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  #1  
Old 15th July 2012
richardlongley
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Bird Hide Action WOODPECKER - pic heavy

I was lucky enough to spend some time in a couple of bird hides today. The target species were bullfinch and woodpecker (GS). Took my E3, various lenses including my new EC-14, which worked really well with my 70-300mm (which despite having a slightly damaged front glass seems to work perfectly)

The numbers of tits and sparrows was incredible, and watching their interaction was great, some of the adults are looking shabby as they moult, the best looking birds at this time of year are the young IMO. However being 'scruffy' due to moulting doesnt move them down the pecking order:

and the prettier, younger birds have to grab what they can when they can

Lots of Great tits, which are one of my favourite birds


Note the ring on this great tit's right leg.


After enjoying the small brids for a while I was blessed with first of all an adult male greater spoted woodpecker:




And then, I was lucky enough for a young GSW to appear




Then, the male dissapeared, and so did most of the other birds. The young GSW froze, fixed on somthing the other side of the hide


Before I could realise what was happening,



(actually the pic above wasnt taken at this point, but it fits the story better - artistic licence )

the GSW took off, letting out a shreak, and was missed by what must have been a few inches by this:



The sparrowhawk landed on the stump, just above where the woodpeckers had been. Its a bit of a shame that the background is so uninteresting. Also, its a shame I focused on the body rather than the head, which is a little oof. But I didnt have chance to compose the shot, I just pointed and pressed, 3 shots fired out and then he was gone.

There were no birds in sight now, except for one single goldfinch. This goldfinch stayed in exactly the same position for around 3-4 minutes:

It was amazing to watch, you would think from the photo that he is moving,,,,,, he is completely still.
He then took off and shortly after he left all the 'common' birds returned (they left it a total of approx 5 minutes after the hawk attack)

I moved onto the 2nd hide, I will put up some pitures from there seperately.



What I would like - if anyone can improve the Sparrowhawk pic pleae advise.
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Old 15th July 2012
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Re: Bird Hide Action WOODPECKER - pic heavy

Richard, nice series, where were the hides? I'm looking for somewhere to pop into next time I'm over visiting my Dad.
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Old 16th July 2012
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Re: Bird Hide Action WOODPECKER - pic heavy

Super set of great images, especially the Sparrowhawk. Were all these taken with the 70-300mm plus EC14? If so that's brilliant, I could never get this combination to work as well as this.

David
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Old 16th July 2012
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Re: Bird Hide Action WOODPECKER - pic heavy

Well done Richard, nice series. Regarding the Sparrowhawk picture - I would re-compose it and place more space to the right, and if possible un-crop the tail.
/Tord
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Old 16th July 2012
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Re: Bird Hide Action WOODPECKER - pic heavy

Hi, thanks for the comments

Yes, all with the 70-300 (making me think the scratches on the lens make no difference) and my new EC14.

It helped a lot that I was quite close in this hide. I think all the pics are at the full 300mm, but I have not really cropped (a couple were cropped very slightly).
The noise is noticable as I was on quite high ISO settings, and I shot most of them slightly underexposed, then lifted in LR. This helped keep details but you can see noise especially on the young GSWP

I have some more shots from the 2nd hide to put up, these are generally not as good because the light levels were lower, that hide was deeper in the woods. I struggled with the 70-300 and tried it without the EC14. The best pictures were still taken with the EC14 however, on very high ISO.

@Peak4 - I am not sure if these higes are open to the public. I can ask for you. They are on private land and not linked to the RSPB or any similar organisation.
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Old 16th July 2012
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Re: Bird Hide Action WOODPECKER - pic heavy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tordan58 View Post
Well done Richard, nice series. Regarding the Sparrowhawk picture - I would re-compose it and place more space to the right, and if possible un-crop the tail.
/Tord

Thanks Tord, I'll have a go at expanding to the right.

The tail isnt cropped however, the original pic was as it is (less sharp) with a little mre open space to the right. all I have done is adjust the sharpnmess and contrast, and cropped the useless space to the right. I took the picture without my eye at the camera,,

I believe the technical term for this methos is 'panic and point, shake and shoot'


Can I further adjust the head only to sharpen it even more. I think I hit the limit of sharpening the total image, any more and the feathers looked over-sharpened
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Old 16th July 2012
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Re: Bird Hide Action WOODPECKER - pic heavy

Great series and a good record of bird behaviour.
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Old 16th July 2012
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Re: Bird Hide Action WOODPECKER - pic heavy

Quote:
Originally Posted by richardlongley View Post
Hi, thanks for the comments


@Peak4 - I am not sure if these higes are open to the public. I can ask for you. They are on private land and not linked to the RSPB or any similar organisation.
Thanks Richard, much appreciated. I'll be heading over to see him on Friday, near to Disley.
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