Sunday 29 March 2015

Astonishing new super zoom from Nikon

With a huge 83x zoom range of 24-2000mm optical the new P900 is surprisingly easy to hand hold and the new VR system is simply astounding.  In my view this is a great piece of technology with the added bonus of being so easy to carry around.  The focus is fast and the following photos are a demonstration of its capabilities which already have me hooked.  All were taken hand held.  The first is a photo from my back garden at the 24 mm which as you can see is nothing special until you look at the white chimney in the middle of the picture and then look at the following photo

The chimney pots taken from the same seat at full zoom i.e. 2000mm equivalent hand held!

This goldfinch was again taken at full zoom hand held

as was this common gull which was across the river from the tower hide and half way across the mud

 This cormorant was across from the tower hide to the right so quite a distance away

and this curlew was again opposite the tower in the pools to the left across the river where they can commonly be seen

Now I've only included this next one to show the capability of the digital zoom which I would not normally even bother to try out.  A bit more difficult to hand hold at this length (166x or  4000mm equivalent) as hard to stay locked on to the subject.  However as you can see it is possible with surprising results.

I could not resist a try at taking the moon!

Now so far all taken in good light which obviously has its advantages so the next morning I was out in the dull overcast skies to try it again.  I include this wide angle view just to show you the next photo of the left hand end of the cliff going down to the sea at full optical zoom.

It really was very murky weather so even more impressive

Seaton Hole form West walk hand held at 83x with only 1/400 shutter speed

A quick drive round and a few photos taken from above Seaton Hole where I could not resist this small youngster

The light had worsened somewhat so these distant fulmars on the cliffs are quite impressive for such a sensor

A well known landmark from the top of Seaton Hole

and this was boat was barely visible to the naked eye out to sea

Friday 20 March 2015

Solar eclipse

As you can see I have strayed away from my usual theme for this post.  Did not expect to be able to see or photograph the eclipse the morning until I suddenly realised the sun was just appearing through the cloud cover.

On the next 2 you  can clearly see the sun spot on the upper third

It was visible for about 25 minutes before the cloud cover began to thicken

and this was the last shot I obtained before it was covered completely by the cloud; just 5 minutes before it would have been at its maximum.

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Firecrest and YBW

A trip to Branscombe yesterday gave great views of this firecrest and thanks to Karen who was already on the yellow browed warbler at the back of the sewage works when we arrived,  we also had a good view of that too.  The firecrest was very obliging as you can see though the weather was rather dull and overcast for photos so was quite pleased with these results taken with my little V2.

Am pleased to say this sparrowhawk left without lunch on this occasion.

Below these are the best I could manage of the YBW when it  was very high up in the trees by the entrance to the sewage works.  Notice the obligatory one with the twig across the face.

 Back on Black Hole Marsh this afternoon there was nothing out of the ordinary but weatherise it was rather a beautiful afternoon at last.  This lone swan was on the pool by the sandmartin wall and the heron was in front of the study centre.  Apart from these there were plenty of teal, black tailed godwits , redshanks and a pair of oyster catchers present on Black Hole Marsh

Sunday 8 March 2015

Such A Great Variety To Choose From

We are so lucky to live here with such a vast variety of birdlife to choose from to go and watch without travelling too far.  Apologies for not posting sooner but there is quite a lot here to make up for it.  Locally  the short eared owl has probably been of the most interest  though I have to say I was a bit slow in getting to see it.  When I did it was well worth it.  I've been down to Seaton Hole a few times where a Black Redstart is still present together with 2 grey wagtails and a rock pipit.  The fulmars are very active which is nice to see.

Back on Black Hole Marsh (which I have to admit to neglecting rather a lot lately) this snipe was showing well in front of the study centre.

Now this may seem relatively easy but for many years I have had no luck in seeing, let alone  photographing, a  male goosander.  I have seen plenty of females and youngsters but have never had a close view of a male despite several trips attempts to do so in the past.  Well, finally I got to see 3 males at Stover just over a week ago and took quite a few photos!  A stunning bird.

A last trip on the Exe before the Avocets departed gave spectacular views though I believe there are now very few left.

A golden eye on the Exe

and something completely different - some Devon Cirl Buntings

As I said earlier I was  a bit slow in getting to see the short eared owl but thanks to encouragement to get up there from Ian W and in particular Tim Wright (for which I'm truly grateful) it gave wonderful views whilst hunting.  There was even a seat to sit on though it did not take to long to appear.

 And finally a trip to Darts Farm last week and the penduline tits were showing well when I got there yet again .   Have been very lucky with them as they always seem to be there as I arrive and are still there when I leave.  No doubt they will be gone soon so here are a few more photos before they depart.  They have certainly attracted a lot of people.