I have almost finished sharing the photos from February but the next months were quite fruitful so I will not get to share the photos soon after I take them. Instead, I think I will always be 3-4 months behind unless I have time off which I don’t wish as I enjoy this too much.
There are lots and lots of photos to come of Greylag goose (Anser anser) but this is the last one from that specific day described in an earlier article. The posture of the geese made me chose this picture for sharing and the fact that it looks goofy which makes me smile when I see it. The camera settings for this picture were 1/2000 sec. shutter speed, F/6.3, and ISO800.
Despite being present in the last few articles, the Eurasian blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) will not continue to be present in the next ones and would be replaced by other species. This will be for a while though as Blue tits are always plentiful and make for a nice photo subject. This one is hanging on one reed and the body is blurred by other sticks that make the picture more artistic and interesting in my opinion. If the head would have not been visible I would have probably not chosen to share it but in this case, I was lucky to get the right amount of coverage. I did not have the camera set for fast-moving, small birds but this frame turned out to be ok and I am glad I had the shutter speed at 1/500 sec. as even with that the auto ISO was raised to 1600.
Another bird that would take a summer break in my blog posts is the Eurasian kestrel (Falco tinnunculus). Even though it was not as close as I would like and I had to do a big crop, I like this photo for the background that the trees make. I generally get the kestrel hovering from a low level so in the background is only the sky but this time I was up in a birding tower and I got those trees in the frame. Because I was shutting birds in flight and there was plenty of light, I used a high shutter speed of 1/4000 sec. which gave me no problems in freezing the action. At F/6.3 the auto ISO was raised only at 400.
It is amazing to watch the White-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) fly along the lake but what is even more amazing is to watch two White-tailed eagles fly along the lake and then pass right above your head. That is what happened that day on the lake, the only thing I could have wished more was to be up in the bird observatory so I would be able to get a more leveled shot. Probably because of the excitement or because of the lack of experience or most likely both, I didn’t get out of that experience and evenly cool photo. The clear sky and the harsh sun were clear indicators of a tough photography situation. I used a 1/3200 sec. shutter speed to freeze the movement and I used +1,3 exposure compensation to try and reduce the shadows created by the harsh sun. In both pictures was used F/6.3 and ISO 1000.
Here is another bird of prey, this time the Common buzzard (Buteo buteo) and the third different raptor species for this article. The bright sky and the sun created a deep shadow on the buzzard’s body. I have tried to use +0.7 exposure compensation but it was not enough and if I tried removing the shadows in post-processing I would be left with a highly noisy, low detailed bird. I was about to give up on this photo than I figured I can make it black and white and that is exactly what I did. I am very pleased with what I got and I guess this is a perfect example of why we should not erase pictures in the camera. Other specifications would be F/6.3, 1/2000 sec. shutter speed and ISO 450.
While walking along the lake I found a place where some ducks and a grebe were eating and preening close to the edge. I wasn’t able to get to close without disturbing them but if I stayed behind the electric fence that surrounds the lake they were comfortable with me. Because of the vegetation between me and them I could not get as low as I wanted and on top of that because of the vegetation in the background I choose to not share the vast majority of the photos from that day. However there is this picture of a Wigeon (anas penelope) that I could not live it out. While preening, this wigeon would quickly dive in and out of the water to wash his feathers and then shake pretty hard. I managed to freeze a hard shake when thousands of droplets flew into the air creating this dynamic picture. At F/6.3 I used 1/3200 sec. shutter speed and +0.7 exposure compensation (because of the shadows) and the auto ISO was raised to 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.