I cant believe it has been so long since I added a blog.
A combination of getting reminded of quick time goes and having to pay the annual fees for hosting has galvanised me into action again.
Last Sunday was the first time in a few weeks I got to get out with the camera. We have bird feeders in the front garden and I love watching the birds come and go. They have got used to us walking to and from the house so I am able to get relatively close them. It is fascinating to watch them competing for the food and chase each other way. They are House Sparrows and very common in Ireland.
For sometime I have been trying to get close up photographs of Owls. We have traveled to Dublin zoo and Rathwood Falconry among other places but for different reasons could not get good photographs.
On our recent trip in the UK one morning we went into the middle of Hemel Heampstead and when we walked out of the car park we could not believe our eyes. There was a bird show being held on a small triangle of ground and it was really good. The birds were very calm and looked like they were really well looked after. It was a real reminder of the importance of always having the camera with you. Well I had to go back to the car to get it but you know what I mean 🙂
For all these shots I kept the aperture as large as possible to blur out the background which was the shopping centre or people.
Settings : ISO 200, 300mm, f5.6, 1/320sec
This guy I think guy is called a spectacled owl
Settings : ISO 400, 240mm, f5.6, 1/160sec
I really liked this guy. Apparently the feathers on each side of his are not ears, they are hidden.
Finally this was shot was a lucky break with timing. The owls were tethered to stands or in this case to the trainers hand but every now again one would try to make a break for it!
My wife bought a bird feeder last week and watching the activity around it I figured it must be possible to get some photographs.
At first I thought, right I need to buy a cheap hide to let me get close to the bird feeder and went straight to the source of all great value on the internet… ebay. Pausing for a second I thought wait now, lets work with what I have. So one rabbit hutch (rabbit only uses it under protest), spade, stake and a very questionable old duvet cover later…hey presto DIY hide for free! At the end of the blog I have included one picture of the hide for those of you who are interested.
I would like to thank John Rapple for helping identify the birds in the shots.
The birds in this shot are Common House Sparrows. There were a lot of them around this morning and they really enjoyed the food put out. I did set the ISO high to keep the shutter speed high in attempt to freeze movement. One thing I did learn is if your lens has stabilisation built in and you are using a tripod switch off the stabilisation as it slows down the shooting process slightly.
Settings : ISO 800, 300mm, f5.6, 1/160sec.
Starling and Common House Sparrow. These two did not share the tray for very long with the Starling taking over for a few minutes.
Settings : ISO 800, 300mm, f5.6, 1/160sec
Common House Sparrow on its own. It was a bit later in the morning so I was able to lower the ISO which I think does make the picture a little sharper.
Settings : ISO 400, 300mm, f5.6, 1/250sec
I will add more bird pictures during the week. As promised here is the high quality hide!! As this was taken with my mobile phone I have no settings.
My animal library has these pictures and others here Animal World
Here is a second shot from Kilcoole Beach in County Wicklow. The Gannets were resting on the water when a dog on the beach spooked them. It was a lovely morning down on the coast. Earlier I had been up in Wicklow trying to get a shot at Lough Tay but it was too cloudy. Great thing is Wicklow is close to the coast so you change locations with very little driving!