Friday, September 19, 2014

skulking pipit tactics

flushed a pipit this morning on the coast in shortish grass; it got up and flew low dropping in again about 20 - 30 m away but every time it immediately disappeared and after two hours of getting nothing but flight views it was getting frustrating; at times it looked short tailed, sometimes dark, on one fly past it looked to have pale mantle lines! the striking white in the outer tail was always obvious but it would not call and we just could not see it on the deck -- think what to do -- put the bare 300 lens on the camera, up the ISO to 4000 (it was pretty damned dull and murky) open up the aperture to allow greater chance of a bit of depth of field catching the bird in focus and then just blast every time it got up -- a few flight cigars against a white sky initially and then eventually one as it landed in the grass that was in focus and revealed the pattern of the outer tail feathers and a pretty good idea of the upperparts -- so it appears that it was just a frustrating Tree Pipit after all but you need to check these birds out -- a couple of displaying birds with the same tail pattern -- not sure if this is common to all small pipits or not?  - cameras are useful tools not just for getting portraits -- they freeze an image in  away our brain cannot

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