Saturday, February 27, 2016

Richard's Pipit

a few more -- shows the new tertial and one remaining old juv one, two new inner greater coverts and old juv outers, apparently all new median coverts maybe moulted first so bright fringes already fading and two new round tipped tail feathers --

Friday, February 26, 2016

you have to be out there -- Richard's Pipit

the first Richard's Pipit I can lay claim to have found in Britain was at Rimac in October 1971 but I was with my mentors of the time so October 25th 1975 was a more memorable day as I found my very own bird not on the coast but on my local patch at East Halton Skitter well up the Humber; another two followed at this location in October 1980 and October 2010 but as the habitat is spot on for Richard's Pipit tramping the acres of foreshore in October or November may be almost expected to produce the odd bird every few years; so since the 1971 bird I have found 25 Richard's Pipits in Lincs the latest on my patch at Barton in October 2013 and knowing what habitat to look in at the right autumn period in good migrant conditions makes this one of the easier migrants to find -- I do a lecture on 47 years of Lincolnshire Birding and within it are references to the obsession that some of us are afflicted with namely the constant desire to find a new rare bird; most of the time you are out of course you don't find anything but as the saying goes you have to be out there to stand a chance and that was the story of today; not a lot about so walked the dog to Barrow Haven and found there were 155 Goldeneye on the pits, a big jump in numbers so that meant I had to go and count the Humber flock and see if we had a new total -- needless to say the Humber flock was down from 666 in January to just 179 but at least I counted an uncounted WeBS sector for the month; on my way back to the car I heard what sounded like a Yellow-browed Warbler in a big thorn clump but it never called again so I continued musing over some bits of habitat where I had seen a few wheatears, Twite and Snow Buntings in the past and always dreamt of something better; two fields away a guy was walking across a wheat field with two labradors when they set off at full gallop in my direction! he was shouting at full volume along the lines of they wont hurt you when I heard what was incredibly a Richard's Pipit! suddenly there it was in flight over the field and as the dogs ran rings around me and the tripod all I could do was watch as the big pipit flew away chasing a Skylark before disappearing behind a big thorn hedge. I rang ND as we had just been moaning about the lack of birds on the phone and as I turned round the pipit landed again in front of me; it then played hide and seek in a pretty small bit of habitat before flying off about one km only to return later. I had walked past this spot once already and during the course of the next two hours walked past in several times but the big pipit skulked and hid in the vegetation and would no doubt have eluded me totally if it had not been for the two dogs -- when people ask how you find rare birds the answer has got to be there is an awful lot of luck, being in the right place at the right time but there is always the unpredictable element -- what was the chance of those dogs being in that field as I walked past today? though again if you are not in the field you don't find birds -- rubbish pics in poor light -- appears to have replaced two inner greater coverts, bright new rich rufous fringes and the longest tertial with the middle one missing and upper old and worn; also appears to be growing the two central tail feathers --

Saturday, February 13, 2016

some 5D3 crops --

just got the Dutch Birding canus edition so need to get genned up on some Common Gulls!

the body lens conundrum continues

weight is becoming an issue -- the 1DX is the best body but it is a brick and weighs more -- the 7D2 I just find is erratic in AF, poor ISO and IQ and I just don't trust it even with my 300 2.8 and 1.4 converter which should be great IQ -- so presently on the 5D3, amazing IQ and files but shutter rate and AF less than the 1DX though nice large files to crop from -- thinking of the 400 f4 DO II but the poor close focus puts me off a bit -- would appreciate any comments from anyone who has one -- there seems to have been little new on the net since the initial reviews -- some 7D2's in the British winter -- it seems to need a big target in bright light to work well --