Monday, 30 August 2010

Sandwich Terns

It was good to see these juvenile Sandwich Terns at Marazion yesterday. In the spring I photographed the adults on their way to the breeding grounds so it was good to photograph the offspring on their way back.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Waders at Marazion

An Early start today 7.30 am at Marazion looking for Waders. Highlight was a first year Knot in amongst the Dunlin, Sanderling, and Ringed Plover. Turnstones as usual were present along with Whimbrel and four juvenile Sandwich Terns.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


Three flight shots all taken with a Sigma 800mm.
ExposureAperture: F/6.3Shutter Speed: 1/2500sExposure Mode: Shutter PriorityExposure Comp.: 0EVExposure Tuning:Metering: Center-WeightedISO Sensitivity: Auto (ISO 400)

Three flight shots all taken with a Sigma 800mm

File Info 1File: DSC_2936.NEFDate Created: 23/08/2010 19:05:10Date Modified: 23/08/2010 19:05:10File Size: 13.7 MBImage Size: L (4288 x 2848)File Info 2Date Shot: 23/08/2010 19:05:10.68World Time: UTC, DST:OFFImage Quality: Lossless Compressed RAW (14-bit)Artist: me Copyright: me Image Comment: Camera InfoDevice: Nikon D300Lens: 300-800mm F/5.6DFocal Length: 500mmFocus Mode: AF-CAF-Area Mode: Dynamic, 9 pointsVR:AF Fine Tune: OFFExposureAperture: F/6.3Shutter Speed: 1/2500sExposure Mode: Shutter PriorityExposure Comp.: 0EVExposure Tuning:Metering: Center-WeightedISO Sensitivity: Auto (ISO 400)

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Flight Shot Technique

One of my blogger buddies asked a question on my flight shot technique and what equipment I use. My equipment is a Nikon D300 DSLR Nikon Lenses with one Sigma. My prime lens is a 300mm f2.8 Nikon lens, this lens is extremely fast allowing the user to achieve high camera shutter speeds which is crucial when attempting to freeze movement. I used this lens when I photographed the Wood Sandpiper in flight in a previous post, a fast flying Wader and also for the Buzzard shots. Generally for flight I will use apertures up to f8 depending on the available light but the critical factor is a shutter speed of at least 1/1250th of a second or above, and to achieve this when using the camera on aperture priority you may have to crank the aperture wide open. Depending on light conditions the ISO settings I use range from 200 to 1000, I will push the ISO but the consequence is grain in the image especially when cropping . I also use shutter priority, setting the shutter at 1/2500th with ISO and white balance set on auto. In built image stabilisation is an excellent aid but I sometimes turn this off when using a tri-pod or high shutter speeds. The auto focus can sometimes be frustrating when it grabs the background and not the subject, I alternate the settings from 9 point focusing to 51 point and 51 point with 3D tracking, my preferred is 9 points concentrated around the centre of the view finder for the more distant flight shots and the closer shots I sometimes use 51 points. When the camera grabs the background instead of the subject I release the the shutter release/ focus button and press again, this action asks the camera to try and focus again and I find this works reasonably well. Finally when tracking the subject don't stop the camera when you press the shutter release follow right through the action. Light metering is generally set on centre weighted. All I can say is, get out there and do it, my success rate is 10% if I am lucky.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Arctic Skua

Pendeen after work gave up this dark phase Arctic Skua, the sea watching bug has finally bitten.
Lots of Manx Shearwater, 3 Balearic Shearwater, 1 Grey Phalarope and 1 Great Skua viewed within 50 meters. I had difficulty in locking onto this Arctic due to its dark phase and falling light. Looking forward to Thursday!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Visual Migration

Looks like the Swallows are gathering to return to Sub- Saharan Africa. At Kenidjack today their were thousands, circling in a column above the cliff tops and gradually disappearimg out to sea. Some were feeding voraciously over the cliff tops. If they have chosen to move out today it may be a big mistake with the impending weather systems moving in from the Atlantic.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

St Clements

A quick hour at St Clements and Tresemple Pool today threw up a few waders, 5 Greenshank 9 Redshank. 1 Whimbrel and one Dunlin with high numbers of Curlew on the River.


Thursday, 19 August 2010

Stithians Revisted

My end of summer stint ( pun) is an attempt to up my wader images and list, although my record is more photographic than written. I revisited Stithians to hopefully photograph the Ruff that was seen yesterday.Unfortunately it was rough luck for me as there was no sign of my objective. However I came across a Juv Little Ringed Plover, my second this Autumn and I also grabbed another shot of the Wood Sandpiper. Highlight of the day was lunch at the Golden Lion Inn. Main species of the day is as follows 3 Greenshank, 2 Woodsandpipers, 1 Common Sandpiper, 5 Dunlin and 5 Tufted Duck and 1 possilble Pochard.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Little Ringed Plover At Drift

A late afternoon trip to Drift Reservoir produced One juvenile Little Ringed Plover, two Green Sandpiper, two Greenshank and one Common Sandpiper along with a few quackers. Two hours of birding, a good result.

Green SandPiper

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Wood Sandpiper

Two Wood sandpiper and two Greenshank at Stithians today. The last shot is the Green Shank and the rest are Wood Sandpiper. I was fortunate that the Wood Sandpipers did a fly around for me.

Friday, 13 August 2010

I Should Go Out More

I should go out more, but when Farmer Grose cut his silage today in the field behind my house I was glad I stayed at home. I have posted Buzzards before and I have got plenty of photo's of them but I couldn't resist capturing these images. I missed an image of a life time of two Buzzards right in front of me fighting on the ground with talons locked. Unfortunately they where too close for the focusing mechanism.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Drift Reservoir

I went to Drift to see the Great White Egret, but a Great White idiot flushed it. He should have read the insructions on Cornwall Birding as I did. View from the hide only as the bird was nervous. Ah well .
Low tide at Drift

Monday, 9 August 2010

Coloured Ringed Black Headed Gull

Along with the Med gull at Marazion I found this colour ringed Black Headed Gull and the following information is its life history so far.

Recapture History
Ring Age/ Capture
number Type Date Initial Details
Black-headed Gull
EW55037 N 1 12/06/07 Cleveland Farm, Wiltshire
S 4 Sighted 24/12/08 Drift Reservoir, Penzance, Cornwall (327 km, WSW, 1 yr 195days)
O 6 Sighted 16/05/09 NA Cleveland Farm, Wiltshire (1 yr 338days)
S 4 Sighted 06/08/10 Marazion beach, Cornwall (302 km, SW, 3 yrs 55days) .

The juvenile Mediterranean Gull in the previous post originated from Belgium, and was ringed somewhere between Antwerp and Brussels. Unfortunately I could not capture enough information from the ring to discover its exact ringing location. As it is a first year bird its history would be recent. Thank you to Andy Pay for the information on researching ringed Mediterranean Gulls, check out his blog at . Also if you should find a coloured ringed Med Gull visit this

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Mediteranean Marazion

I seem to be fixated on Med Gulls lately, probably because their are plenty around. I noted that the bird I photographed in this blog was ringed, so I tried to photographically grab the information. I have contacted the BTO but the response is inconclusive although this juvenile could be of French or Belgium origin . If I learn any more I will impart the information in a future blog.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Wheatear !st Winter

Juvenile 1st winter Wheatear at Marazion today, the earliest Autumn Wheatear I have seen.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Mother and Four baby Hedge Hogs

Hedgehog and Young

This morning I visited my brothers house as he is lucky enough to have a Hedgehog family in his garden. These prickly little creatures are wonderful and I felt privileged to photograph a family. Hedgehogs seem to be doing well in this area as I have had them in my garden and we have seen them when out walking in the late evening. My brother has been feeding them cat food so this family should do well. Four young in all were born to this mother. See the next post as lisa made a video with her cell phone.