Saturday, 20 December 2014

Patchy cloud and occasional sunny periods were enjoyed this morning, when I carried out a full patch walk.

After some very uninspiring recent patch visits, today was a bit more interesting, with a good variance of species recorded, the total of 46 was well above average for a December walk. Three raptor species were found, the KESTREL pair at the Greenhouse Grounds, a SPARROWHAWK hunting over Migrant Alley and a BUZZARD that was over the arable field adjacent to High High Lane. Gulls featured strongly too, 100+ BLACK HEADED GULLS were out on the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, with them was a lone COMMON GULL, plus I had flyovers from a few HERRING GULLS, but more impressively a flyover from a lone GREAT BLACK BACKED GULL (60) finally brought the months tally up to 60, just the third record of this species for 2014.

I took some more photo's of the LITTLE OWL at the Greenhouse Copse, which i'll put up on another post, I also got some half decent record shots of the GREY WAGTAIL that visits the Greenhouse Grounds, but failed to get near enough to the 4 MEADOW PIPITS that were sitting on the boundary fence line.

Over on the lakes the KINGFISHER was very audible, but was only glimpsed once, a GREY HERON flew in to join the immature MUTE SWAN, COOT pair, 14 MALLARDS and 4 MOORHENS that were on the ornamental lake. In the Scrubby Woods I could hear a MISTLETHRUSH singing, plus the LONG TAILED TIT flock showed up again, carrying with them NUTHATCH, COAL TIT, TREECREEPER, GOLDCREST, and the more common BLUE and GREAT TITS. Two REDWINGS were also seen here, plus a couple of BULLFINCH and a flock of 18 GOLDFINCH.

JAY, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, GREEN WOODPECKER, SONGTHRUSH and a few flyover FIELDFARE were noted as I walked the Wet Woods and Small Holding.

Grey Wagtail, this is about the best of the images I got of it

I had to lean over a bramble bush, making trying to hold the camera steady in shadey light near impossible.

The high ISO I had to use diminished the picture quality


Noushka said...

What a lovely set of pics, you are lucky!
I see those very seldom!
To answer your question, I use the auto-ISO's on the camera so all I have to do is control the speed and the aperture. I raised the exposure to .7.
Since the light was lacking badly and I didn't want to exceed 1600 ISO's and also needed a certain depth of field with a minimum at 6.2 for the small birds and 7.1 for the peckers, I kept my speed fairly low never exceeding 1/320s. To have a neat image, I clicked just when the bird was fairly still. Action photos were sadly out of the question :(
In PSD I use the normal sharpening and eventually a light high pass. If the colors come out a bit too dull, I add some vibrance and that's it!
Hope I helped you!
Enjoy your sunday, Warren!

Warren Baker said...

Thanks Noushka,
Some good tips and info there, just need the sun to come out more often now :-)

Wilma said...

No need for apologies on the wagtail shots; they are great.

Warren Baker said...

Cheers Wilma, its frustrating when the images aren't quite what I want :-)