Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wheatear at Maxey pits, 25.8.11

In the early 2000s, when I was new to Peterborough, I used to think Wheatears were pretty scarce passage migrants in these parts. These days, they are regular as clockwork and in good numbers, usually dozens per year in the Peterborough area. One of the most reliable sites, be it spring or autumn is Maxey pits' Etton Road site.
There is a particular slope with gravelly rabbit holes which they appear at with incredible consistency. They use the hole entrances as retreats/look-out posts whenever a human comes near. It is fascinating to think how they must fly by on their long movements north and south and home-in on this tiny patch of ground.
Incidentally, I think the black lores make this bird a very fresh male.
Anyhow, these shots were digiscoped with the Canon Powershot S95 and in my opinion show that is a very capable digiscoping beast. Though the photos were taken at about 1/80sec hand-held, in rather dim light, they are pretty darn sharp.
What do you think?


John said...

Fantastic shots Mike, they look pretty damn good to my untrained eye! The S95 is winning you over it seems!

Roy said...

Stunning images Mike.

Joe Beale said...

The images look good to me! Could I ask you for some advice? I need a new camera and I think it'll have to be a compact for digiscoping as anything else is just too expensive. This Canon Powershot S95 looks like a good bet, so in your opinion would you recommend I get this to replace my very basic one that's about to fall apart? Many thanks for your help!

BW said...


The S95 is not a cheap beast and I still have some reservations about it. However, it is darn good. A brilliant alternative (with lesser video capabilities but superb digiscoping and macro attributes) is the Canon PowerShot A640 which I think is possibly the best digiscoping camera yet made and you can get it from eBay for 100 quid or so.

Joe Beale said...

Thanks Mike! Very useful information. I'll take a look at the A640. Great Pied Flycatcher photos in the above post by the way.