👍

jk



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Well done on the images.
I have really enjoyed the Winterwatch series.  I find the presenters have worked well across all the sites. Weather has been pretty atrocious for them especially in Wales.

Eric



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jk wrote:
Well done on the images.
I have really enjoyed the Winterwatch series.  I find the presenters have worked well across all the sites. Weather has been pretty atrocious for them especially in Wales.
Not just Wales.
The bottom of our garden has gone sub aqua.:needsahug:

Not sure the bulbs around the trees and the roses in the border will survive, especially with sub zero temperatures coming this week to freeze the sodden ground. 



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Last edited on Sat Feb 6th, 2021 18:31 by Eric

jk



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Oh dear, I feel for you.  All the garden work washed away!
Hope it isnt too cold this weekend and those bulbs survive.

Eric



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The heavy rains stopped, at last ..._but Storm Darcy turned up even more surprises this weekend...










A White Fronted Goose in the garden!





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Last edited on Tue Feb 9th, 2021 16:48 by Eric

jk



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Remake of   ..... The Snow Goose.

blackfox



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some good shots there Eric ,nice garden m8

blackfox



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been having a play with changing methods of P/P  while in lockdown ...i.e the boredom files .:doh:  they seem to be attracting a lot of likes on flickr so must be doing something right ... the good news is im getting the vaccine jab later today 

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Iain



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A couple from last week.


DN4_1217-Edit by Iain Clyne, on Flickr



DN4_1259 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

Eric



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blackfox wrote:
been having a play with changing methods of P/P  while in lockdown ...i.e the boredom files .:doh:  they seem to be attracting a lot of likes on flickr so must be doing something right ... the good news is im getting the vaccine jab later today 

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The birds are nicely caught, but I am not sure I like the intense blurring of the background 🤔. I know I have a bit of a fixation about noise, but losing so much background detail makes the birds too divorced from their surroundings and a bit artificial for my taste.

Last edited on Wed Feb 10th, 2021 13:50 by Eric

Eric



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Here’s a buzzard I forgot to post from the Kite photography expedition.



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Last edited on Wed Feb 10th, 2021 14:24 by Eric

chrisbet



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Eric wrote:
Here’s a buzzard I forgot to post from the Kite photography expedition.



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The background is a bit blurred :lol:

Eric



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chrisbet wrote:
The background is a bit blurred :lol: Yes but it’s natural bokeh without added computer blur.

Robert



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Eric wrote:
Here’s a buzzard I forgot to post from the Kite photography expedition.



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I like the sharp twigs and berries next to the subject, ...is there any chance you could flip it in Ps so we could see the front of the Buzzard?

Eric



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Unusual sight in the trees at the bottom of our garden....8 Magpies. 



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Apparently the saying is  “8 for a wish”. 

I wished they would come closer....but it didn’t work.

jk



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Need a longer lens?  Wishing for a 600mm?

Iain



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Eric wrote:
Here’s a buzzard I forgot to post from the Kite photography expedition.



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Nice shot Eric.

Eric



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jk wrote:
Need a longer lens? No.

That was right at the wide end of the zoom to get all 8 in the frame. If I used the extreme end I would have a shot of 2 or 3....and you wouldn’t have believed there were 8....so maybe an unrealistic wasted wish.
o.O

Last edited on Fri Feb 12th, 2021 20:32 by Eric

Eric



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Robert wrote:
I like the sharp twigs and berries next to the subject, ...is there any chance you could flip it in Ps so we could see the front of the Buzzard? I did look but it’s all white on the other side. ;-)

Theres a couple of buzzard regularly sitting on field posts near the supermarket we visit. Will see if I can get them to turn and face me on Sunday. :thumbs:

Robert



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Eric wrote:
I did look but it’s all white on the other side. ;-)

Theres a couple of buzzard regularly sitting on field posts near the supermarket we visit. Will see if I can get them to turn and face me on Sunday. :thumbs:
Thats all white then! :lol:

You must have a very rural supermarket, or very urban buzzards?  Looking forward to a frontal portrait.

Living in the country I rarely see buzzards, Perhaps I'm not looking in the right places.  I saw a small but rather nice murmuration last week (not of buzzards! LOL).

While at my friend Bob's near Cartmel last week I spotted an unusual bush growing in the thicket of a small, dense woodland which looked completely out of place, Bob called it a pheasant berry bush, he didn't know the botanic name but it's actually Leycesteria formosa, the Himalayan honeysuckle, just growing wild in Cumbria. It attracts birds and deer for the berries.  I intend to photograph it when it flowers.

jk



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Good to see that you are back posting Robert.
Hope that you are feeling stronger and more recovered.

Eric



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Robert wrote:
Thats all white then! :lol:

You must have a very rural supermarket, or very urban buzzards?  Looking forward to a frontal portrait.

Living in the country I rarely see buzzards, Perhaps I'm not looking in the right places.  I saw a small but rather nice murmuration last week (not of buzzards! LOL).

While at my friend Bob's near Cartmel last week I spotted an unusual bush growing in the thicket of a small, dense woodland which looked completely out of place, Bob called it a pheasant berry bush, he didn't know the botanic name but it's actually Leycesteria formosa, the Himalayan honeysuckle, just growing wild in Cumbria. It attracts birds and deer for the berries.  I intend to photograph it when it flowers.
Buzzards often perch on fence posts alongside main roads. Because they are brown you tend to miss them, thinking they were extra long posts. 😆 

Travelling down the motorways in France they are everywhere. We refer to them as “awks on steeks”. (French accent required)
Driving to Alsace in 2018 we counted 83 such ‘awks’ plus 7 eagles...it was in fairness a drive of several hours and of course towing a caravan the speed is sloooower.

Eric



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Didnt get the Buzzards yesterday. 


Did get a rook landing on the tree near the house and a song thrush came down to grab some of the food that had been scattered on the snow...before it melted.





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blackfox



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having changed my style of p/p slightly with some excellent response on flickr etc I have been re-visiting old files .. heres 2

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 recently done ones from when I had the d7200

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Very good!

jk



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Great pair of images Jeff.


It is very nice seeing the final images but I cant assess what they started from!
That is the other skilled part of the equation.

From a professional perspective .........
First you need to capture the image
Then you need to process the image.
Then ultimately you need to sell the image.

Eric



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I have always admired Jeff’s skill as a wildlife photographer, his use of light, field craft and mastery of whatever equipment he uses. (Puts my half hearted efforts to shame) 

But I have to say that whilst differential focus between subject and background always lifts the subject from its surroundings , I am not a fan of totally blurred surroundings in wildlife photos. 

For me, part of the pleasure is seeing the habitat. Having completely blurred surroundings may make the subject stand out more but it takes a well executed natural looking shot and moves it too close to an illustration....what a friend refers to as a ‘bird stamp’.

I know all our taste differ, but I prefer more interaction between the subject and it’s habitat.:hardhat:

Great captures though:bowing:

jk



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I dont mind the ultra defocussed background but it doesnt work for every subject.  I use the technique in some portraits but it is a bit like the Orton effect in landscapes.  If you do it in/on every image it becomes a very artificial image as you say.  I like to see the background in cthe context.

The owl image looks very much like an Eric Hoskings image but I dont know if he did that on his images or whether they are just naturally like that.
The swallow shot is great timing and very sharp but as you say it would be nice to see a bit more background or surrounding detail.  He is on a skim over the wall, but where did he come from?

I just wish I had the patience and fieldcraft that Jeff has to capture these images.

jk



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I guess it begs the question.  Which is better?



or



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Eric



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For me the problem with just blurring the background is twofold ....

A constant degree of blur assumes everything in the background is the same distance behind the subject....like a studio portrait background. 
That’s fine if that’s what you are trying to achieve....a portrait of a critter. I just don’t find flying birds... ‘studio subjects’.
In a natural setting, a portrait benefits from sharing some of the surroundings in the composition, ideally then with a more natural progressive zone of sharpness/defocus behind. I like to see some habitat with the creature. No it’s not an excuse for not getting close enough. 😂  



The other issue is, just blurring the background without reframing unbalances the image. There is too much blurred background which distracts from the subject. In your hummingbird moth image there is far too much out of focus to the left. (I realise it’s been done just to make a point). It needs tighter cropping ...which then turns it back into a tight studio portrait. 




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That still works ok in this case because you have the plant as part of the composition. With flying birds there is unlikely to have anything to balance the composition.

Hope that makes sense?


Incidentally, somewhere on my desktop I have a PS Action that sequentially layers focus progressively back in stages giving increasing levels of defocus away from a subject to give quite a natural depth of field effect. I created it after messing up a shoot with the wrong aperture. 😂

Last edited on Sat Feb 20th, 2021 19:59 by Eric

Iain



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I prefer the first image Eric with the background not blurry. I have tried to get away from the bird etc dominating the image and where the background is acceptable leave it visible as habitat.

jk



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I thought I would do that one of the Hummingbird moth as I was never sure if I liked the background in the original, but maybe the problem was the crop I made!
I prefer your crop.


Re: " Incidentally, somewhere on my desktop I have a PS Action that sequentially layers focus progressively back in stages giving increasing levels of defocus away from a subject to give quite a natural depth of field effect. I created it after messing up a shoot with the wrong aperture. 😂"

If you can find it I would be interested to test out as I did this by hand with a duplicate layer with a large amount of gaussian blur and a mask.  
I should have made it as a smart object so I could change the blur.  I always remember half way through the exercise.


There are always many different ways to do stuff in Photoshop it really is a total learning experience.

Eric



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jk wrote:
I thought I would do that one of the Hummingbird moth as I was never sure if I liked the background in the original, but maybe the problem was the crop I made!
I prefer your crop.


Re: " Incidentally, somewhere on my desktop I have a PS Action that sequentially layers focus progressively back in stages giving increasing levels of defocus away from a subject to give quite a natural depth of field effect. I created it after messing up a shoot with the wrong aperture. 😂"

If you can find it I would be interested to test out as I did this by hand with a duplicate layer with a large amount of gaussian blur and a mask.  
I should have made it as a smart object so I could change the blur.  I always remember half way through the exercise.


There are always many different ways to do stuff in Photoshop it really is a total learning experience.
My desktop is out of action at the moment (lack of use) but will see if I can find it elsewhere on a drive.

From 15year memory.......
The process started with tight masking ALL the areas behind the subject.
Apply a minimal blur as the ‘base coat’ start this action..

Contract the mask by 2 pixels > Apply a feather of 1 pixel > Apply 5% more blur
Contract the mask by 4 pixels > Apply a feather of 2 pixel > Apply 5% more blur
Contract the mask by 10 pixels > Apply a feather of 5 pixel > Apply 10% more blur
Contract the mask by 20 pixels > Apply a feather of 10 pixel > Apply 10% more blur
Contract the mask by 50 pixels > Apply a feather of 20 pixel > Apply 15% more blur
Contract the mask by 100 pixels > Apply a feather of 50pixel > Apply 20% more blur

The actual numbers may be wrong but the principal is the same.....ie don’t apply feather to the mask in the first instance, then soften the edge effect by ‘one step forward - half back’ approach, increasing the intensity as you go further back.

There are a couple of pitfalls to watch out for. 
The mask moves away from the frame edges incrementally so you are left with an edge and top that needs a small crop.
If the mask is not horizontal behind the subject lower areas may get more blurring than their distance demands. So using the rectangle mask to subtract these irregularities halfway through the action (or step back afterwards and restart)  irons out this issue.

Of course Adobe may have added this filter to more recent versions ....but I am still old school diy. 😂

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Iain wrote:
I prefer the first image Eric with the background not blurry. I have tried to get away from the bird etc dominating the image and where the background is acceptable leave it visible as habitat. I totally agree Iain it seems more natural...more like the eye sees it. I think just using fstop to control background detail should be sufficient.

Obviously with location photography, there can often be background detail that distracts that can’t be moved. I favour cloning that item out rather than blurring the whole area.

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Eric wrote:
My desktop is out of action at the moment (lack of use) but will see if I can find it elsewhere on a drive.

From 15year memory.......
The process started with tight masking ALL the areas behind the subject.
Apply a minimal blur as the ‘base coat’ start this action..

Contract the mask by 2 pixels > Apply a feather of 1 pixel > Apply 5% more blur
Contract the mask by 4 pixels > Apply a feather of 2 pixel > Apply 5% more blur
Contract the mask by 10 pixels > Apply a feather of 5 pixel > Apply 10% more blur
Contract the mask by 20 pixels > Apply a feather of 10 pixel > Apply 10% more blur
Contract the mask by 50 pixels > Apply a feather of 20 pixel > Apply 15% more blur
Contract the mask by 100 pixels > Apply a feather of 50pixel > Apply 20% more blur

The actual numbers may be wrong but the principal is the same.....ie don’t apply feather to the mask in the first instance, then soften the edge effect by ‘one step forward - half back’ approach, increasing the intensity as you go further back.

There are a couple of pitfalls to watch out for. 
The mask moves away from the frame edges incrementally so you are left with an edge and top that needs a small crop.
If the mask is not horizontal behind the subject lower areas may get more blurring than their distance demands. So using the rectangle mask to subtract these irregularities halfway through the action (or step back afterwards and restart)  irons out this issue.

Of course Adobe may have added this filter to more recent versions ....but I am still old school diy. 😂

NB Save the original mask before you start the action so you can reapply it if you need to redo it.

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Thanks Eric.

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WOW, some great photos have been posted recently.

I ended up purchasing a Nikkor 500mm f 5.6 pf lens. It turned up yesterday.

So far I'm pleased with the lens, although having a few issues with the image stabilisation. I have tried both Normal and Sport mode, but I'm still getting a few images with movement in them. It wasn't an issue with the 200-500mm. More practice I guess.

It was overcast this evening after work when I visited the small reserve at the end of our street. Also there were not too many birds around late in the day.

A few snaps from this evening using a D500 with 500mm f 5.6 pf lens


#1 Laughing Kookaburra


#2 Laughing Kookaburra, I'm not sure if it was laughing at me, the camera, or the new lens :-)


#3 Grey Shrike-thrush


#4 Eastern Yellow Robin

Eric



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Nice shots Richard.
The 500pf is a lighter lens than the 200-500 and it may be impacting on your stability.... till you get used to it. 
One of the really useful features on the lens, is the memory focus lock buttons that store preset positions.....enabling you to quickly return to that exact focal spot at the press of the button.

I am not a great fan of its bokeh though. I find it a bit unsmooth, and rather artificial 

When coupled with the latest 1.4x teleconverter there is no loss in quality like earlier teleconverter models ...and 720mm reach (1080mm with the d500)

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Thank you Eric!

I don’t have the 1.4x teleconverter, it was on my to buy list a year or two back, but I never got around to it. I do have the 1.7x and the 2x. I might try one of them with one of the Z bodies.

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Some of the images I managed to get this morning at one of our local gardens.

D500 with 500mm f/5.6


#1 Striated Pardalote


#2 Spotted Pardalote


#3 Eastern Spinebill


#4 Red-browed Scrubwren


#5 Eastern Yellow Robin


#6 Little Wattlebird


#7 Grey Shrike-thrush


#8 Superb Fairy-wren


#9 White-browed Scrubwren


#10 New Holland Honeyeater


#11 Silvereye


#12 Welcome Swallow


#13 Brown Thornbill


#14 Southern Brown Bandicoot (Please delete if not appropriate)

Last edited on Sat Feb 27th, 2021 04:48 by Richard_M

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Never saw a Bandicoot when I was in Oz.  I probably did but dismissed it as a rat!   Not a lover of rats and mice.

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Willow Tit and Blue Tit


DN4_1534 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr


DN4_1479-Edit by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

Last edited on Tue Mar 9th, 2021 13:06 by Iain

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Eric's Jays



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Beautiful shot,  Eric.

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Nice shots Eric.

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The Redpolls have been showing well and this one is ready for the females.

D72_4830 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

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Iain wrote:
The Redpolls have been showing well and this one is ready for the females.

D72_4830 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr
What a lovely fellow! ( the Redpoll Iain 😂)

The recent gales brought a load of redpolls and siskins into this area.
We’ve even had them in the garden this last week or so ....for the first time in 30years! 

They actually used to nest in our garden back in the 80s along with spotted flycatchers and even linnets. 
Unfortunately the allotments on the other side of our fence were all built on and as you can imagine the small birds disappeared.

You have captured your male in a lovely woodland setting. Excellent.

Unfortunately they only came to us for the feeders this time. 😞


I love their black legs!



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Last edited on Wed Mar 24th, 2021 22:39 by Eric

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Scarlet Robin

#1


#2


#3

Eric



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Richard_M wrote:
Scarlet Robin

#1


#2


#3
What a spectacular bird...so different in colour to our own Robin but unmistakely a Robin. Very good.

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What a spectacular bird...so different in colour to our own Robin but unmistakely a Robin. Very good. Thank you @Eric

We do get a few different red Robin's locally, so far I have only seen and photographed two varieties

This link has some info on the various Robin's

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It was raining and overcast today. Nice light for many of the birds

#1 Eastern Yellow Robin


#2 Welcome Swallow


#3 New Holland Honeyeater


#4 Little Wattlebird


#5 White-browed Scrubwren


#6 Superb Fairy-wren

jk



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Great shot of the Little Wattlebird.
Actually they are all pretty darn good.  Better than my efforts!

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Great shot of the Little Wattlebird.
Actually they are all pretty darn good.  Better than my efforts!
Thank You!

I managed to get a Rose Robin today

#1 Rose Robin (Male)



#2 Rose Robin (Female)




#3 King-Parrot

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First shot with my new Sony Flagship A1 Mirrorless camera I have done a post in Cameras all about the new camera up loaded it twice and it is NOT there what is wrong?

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Did you select a make tag in the new topic post???

If not it will not have posted but taken you back to preview in the editor.

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No did not know that, had enough for one night will try again in the morning. As you see the picture uploaded several times!!!

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Sorry Graham - I have now put up a member announcement to warn people!

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Looks like it is fairly detailed but we need to see a sectional enlargement as the forum software doesnt allow full size images to be uploaded.

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jk wrote:
Looks like it is fairly detailed but we need to see a sectional enlargement as the forum software doesnt allow full size images to be uploaded. Yes it does - but the image in the thread is limited to its container size - to see the full size image, in this case 1568 x 1200 px, right click on the image then view image and click on the viewed image - that should take you to full size.

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A male Sparrowhawk in flight.

D72_5253 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

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Iain wrote:
A male Sparrowhawk in flight.

D72_5253 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr
Well caught Iain. I normally just see it’s bum disappearing into the distance....before I even get the camera out. 😢

Last edited on Fri Apr 2nd, 2021 16:54 by Eric

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Eric wrote:
Well caught Iain. I normally just see it’s bum disappearing into the distance....before I even get the camera out. 😢 Just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

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Iain wrote:
Just happened to be in the right place at the right time. That sounds like a Gary Player sort of statement, when told he had been ‘lucky’.  

He replied.... “ the harder I practise, the luckier I get”. ;-)

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A first for our garden, grabbing some of the out of date sliced meat😳



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Who would have thought it....a Cannibal!

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Pull!
:lol::devil:

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jk wrote:'
Pull!
:lol::devil:

Now you have scared him!



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Was considering feeding him some turkey and go for a 3 bird roast at the weekend. :lol:

Last edited on Thu Apr 8th, 2021 18:37 by Eric

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He / She’s back......



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And no depth of field either ...600mm at 3 metres. Didnt have time or the lighting to stop right down. He / She was gone in 10 seconds.

Here’s another flick of its head...



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According to my depth of field tables.....a Wrens beak is just 10mm long. 🤔

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AF certainly working well.
3m/10ft is a very short working distance for a 200-600mm.
Very impressive shot.

Are you sure you need that A1?
Sony have just updated the back screen on a lot of their top models e.g. a7r-iv-a,  there is going to be some old stock going cheap!
https://www.dpreview.com/news/8756997638/sony-quietly-updates-the-a7r-iii-a7r-iv-with-improved-lcd-displays

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Don’t ‘need’ another camera at all.
But given the chance, I would welcome evaluating one.

It does reinforce the fact that if you get close enough to the subject you have greater chance of success.
I just wish I had left the camera on f16 .....so when I grabbed it I could have got more of the wren’s head in focus. :banghead:

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I dont think that f16 would have helped unless you have AutoISO enabled as well.

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jk wrote:
I dont think that f16 would have helped unless you have AutoISO enabled as well. I do have auto iso enabled.
I run in Manual mode, setting shutter and fstop for the subject and my requirements...letting the iso drift.

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Male Kestrel in flight.



DN4_2549-Edit by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

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few from yesterday using olympus omd1.mkii + olympus 100-400 lens hand held 

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some from the other day back to one of my fave spots, now I can leave Wales once again

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some more from Saturday 

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A nice set of pic's Jeff.

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Cheers iaian

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A first for me today was this Wryneck, not easy to get a shot of.

DN4_3406 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

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Good set of pixs Jeff. Like that Ian never seen one, no easy to see!

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I found it with my bins then looked through the camera, even though I knew where it was it took some finding with the camera. It’s camo is amazing.

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Iain wrote:
I found it with my bins then looked through the camera, even though I knew where it was it took some finding with the camera. It’s camo is amazing. I saw one in Alsace hopping up between the grape vines some years ago. I had totally missed it and it didn’t seem bothered about me. Unfortunately I was shooting infra red wide angle and not equipped for bird photography back then.

We had a Hoopoe in the recreational garden across the road from us, yesterday (according to Norfolk Birdline).

I hung my iPad out of the window and played the distinctive Hoopoe call off my bird song app for ages to no avail. Of course one doesn’t know exactly what the recording was ‘saying’. It could have told it to b*gger off......it seems to have done that anyway. 😂

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The fact that it didn’t show that is probably what it was saying.🤣🤣

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Still trying to get to grips with the Sony, and a zoom lens! I keep forgetting the flexibility of the 200-600 available range. 

Ordinarily it sits at 600 and I can sometimes struggle to leave sufficient surround to frame the bird forgetting I can zoom out.

This time I did the opposite!

Trying to capture a young Dunnock flitting about the tree, I managed to get this shot which later required about a 25-50% crop. 

Then I realised I had the lens set at 300mm 🤬

It’s hard breaking the habits of a life time ….in this case prime lens v zoom flexibility.



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Couldn’t help feeling sorry for this scruffy Bluetit.

Going in and out of its nest hole to feed its brood has taken a toll on its appearance…




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Another Dunnock foraging in the bushes…..



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I don’t really know where all this bright light is coming from!  I had to get the iso down into 3 digits for a change.


Here’s another baby…..



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Not sure we should be including ‘caged bird’ photos, but anyway here’s my version. 😀





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That’s enough…back to weeding the garden. 😞

Last edited on Mon Jun 7th, 2021 09:50 by Eric

jk



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Eric, Are you on the A7iii or A1?

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jk wrote:
Eric, Are you on the A7iii or A1? I think it’s the A7iii that Eric has.

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Thief!! Good job the dogs weren't there to witness some of their breakfast going awol!



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update I had a warranty problem with my olympus 1-mkii in the grip coming off , sent back for repair which took nearly a month to get there and back .. in frustration at being camera-less I bought a mk3 body from h.dew ..both arrived on the same day .. ah so ..anyway its taken me a few weeks to adjust to the new body ,weather, birds breeding, family stuff etc .. and am just really starting to gel with it now .hence no posts of late . heres a from this week .please note the gannet in flight shot does not contain sensor dust bunnies its millions of flies on the cliffs at bempton 

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Excellent shots Jeff.  I must get up to Bempton again.  Haven’t been there for 30 years😳


I’ve been trying to locate a Tawny Owl thats been keeping down the rodents in our garden. We regularly hear them at night but of late the blackbirds have been pinking away down in our woodland corner during the daytime.

Not easy to find and even harder to get a clear line of sight. So not perfect photo…..but a nice ‘garden’ bird and first for us!





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Eric wrote:
Excellent shots Jeff.  I must get up to Bempton again.  Haven’t been there for 30 years😳


I’ve been trying to locate a Tawny Owl thats been keeping down the rodents in our garden. We regularly hear them at night but of late the blackbirds have been pinking away down in our woodland corner during the daytime.

Not easy to find and even harder to get a clear line of sight. So not perfect photo…..but a nice ‘garden’ bird and first for us!





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It’s changed a lot in the few years since my last visit Eric , we did a 4.30a.m cross country dash and got there early someone that arrived at 9.a.m got the last car parking spot .. horrendous amount of people there by mid day

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blackfox wrote:
It’s changed a lot in the few years since my last visit Eric , we did a 4.30a.m cross country dash and got there early someone that arrived at 9.a.m got the last car parking spot .. horrendous amount of people there by mid day It’s like that on the NNorfolk coast too.

Crocodiles of people wandering about at Titchwell and other vantage points.
Springwatch hasn’t helped, with thousands of numpties thinking they can turn up at Snettisham and see what the BBC crew are seeing live.

I fear this won’t calm down till people lose interest with holidaying in UK and resuming jetting off to far flung places….and get back to work.

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Think the owl has the right idea….close your eyes and chill.

It was really dark in this spot. This needed 12,800 iso even at 1/100th


.

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Eric, can you post which camera you are using when you post from your two cameras!  Profligate! 
:lol:

I am trying to work out if I can see a difference between the cameras.

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That’s a nice bird to have in your garden.

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Super pictures Jeff, thanks for posting them! I have been very busy sorting garden and sorry no new pix from me.

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One from today. This Kite is called Red Arrow and will be 16 years old this year.



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jk wrote:
Eric, can you post which camera you are using when you post from your two cameras!  Profligate! 
:lol:

I am trying to work out if I can see a difference between the cameras.
Can’t help you with a comparison as I am only using one camera. :devil:

Besides these posted images are no real comparison to the originals. I am letting the forum software create 1-2mb ‘large size’ uploads from the massively bigger originals. There’s no doubt it reduces quality using this route. 


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Eric that is spot on quality!

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That looks good to me Eric.

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I’m waiting to see some bird in flight pics from you Sony users to see how it handles it.

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Graham Whistler wrote:
Eric that is spot on quality! That was using the bird eye focusing feature.

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Iain wrote:
I’m waiting to see some bird in flight pics from you Sony users to see how it handles it. I am afraid there isn’t a lot of variety in flying birds over the garden it’s mainly gulls…..




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The Sony tracking system is very good and follows the bird all round the screen, holding lock. I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to try other birds but I am not sure I have the right mode on the stabilisation system for chasing a fast bird around the blue yonder because images of fast flying birds (I was chasing Swift’s around 2 days ago and nearly pulled my neck muscles ) havent come out too sharp.
Kites and Buzzards are starting to venture over the garden but I generally only get one chance as they don’t hang about.  
I need to get up the coast to tackle sea birds….but I am not going there while the world and his wife (and kids) are thrashing about in the reserves.  

I also think the 200-600 lens I have is too long and heavy for bif.
Graham has the 100-400 and it’s 2/3 of the size and weight. I may have to treat myself. 

Changing to mirrorless is not without its frustrations. I am however learning to adapt to its idiosyncrasies more and have configured several of the custom buttons around the body and lens to speed up the way I shoot, access menus and review captured images. For example the AE hold button under the right thumb of most cameras I never use …so I have assigned it to playback the last image in the viewfinder. ( I don’t use the rear screen anymore as it wastes power and the viewfinder is so good you get a better, clearer assessment than struggling with the rear screen in sun!

I don’t believe the performance on moving subjects is any worse than the d850 and d500….it’s probably much better, but getting the right settings to optimise quality and performance takes time and I don’t feel I have achieved that yet, merely testing in the garden.

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I would agree with all Eric has said there. I have had a very busy 4 weeks with major work being done in the house and garden with little time to rake photos. I did flying tests with the high 200-600mm and results were good, but lens is a bit large.  I also now have the very good Sony 100-400 and that should make life a bit better for and 80 yr old to handle for fast-flying action. Hope to report more later but this A1 is a super camera with a lot of new things to learn to get the best out of it.

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I think Eric's seagulls are nice and sharp but they are fairly large birds.  A dunnock, kingfisher or sandpiper are the best test targets that can prove how good the Sony is.

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jk wrote:
I think Eric's seagulls are nice and sharp butthey are fairly large birds.  A kingfisher or sandpiper are the best test targets that prove how good the Sony is. Unless you have a good vantage point, near a place where the bird returns predictably, you will struggle getting any good bif shots of a small bird, no matter what camera you are using. Small birds are, due to their need to avoid predators, unpredictable in flight behaviour. Even approaching garden feeders they take different routes that mean you are hard pressed to see them soon enough to lock onto them in the first instance. 

l start from the stance that Sony seem no worse than the D500 and better than the D850 at tracking bird movement. Focus is quicker with the Sony but it remains to be seen whether with practise and familiarity it has overall superiority.  

Like I said, I need to get to a location with a melee of flying birds, to progress. 

Right now that’s not possible as my car is spending its third week in the dealership garage while they do the ‘warranty sidestep’.  That’s when they change the oil, stroke the bearings and plead with the transfer box to get better, rather than coughing up and replacing the whole unit. 🤬

Last edited on Fri Jun 18th, 2021 18:38 by Eric

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Eric’s gulls look as good as my BIF shots.

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Iain wrote:
Eric’s gulls look as good as my BIF shots. Iain, in your experience, how small a bird have you managed to capture in flight? The smallest I have managed is a Jackdaw.

I am guessing a Kingfisher would be quite small, but you still need to know where it’s nesting or it’s fishing post, as they fly like bullets.

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Eric wrote:
Iain, in your experience, how small a bird have you managed to capture in flight? The smallest I have managed is a Jackdaw.

I am guessing a Kingfisher would be quite small, but you still need to know where it’s nesting or it’s fishing post, as they fly like bullets.
I’ve got pics of A few different tits and a chiffchaff in flight most of them by catching them coming off a branch.
I also have Kingfisher in flight, diving and coming out of the water.
Some of its timing and some luck.

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Iain wrote:
I’ve got pics of A few different tits and a chiffchaff in flight most of them by catching them coming off a branch.
I also have Kingfisher in flight, diving and coming out of the water.
Some of its timing and some luck.
This is exactly the test point that we need to use.
There is no point trying to test the AF at a point where we know it will work with other cameras.

We need to find a point/animal/bird where a Nikon will struggle and the Sony sails through.
I know there is a a lot of internet babble about the superior AF performance of the Sony over other cameras.  I am sure that it works better for portrait eye, and animal eye AF focus.
If there is a genuine difference then how much better is it.  The quantification or measurement of this difference is useful.

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jk wrote:
This is exactly the test point that we need to use.
There is no point trying to test the AF at a point where we know it will work with other cameras.

We need to find a point/animal/bird where a Nikon will struggle and the Sony sails through.
I know there is a a lot of internet babble about the superior AF performance of the Sony over other cameras.  I am sure that it works better for portrait eye, and animal eye AF focus.
If there is a genuine difference then how much better is it.  The quantification or measurement of this difference is useful.
Well it’s interesting of course, but if you are not in the market for a Sony it’s largely irrelevant. As you have said, this week Sony maybe top dog …next week it could be Canon, Nikon or someone else. Development is a moveable feast with everyone leapfrogging. 

I think it will be hard to compare Nikon and Sony functionality on a given subject when we haven’t got both cameras at our disposal.

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One of the lads that does wildlife is using a Canon R5 or 6 I can’t remember which one and he took a sequence of shots of a Great tit taking off and flying. He used the animal eye focus and everyone of the ten shots he took the eye and bird was sharp.
I’ve never seen anything like that and would have doubted it if I had not been there when he did it.

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So currently Sony and Canon can do this with one of the cameras in their range.

Are we at or near another D3 moment in time where Nikon introduces something even better but is late to the market?  Z9 or Z8.

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jk wrote:
So currently Sony and Canon can do this with one of the cameras in their range.

Are we at or near another D3 moment in time where Nikon introduces something even better but is late to the market?  Z9 or Z8.
Probably

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Well a Z9 has been rumoured but at a price. I think Mike paid about £2500 for his canon. Nikon should be able to update firmware to improve focus but it’s more likely they will bring out a new model to get people to part with money.

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Nice to see the young ones about again.

DSC_0402-Edit by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

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'
Confrontation at the water hole…..



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Eric wrote:
'
Confrontation at the water hole…..



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The order of the day at the moment.

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A Garden Warbler from today.


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Well caught Ian!

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A juvenile Greater Spotted Woodpecker having a nap till the shutter went.


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DS6_1594 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr

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Iain wrote:
A juvenile Greater Spotted Woodpecker having a nap till the shutter went.


DS6_1592 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr


DS6_1594 by Iain Clyne, on Flickr
Love it👍

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Great catch Iain.  
That takes some doing to get there with the woodpecker asleep.

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jk wrote:
Great catch Iain.  
That takes some doing to get there with the woodpecker asleep.
You wouldn’t get me getting there that early😴

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Garden carnage…..



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Eric wrote:
Garden carnage…..



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The gruesome side of wildlife but they all have to eat.

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We could do with a few sparrow hawks - we are overrun with pigeons and doves ... destructive pests!

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I have anew buzzard fledgeling calling in the trees in my woods.  The foliage is very dense so I cant see it until it flies after one of its parents.  I need to try to make time to photograph it but I have one of my daughter's comingto visit next week so I am busy tidying up.

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Sony A1 with 600mm lens ISO 2000 1/640sec f10

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We are in Spain for a month. Griffon Vulture, Fuente De: Picos de Europa Spain. Hope to go up the cable car again if weather good to get more like this in the morning. Plenty of Vultures in the air here this evening. We go south on Sunday.

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There are more vultures in the area around Ronda and Sevilla to Granada route as well Graham.
Enjoy your trip.

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We are now in our very remote Villa for two weeks in S Spain. It has a private road of 1.5 miles of a small local road and we are about 6 miles from a small local village. The views all round are super and I can just sit watching the light change from dawn till dusk. All these Sony A1 with 24-105mm lens. Very few birds seen yet but we have only been here 24 hrs.

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Lovely location Graham.
Need to get up early to catch the birds.

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I got up at pre-dawn as I was taking this a lone Kestrel hovered over me by time I got out the long lens it was gone. We had a very large and high flock of Swifts last night going South.

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Today our weather is poor temp down and strong wind but good object to be learnt get your camera out in poor weather pixs can be quite dramatic! Still no bird pixs all long range and high.

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Keep watching the skies Graham. There will be some opportunities along soon I bet.👍


As mentioned on another thread I am throwing myself into garden landscaping at the moment. My Sony hasn’t moved from its bag for many a week. Not helped with the frequent absence of a vehicle, which spends more time at the LR Dealership than it is available for us to go anywhere. (Another story)

On a rare occasion the car was in my possession we visited a rudimentary garden suppliers that amongst other things sell big trees in pots (for instant gardens) and I managed some bird photography at the same time….



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I asked the girl on the till if it was a new concentrated draft fertiliser supply system.







She didn’t get it either.🙄

Last edited on Mon Sep 13th, 2021 22:02 by Eric

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Very strong winds yesterday but Griffon Vultures came but very high on and off all day moving very fast in strong wind auto focus locked on and held even with very small in frame. This is vey big blow up. Thunder in night and no power this morning was about to collect wood and rub two boy scouts together make fire boil water make tea. Power restored but still keeps cutting out. Rain very heavy No Vultures or any other bird life!! Forcast said back to good in two days.

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This morning we had mist tnen two hours later sun!

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The mists of autumn.
Very nice Graham.


That A1 needs a sensor clean (last image)!

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jk wrote:
That A1 needs a sensor clean (last image)! Last 2 images!

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I was going to mention that as an earlier image (2nd in post #164)showed it even more on the left side.

Graham and I have discussed this before and there is no doubt the Sony A7 is quite bad for this old problem of dust. The A1 is reported to have a blind that drops down when the lens is removed to specifically address this retrograde issue. It’s disappointing (assuming there isn’t a specific issue on this occasion causing this) that Sony haven’t mastered this issue, banished by Nikon nearly a decade ago. o.O

Last edited on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 19:29 by Eric

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Yes saw that after posting. Had a good look at pixs done later today no trace of it only on that shot.

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Last edited on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 20:21 by Graham Whistler

jk



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Well done.
Probably removed on self clean.

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The spot I saw is still there -



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jk



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Yes another job for Graham to do when he gets home is to wet clean his sensor!
It is a small bob probably something as small as a pollen grain but on these high MP sensored cameras this is a bigger problem.

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Graham Whistler wrote:
Yes saw that after posting. Had a good look at pixs done later today no trace of it only on that shot.

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Lovely ‘whistlerful’ look to the, almost autumnal, scene….if they have that season in Spain🤔

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Praying Mantie jumped onto back of a garden chair, got a quck shot before it moved on. Saw plenty in Africa but they are also quite common in Spain. No more spots on sensor just three photos that day pixs all clean again, there is a lot of dust here and 1.5 miles of dirt road to our villa.

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    Keep the lenses on the camera as much as possible and change with camera lens throat facing down.

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Thanks JK I always do that. Above spot is rare and auto clean on A1 works  OK 90% of time and have yet to do swab clean but I did neet to with the A3. As stated very dry and dusty here as well you know. Still very few birds, but dear below last night, very poor light and big blow up.

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not done much through the summer due to the sheer amount of staycationers visiting the area . plus my own hols ..anyway the other day I had word of a mega arrival at my little local N/R  I took Robert there once .. its only 2 hides with seating for 4 in each hide and as I knew this would bring in the circuit  circus I was up and on my way at 5.30a.m for a ten mile drive only to arrive and my mate had beat me to it ..:applause: well then what was all the fuss about . a 14th sighting for Wales and a first for Flintshire of a squacco heron .. my early morning paid off well as it paraded for nearly a hour ,then disappeared into the reeds .. we now think its departed but never say never ,some of the 400+ shots I managed to get below 

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Well done Jeff, It beats me how you know about all these rare birds.

Christopher keeps asking when we can visit N Wales again.  I would love to revisit Bodnant (Conwy and turn right) sometime, perhaps the autumn colours would be a good time...

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You know where we are rob ,not much happening at the moment bar a rarity but the migration should start soon plus the hopeful return of the short eared owls ,opposite me on the marshes .. as I said covid and to many grackles killed the summer for me ,bar one glorious day at bempton cliffs mid summer a there and back 400 mile dash .. rutting Season in the deer parks will start soon to .
  P.s still got 400 Plus pics of the squaco to edit

Last edited on Sat Sep 18th, 2021 19:32 by blackfox

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Well I have to say that we used to see these squacco herons all the time in Spain so I wouldnt have been overly impressed but they are a nice bird and much more inquisitive and less shy than the large grey herons in Spain.

Still I have to say that Jeff's photos are very good.

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Yes more of the same view or is it? Each day there are changes and if you are lucky to be there for some time take the picture and compare previous from same viewpoint. Today I waited for the sun to get higher giving more detail in the trees with out killing the misty plains.  Jeff more super pixs from you love those last shots!

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Not done at all well with the birds at our holiday villa this time but the Griffon Vultures were up in a flock just now but very high this is best I could get Sony A1 with 100-400mm lens plus x1.4

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A sky full of vultures!
Good shot Graham.

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Last light behind Cork Oak tree

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The voltures were quite a bit lower this morning this is the best of 4 shots before they were high and drifting away.

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getting back into the swing again after a relaxing summer few from today 

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Graham Whistler wrote:
The voltures were quite a bit lower this morning this is the best of 4 shots before they were high and drifting away.

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I keep telling you Graham, it’s either half a sheep from the local butchers or you will have to lie down very still if you want them full frame.:lol:

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went back today to try and get the curlew sandpiper full profile .. managed quiet a few :lol: getting my mojo back 

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blackfox wrote:
getting back into the swing again after a relaxing summer few from today 

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Nice sharp images , clean/true colour balance there Jeff. Didn’t take you long to get back and firing on all 6 cylinders. 👍

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Cheers Eric , thankfully not as many staycationers about now ,but a few local rarities have brought the togger mahoosive lens brigade out in strength . I love the fact that I can reach just under 1200 mm ( with 1.4 tc) handheld and stable .. 
   BTW this is a new 1-mkiii body better a.f ,better I.b.I.s . And other functions I.e built in ND filters, starry skies a.f , plus lots more

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blackfox wrote:
Cheers Eric , thankfully not as many staycationers about now ,but a few local rarities have brought the togger mahoosive lens brigade out in strength . I love the fact that I can reach just under 1200 mm ( with 1.4 tc) handheld and stable .. 
   BTW this is a new 1-mkiii body better a.f ,better I.b.I.s . And other functions I.e built in ND filters, starry skies a.f , plus lots more
 Very impressive👍

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Looks like he has a V12 not a V6 as his engine Eric.
I dont think that I have every got any of my bird photos that sharp.

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Nice set of images Jeff.

Last edited on Thu Sep 23rd, 2021 08:26 by Iain

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couple more from this weeks wader fest 

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jk wrote:
Looks like he has a V12 not a V6 as his engine Eric.
I dont think that I have every got any of my bird photos that sharp.
Ultimately it’s down to ‘reaching’ the bird with sufficient focal length or close approach, to reduce need for cropping.
Filling the frame is still key to resolving detail ….even with high MP sensors. 

This is especially true in low /dull light where high ISOs are necessary because cropping not only enlarges the subject but also the apparent noise.
Using noise reduction to minimise, just softens the image.

All my best results have come from photos that required no or little cropping and were taken in bright light.



In the early days of digital when noise became intrusive at even modest ISOs, I always joked if an outdoor shot required more than 800iso, it was time to go to the pub.

To a large extent that’s still true today, because despite noise levels now being acceptable upto ISO3000/4000 (some cameras), if the subject has fine detail you need to bring out, then good lighting (along with frame filling, optimum settings and camera stability) is still paramount.

Last edited on Thu Sep 23rd, 2021 09:12 by Eric

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Bit of dramatic light for just 2 mins as the sun burst through thick cloud this morning. Perhaps the last shot as we depart for the long drive North at 8.30am Friday.

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Graham Whistler wrote:
Bit of dramatic light for just 2 mins as the sun burst through thick cloud this morning. Perhaps the last shot as we depart for the long drive North at 8.30am Friday.

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Lovely atmospheric photo.

Those are strange wavy lines in the top left Graham?

Safe journey home👍

chrisbet



Joined: Fri Feb 8th, 2019
Location: Leigh On Sea, Essex , United Kingdom
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Eric wrote:
Lovely atmospheric photo.

Those are strange wavy lines in the top left Graham?

Safe journey home👍
Those wavy lines look like GW to me - maybe Graham's new signature?


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