ABOUT ME

I live in a camper van with a couple of West Highland Terriers for company.
My passion is photography but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN
ALL IMAGES WILL ENLARGE WITH A LEFT CLICK

Thursday, 26 July 2012

DEER ME. (26/07/12)

Yesterday was bright and sunny for the most part so I took myself off to The Scottish Deer Park just outside Cupar. As this sort of place goes it is very good. The deer are tame or at least unafraid, they have Scottish Wildcats, a lynx or two, some wolves and otters, the latter being the European otters. Not all in the same enclosure you’ll be pleased to hear.

The visit was marred by hoards of little children………There is a play area for them but the darlings were everywhere. An enclosure with a cuddly sabre toothed tiger wouldn’t go amiss.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI sat down on a bank with a thistle for company to watch a flying display by a Barn Owl, a Kestrel and a Harris Hawk. This was the highlight of the day for me and I am considering going back as they do courses on ‘awk ‘andling. The young lady handling the birds of prey seemed very knowledgeable and competent. She was also blessed with flame red hair and skin like alabaster a perfect example of the highland lassie. In my dreams I could kill two birds with one stone here. 

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         The Harris Hawk. It’s from North America and hunts as a flock apparently………I was concentrating on what she was saying or at least doing my best to…….a distracting birdess she is.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         A female Barn Owl and an absolutely beautiful bird.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA             A peregrine Falcon……..all the birds are tame but he does look a little grumpy.

The star of the show was this little kestrel…………………

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         She has been taught to fly to a lure and by god is she quick. Amazing to see these birds so close a really great few hours and well worth the entry fee.

I almost forgot, it is a deer park so here is a deer………………

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         This Red Deer stag is very approachable, he approaches you. His antlers are still in velvet I’ve never felt it before it was amazingly soft but covered in flies, they must feed on it. A good thing I went in summer as by autumn he will be unapproachable.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Alf gets cold after a hair cut so he has a new jacket…he’s very proud of it and wore it all afternoon. Yes it is home made so possibly not a perfect fit.

Tomorrow I’m heading south for a week or so, then it’s back up to Scotland in a couple of months for the whole winter…….. if all goes to plan!

Internet here is very slow, slow to non existent. I am getting round your posts but often the job times out if I try and comment.

Thanks for the help on lenses……..I can’t afford a long Cannon lens so  am looking at a Sigma 500mm. Anyone used one?

That’s all for today.

25 comments:

  1. Gret tour through this area. I was surprised to find the peregrine is such a large bird. There is a link on my blog to a peregrine webcam here. I don't know if the birds are still there but take a look. It will be up next year again.

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    1. Red, there are a pair and a chick nesting in a tower block in Glasgow........wonderful.......not for the contractors charged with it's demolition though. They are protected here.

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  2. Those birds are excellent Adrian. Something I must do myself one day, visit a center like that, and get up close to them.

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    1. Well worth making the effort. Odd that it was the little kestrel that impressed me the most.

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  3. amazing to be able to be so close to these birds! My fave is the barn owl, so fluffy looking.
    I feel fortunate that our town has a camera shop that sells used cameras and equipment, otherwise I wouldn't have a Canon and two lenses. Good luck on your search.

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    1. Barn owls are amazing. They are blind to anything close up but have very sophisticated hearing.

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  4. Looks like you had a wonderful day at the park, with a lot of great sightings. Alf looks adorable in his new homemade jacket :)

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    1. Alf is very proud of his jacket. I dread to think of the muck it will collect.

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  5. Hi Adrian, I really envy you, to be so close to these wonderful animals. Have a great weekend. Hope you get some great lenses for your new Canon Camera.

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  6. Sigma is a great lens, I had one many years ago when I was using a pentax camera. In my opinion, Always try the lens out before you buy.

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    1. Horst, I haven't bought the camera yet. I too like Sigma lenses but I am not kind to equipment. They have an excellent repair service as i have found out in the past.

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  7. Gorgeous pics, as always, Adrian.

    The only Sigma lens I have is a 100-300. It's a decent enough lens but I rarely use it because it throws me off all the time. It's constructed backwards compared to Canon lenses, and by that, I mean that the zoom and focus are in opposite locations (front to back) and the zoom ijavascript:BLOG_CMT_subscription.toggle()s the reverse of what you'd expect rotation-wise. I've missed fleeting photo opportunities because of it. And with Frank's 100-400 lens readily available most times, I haven't really picked up the Sigma lens in months. I know you didn't ask about this particular lens but I imagine they're all constructed similarly. Still, it's a fine lens.

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    1. Hilary, yes they are and no they are not. I'm looking to get a prime lens with internal focussing. It will take me a month or two to come to a decision.

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  8. Oddly I too had a Sigma lens when using a Pentax SLR and again it was a long time ago but I seem to recall being very pleased with it: a 300mm if I remember correctly.

    We have Peregrines on the Island and it's quite amazing when they are around because all the other birds - including the Buzzards - immediately go to ground. Oddly when they are in the air I always think that they look quite small (the male being considerably smaller than the female anyway) but they are certainly the most amazing of birds.

    Your photos capture the beauty of these wonderful creatures which have an tremendous capacity to enthral us.

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    1. I think it is always the case with raptors. The female is much bigger than the male. It seems that Hawkers usually have female birds. It was magical though am not a zoo fan.

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  9. A great Deer Park, plus Birds of Prey, and her, Adrian is in love, ah. I had Sigma 500, and it is great.

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    1. 500mm is probably a bit long and heavy for me....I'll try one.

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  10. I'm glad the beautiful bird lady added to your please of the other great birds. I'm sewing today and what I make is not Homemade it is Made with Love. And, anyway, Alfie would look good in anything!

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    1. I just hope it keeps him warm.....he has a delicate tummy which is not improved when he gets a chill.

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  11. What a treat!! I'm laughing at your hoardes of children comment. They drive me nuts as well. Sometimes I can mold them into quiet while birding. There always seems to be one hiding in the bushes(kids not the birds)

    The Harris Hawk is a favorite. They fly around here and make quite the team together. Peregrine are intelligent birds that are making a come back.....fast and deadly. And a Barn Owl. Cute! Thanks for sharing. Looks like a nice time.

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    1. You are lucky having them in the wild.....it's where they should be.

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  12. Great pictures Adrian, beautiful birds, that Barn Owl is a beauty. Never got close enough to feel the velvet on a deers antlers, must have been a treat. I think Alfie looks perfect in his new coat.

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    1. It is good to get close to a tame animal. I do prefer them running free though.

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  13. The barn owl picture is so cute. Loved it. Cheers!

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