Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Check out The Company of Whales

The Company of Whales run excellent holidays across the Bay of Biscay and to the Picos De Europa in northern Spain. Check out their website (including some trip reports I have written...) at:

'Digiscoped' bird photos

A few weeks back I got a Nikon Coolpix 4500 digital camera. One reason for getting this handy bit of kit was to take bird photographs through my birding telescope, i.e. 'digiscoping'. At the moment I have no adaptor so my results have been a wee bit patchy. But judge for yourself – here are the best of the bunch so far:

Alpine Accentor above Fuente De, Picos De Europa (June 2004).

Another bird from 1,800m, above Fuente De in the Picos, this Griffon Vulture was having a post-gorge dry/digest before take-off – one of at least 12 Griffons feeding on the same dead beast (which remained unseen; June 2004). This bird was a lot further away than the accentor...

Final bird from the high-altitude Picos was this fairly close Snowfinch, which only posed for one image. So you get what you're given (June 2004).

Also in the Picos was this Tree Pipit, which favoured a signpost for a song perch.

This Carrion Crow was one of four juveniles at Welland Bank Pits, near Deeping St James, Lincolnshire (June 2004).

This adult Great Tit (with the primaries presumably tucked uder the tertials) was feeding a family inside this gatepost at Baston and Langtoft pits, Lincs (June 2004). Check out Bird Watching magazine's August 2004 issue for more on this amazing nest...

One of my first efforts at digiscoping was this singing Reed Bunting at Prior's Fen, Cambs (June 2004).

Also at Prior's Fen was this Mute Swan, kindly showing its backside (or underside, depending on your outlook; June 2004).


Just to show what can be done with the macro setting of a Nikon Coolpix 4500, here are one or two of my insect pix:

Here's a large skipper butterfly taken at Glapthorn Cow Pastures.

This Strangalia maculata longhorn beetle was on brambles at the same site.

Scarce Chasers are one of the speciality species of Woodwalton Fen, Cambs (note the post-mating dark 'saddle' on this male).

More widespread is the Four-spotted Chaser dragonfly (this was also at Woodwalton Fen).