Birds, Leps, Observations & Generalities - the images and ramblings of Mark Skevington. Sometimes.

Saturday, 9 February 2008


My photographic skills are not exactly reknowned as being top class. Back in the day before digital equipment existed, I used to take a conventional SLR out with either a 300mm zoom or a 500mm mirror lens. I only ever achieved crap results when it came to bird photography, and the cost and time of getting the film processed to then find it was all shite was frustrating to say the least.
By the time I'd moved on to moths, digital compacts were accessible and I soon found that I could get more than acceptable results despite my lack of basic photographic skill. Over the last few years I've been using a Nikon 4500 coolpix for moth photography with great success (no point being modest).
I've never tried digiscoping in earnest - although the coolpix is ideal for this my scope is not up to the job. So, with renewed interest in birding I wanted to try the DLSR route - hence acquiring Keith Tailby's EOS350D now he has upgraded. With the good weather today I took the opportunity to get out and about to try it out.
Swithland Reservoir and Cossington Meadows were fairly quiet, with the highlights for me being my first Ruddy Duck for years at the former and Green Sand & Little Egret at the latter. Typically though none of these were photographable. An afternoon walk to our local farm shop also brought an unexpected photographic opportunity as you'll see.
As with all things, the only way to get the best out of a new toy is to practice so I make no apologies for the uninspiring choice of species that follow - I was just pleased to get anything that resembled a reasonable result! I was especially pleased to find that, within reason, even small passerines should be within my range for website/blog purposes (obviously I'm not expecting to have photos published or sold!). Even flight shots are possible - something I'd never have managed with film. I know the Blue Tit is obscured - that was the point, getting a sharp in-focus shot of a partly obscured bird.
More efforts to follow over the coming weeks. BTW - clicking on the image should bring up the full size version for your delight.


Tufted Duck

Black-headed Gull


only the queen can eat me legally

Blue Tit


big fat cock


The Drunkbirder said...

Don't forget the Little Auk photo you had published in Birdwatching many moons ago.

I seem to recall that's about the only decent bird you ever claimed to have seen in the Holkham Pines area.

Skev said...

Hey - you're right. I had forgotten that. In fairness though, it was about as difficult to photograph as a museum skin whilst it ponced around in the shallow boating lake.

Richard Fray said...

Nice photos Skev!

Skev said...

Thanks Richard - hopefully I'll get to photograph something interesting before long.