Sunday, January 18, 2009

Winter Woodlands

Firstly apologies for the lack of updates in the last week, but I have been struck down by a flu like virus and have spent most of it in bed trying to sleep it off. Before falling ill I paid a visit to a local woodland where there is a fair amount of public feeding of the squirrels and birds and so armed with some bird feed it is usually relatively easy to get the birds where you want them. I much prefer undertaking woodland bird photography in the winter as the lack of leaf canopy lets the light through.

I went for two main species which were nuthatch and stock dove. I managed to get two nuthatch coming in to the feed at close quarters. One was ringed and the other had an unusually long upper bill which is the bird I concentrated on. You have to be very quick with nuthatch and try and get them before they have reached the food.Frequently you fail although I suppose a nuthatch tickling a nut with its tongue is appropriate!

The nuthatch was really I diversion while I waited for some Stock Dove to arrive. Despite the number of visitors they are still wary and it took quite a while before I got an opportunity to get some photographs. In fact thinking about it, they are a species that you don't often see photographed. To me they are a very under-rated bird presumably because they show a similar resemblance to feral pigeons. The reason I particularly like this site is that the carpet of beech leaves forms an attractive setting for these woodland birds, particularly when you can get down low to give a more intimate feel to the photograph.

5 comments:

Quantum Tiger said...

Great shots. You're right about the carpet of leaves. It makes a great backdrop for the doves. Love the nuthatch as well.

wai yien said...

fantastic page, wow.
I have just started not too long ago and loving ever since.

I was planning on investing on a 500 mm soon, could you share with me if the 500mm would auto focus coupled with a 1.4 extender?

T and S said...

Beautiful series Richard. I love the images of the Nuthatch. It so difficult to get close to them in the wild in India. I m still at it.

Little Brown Job said...

Beautiful shots of the Nuthatch. I saw one of these for the first time the other weekend but never got anywhere near getting a shot.

Paul.

Rich Steel said...

Thanks for the replies. With nuthatch the best approach seems to be to find somewhere where they are regularly fed and they are usually quite obliging.

The 500mm with focus with 1.4TC although focus speed is reduced as is image quality to a extent depending on the light. The teleconvertors seem to work at their best if you reduce the aperature setting down. I usually try and work at F7.1 at a minimum if the light will allow.

Cheers

Rich

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