Thursday, 25 February 2010

Pine Grosbeak - March 2010 Wallpaper

I took this shot in Lapland in March 2009 on our our annual winter trip to Finland and Norway. I also made some sound recordings on that very same trip - have a listen to their fantastic song:









To set the picture as your computer's desktop wallpaper background, double click on the image below to open it in full size then right-click the mouse while it's over the picture. Select the 'Set as Background' menu option, or the 'Set as Wallpaper' option, depending on your browser type.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

More Bean Pix and Paul Bloomer

Some more pictures of the very interesting party of Bean Geese...







Whilst out photographing, I bumped in to local artist Paul Bloomer who had been sketching geese, so I told him about the Beans. He has kindly sent me these images which he created using an app on his i pod touch. And I thought I was in to gizmos! You can see more of his work by clicking here



Monday, 22 February 2010

Taigas & Tundras

The 3 Tundra Beans were still just down the road from the office and later in the afternoon I re-discovered them with a superb group of 7 'Taiga' Beans. Fantastic! This allowed for some very welcome in-the-field comparisons. 4 Pale-bellied Brents were also around - a local patch tick!













Sunday, 21 February 2010

Tundra Bean Geese

Spent the day catching up on paperwork but managed to find these Tundra Bean Geese just down the road from our office. They looked quite long-billed at times and seemed quite large next to the small Icelandic Greylags. It never ceases to amaze me just how variable this subspecies is!





Saturday, 20 February 2010

Provence Birding with Shetland Wildlife



Just back from another superb week in Provence guiding a birding holiday for Shetland Wildlife. An excellent and diverse selection of species included Wallcreepers, Alpine Accentors, Eagle Owls, Black Woodpecker, Citril Finches, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Little Bustards, wintering Richard's Pipits, a huge flock of 250 Calandra Larks, Booted Eagle, Penduline Tits, Black-necked Grebes and Night Herons. The trip will run again in February 2011 - dates will be announced shortly.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Canon 1D Mark IV Custom Functions & Sample Images

I've spent as much time as possible in the last couple of weeks using the Canon 1D Mark IV. This has involved a lot of experimenting with the custom functions that are very similar to those on my 1D Mark III and I've also made all the microadjustments to my EF lenses for pin-sharp focus accuracy. Although there have been few opportunities for birds in flight, the results thus far with regards to the responsiveness and tracking of the camera are great and the detail in the images created by this 17 mega pixel monster is mind-blowing. A few folk seem to have developed problems with the latest 1d Mark IV firmware which I have now running and am using without any issues. A few sample and experimental images below - all in pretty poor light shot between ISO 800 and 2000 and note that even on 'still' subjects, I have used A1 servo to monitor focus stability and accuracy. I think the results of what this camera is capable of speak for themselves. At the end of this post I have listed the cf settings which I'm currently getting the best results from...























1D Mark IV custom functions

I-Exposure
1-0
2-0
3-Enable
4-0
5-0
6-0
7-1
8-2
9-Disable-(All Modes Usable)
10-Disable
11-0
12-Disable (Use full range of shutter speeds)
13-Disable
14-Disable
15-1
16-0
17-0

II-Image/Flash exp/Disp
1-0
2-0
3-0
4-3
5-0
6-1
7-0
8-1
9-0
10-0

III-Autofocus/Drive
1-0
2-0
3-0
4-0
5-0
6-0
7-0
8-0
9-1
10-0
11-1
12-0
13-0
14-0
15-0
16-1
17-0
18-Disable
19-Disable

IV-Operations/Other
1-0
2-0
3-0
4-0
5-0
6-0
7-0
8-0
9-0
10-0
11-1
12-0
13-Disable
14-1
15-0
16-0