For this article, I will continue with a selection of pictures taken in February 2019. All birds, because as I was saying in the last picture selection article, the birds are the most popular subject for photography in winter and I also seem to like photographing birds. One reason that I like it might be the fact that is many, easier to find so the chances of coming home with some keeper photos are higher.
The day I took the next picture of this beautiful Eurasian kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), I missed a shot that could have turned out to be one of my best images. It was an interaction between the Kestrel couple, most likely courtship behavior although it was only February (second picture). I has not able to frame the shot properly because of the speed of the action and because I didn’t see it coming. I had the right shutter speed set for those types of shoots and I even raised the F stop to get both subjects in focus. It seems like I’ve kept the same setting for the static kestrel shot probably in the anticipation of more action but this decision made my shot much noisier than needed. The settings were F/7.1, shutter speed of 1/3200 sec. so the ISO was at 1100.
The next photo is purely a lucky one but I really like the result. I was probably waiting for some bird in flight to appear, judging by the high shutter speed I had set, when I saw this Eurasian blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) through the reeds and proceeded in taking some pictures of it. Only when I got home and started sorting the images I discovered this one, while I was photographing the bird, it flew down into the reeds and I captured it’s silhouette in flight, looking like a small missile launched from a plane. The golden reed and the blue background give the chromatic beauty to this picture while the lithe bird gives it a story. The settings were F/6.3, a shutter speed of 1/3200 sec., ISo 360, handheld as always.
It was probably this White-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) that I was after when I shot the Blue tit as both pictures were taken on the same day. I did complain already that every time I want to photograph the white-tailed eagles it seems that I am in the wrong spot in relation to the sun. This time the sun was high in the sky and coming from behind the bird forming these harsh shadows. I have made a target to get a better shot of an eagle by the end of the year and I hope to fulfill my target. For this shot, the settings were F/6.3, a shutter speed of 1/2000 sec., ISo 500.
This Rook (corvus frugilegus) was also photographed that day. I enjoy photographing calling crows and I really like the result. This image has an interesting chromatic given by the trees in the background and also a story was given by the calling rook. What was he/she really calling only he/she knows. I have again used a too high shutter speed that created me a lot of unnecessary noise. I am guilty to this day of not looking at the settings while shooting which is a mistake I am struggling to correct. So the settings were F/6.3, a shutter speed of 1/2500 sec., ISo 450.
Because of the heavy rains from that period a flooded area was created near a lake and many different birds gathered here. Because it had no steep edges I could easily get down on my belly and photograph the present birds at their eye level. That is what I did when I photographed this Greylag goose (Anser anser) that gave me trouble when I tried to approach them. They were really skittish so I’ve left them some space to be comfortable. I’ve selected the picture of this particular group of gees because I feel like the picture is telling a story, not a very exciting one but enough to wonder at what those gees were looking at. Again, judging with today’s knowledge I am disappointed by the high shutter speed used in this instance, especially because the auto ISO was raised to 1000. The shutter speed was at 1/2000 sec. with F/6.3.
In the second picture that I will share from that spot in this article the shutter speed used is more justified because the subject was on the move. The gees had disputes over the space and often they would chase each other with their necks stretched forward and their beaks ready to grab the running opponent. For this shot, the settings were F/6.3, a shutter speed of 1/2000 sec., ISo 720.
A bit to the left, behind some vegetation, two Whooper swan (Cygnus cygnus) were checking me out by popping their heads up. I took some pictures of these majestic creatures but this one is the clearest one. The settings were F/6.3, a shutter speed of 1/2000 sec. and ISo 900.
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For all species found on my spotting adventures, take a look at INaturalist.
The gear that I’ve used for spotting and book used for identification, here.