So off I went new lens and all, into some bright weather, which soon turned cloudy and dull, useless for photographs, but I did get a few test shots with the lens while the sun was out. ( see below)
I spent just over 5 hours out this morning, and found a very good total of 49 species, which should of made 50 if the Kestrel had turned up, like it has done every previous day of this month! That said, just about everything else that could reasonably be found was found. Flyovers from both GREYLAG and CANADA GEESE were the first seen for a while, but relatively few species were seen going over, just BLACK HEADED and HERRING GULL traversed the sky, along with two flocks of FIELDFARE, each containing 50+ birds.
I was pleased to hear a LITTLE OWL calling from the Greenhouse Copse early in the walk, and even more so when at just gone 11am my first TAWNY OWL (67, 61) of 2012 hooted from the Scrubby Woods over by the lakes. The lakes themselves were now only 60% frozen, and on the small amount of open water a GREY HERON was fishing, three pairs of MALLARD and two MOORHENS were also seen as well as a COOT, was this one of the pair that were seen before the lakes totally froze I wonder?
Little else of any real note was seen as I walked round, as i said, most of the regular birds turned out, the best being SISKIN, REDWING, YELLOWHAMMER, LINNET, SKYLARK, BULLFINCH, NUTHATCH, TREECREEPER, GOLDCREST and COAL TIT.
A bit of courtship was seen by both a pair of STOCK DOVE, and a pair of SPARROWHAWKS, both over the Wet Woods, where below them the Blue bells are pushing up now, turning the monotonous brown leaf litter a shade of green. SPRING IS COMING :-)
Here's the first photo's using my new lens, test shots really as I try to ascertain the best camera settings to use with it, although I'm pretty pleased with the initial results :-)
|SONGTHRUSH I wasn't going to keep this one, as i chopped its feet off, but I like the way I caught it singing, so it's a 'keeper'|
|Songthrush - with feet!|
|This DUNNOCK was about 7 Meters away, a bit of a twiggy photo, the 500mm lens got in good and close on the birds eye though :-)|
|I wasn't so happy with this ROBIN shot, it was only 3 Meters away, maybe a slightly smaller aperture would have made it a bit sharper|
|These CANADA GEESE shots I was a bit more pleased with, at around 50 meters and flying fast, I think the lens did well, a bit more practise needed still though :-)|