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

Monday, 30 June 2014

IT’S VERY HARD. (30/06/14)

I don’t recall what time I arose this morning. I went to bed early then got up then went to bed then got up again. I’m not a teenager with a new girlfriend, I’m a somnambulist or an insomniac with two dogs. I always have had trouble sleeping. It was awkward for girls when I was younger as they never got a full nights sleep. As they got older it became very annoying for them. I went to sea to work. It is a positive advantage there. The slightest change in the vessels motion and I would be out of bed to find out why.

This morning I cleaned the van a bit, accompanied the dogs to the beach. Cleaned the van a bit more, then it was half eight. The shop was open, I didn’t really need anything but a paper, papers come with the post at eleven here but we still had a wander up for a chat. I did buy a load of cheese and the bread they bake. I got some olives in Vacpack to go with the cheese.

Sometime during the night I took these.

_V0G5435   The Orkney Isles or a bit of them.

_V0G5436    The Ecuador Star outward bound from St. Petersburg and inbound for Christobal. She’s in ballast and is a Reefer, a refrigerated cargo ship.

I went for an early morning siesta. Then out again to try DOUGLAS’S very good tutorial on shooting birds. He said to sit down and watch one bird. I’d already sorted the focus points and their sensitivity in Canon’s C.Fn III menu. Some bits I didn’t understand but I tried. there are twelve different settings in C.Fn III alone and there are lots of Custom Functions.

 Douglas…..None mentioned ‘Ring of Fire’. For focus points. I picked centre and the ones nearest to centre. I guess that’s what you meant. I also found a thingy that allows the focus to track quicker so gave that a nudge upwards. Then I thought I maybe don’t want it to record these pictures fast so found another menu that said record bursts of five I nudged that one down to four.

Here they are. I picked a Common Gull, it could be a Kittiwake but I’ll stick with the Common gull as it ridded all the Blackheaded Gulls. I sat down and tried my best but t isn’t easy.

_V0G5437 It started off on the ground and I still missed a bit of wing. No worries I got most of the right wing.

_V0G5439    Then having frightened the Black headed Gull it changed direction just to confuse me and I missed a bit of left wing.

_V0G5443  It then started to retract it’s undercarriage but it was going fast and I missed a bit of it’s beak.

_V0G5450    Here it is flapping away in normal mode. Thanks Douglas. Not perfek but better. I didn’t use motor drive and none are perfect but I didn’t crop. That’s why they are crap.

I noticed it was ringed I have been considering bird ringing since I decided it was evil to shoot them.  They now flag legs, they put beak rings in, they put cattle tags in their wings…. Hey you lot that tag birds and mist net little birds for sport; please stop it, just watch them. Mist netting is awful. Imagine if you hit a chicken fence at full speed… Not nice. You contribute bugger all to science as your tag recovery rate is less than 3%. Just leave them alone and keep away from nesting sites. That will help the birds to increase in number. I know the bird taggers are licenced but have not looked who issues the licence. I suspect it is a Quango. Probably a charity like the RSPB.

I used to keep Bantam Hens and my first job in spring was to stop hens going broody I was out all hours finding where the cunning devils had laid eggs. The purpose was to stop an excess males. Two males to twelve females was about right. The Cocks don’t fight hard then. I never succeeded, I always had to pop thirty percent of the chicks in the pot.

I’m away tomorrow to lean over a cliff for a snap of a Puffin in flight with a gob full of eels. I bet if I fail I would wish I’d got a pair of scissors to clip their wings and a net.

Have fun.

 

33 comments:

  1. I agree with you full re mist netting. Lovely images again Adrian. I see, the sea has been calling to the both of us.

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    1. Mersad, catching birds is a game for folk that can't work a camera or are really hungry. I love the sea.

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  2. Well done with the final one. I guess the ideal would be in not trying to fill the frame giving a better chance of getting both wings in ;)

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    1. John, I was just playing. The light was good and I used centre metering on a bit of greyish fence post, locked it and had to do bugger all in post processing. John I was playing with things. I don't like wasting shutter count. I'm sorry I misses a bit of wing. Birds are symmetrical use yur imagination for the missing bit

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  3. Sorry about your lack of sleep, I have the opposite. Lovely shots of the Gull and the big boat.

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    1. No worries Bob. Birds flying are difficult. Hey Ho it's what they do. I'm surprised it took me so long to take a picture of them doing it. I've yet to get a good one.

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  4. Although it's annoying when you want to sleep and can't - and can't sleep when you want to . . . and everything gets a bit . . .. The result is the lovely photos at the top - and they are lovely.
    Of the gulls - although one picture has a bit of the left wing missing - that's the one I find the most characterful and good to look at.

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    1. Thanks Lucy, you are very kind.
      The sleep business is a combination of things. It's how I am.
      Macro and shooting birds is something I will have to get better at. I cncentrate on the subject and not on the composition. The horizon is well on the tilt. A Pro-snapper would never publish a shot like it.

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  5. I like the first image Adrian. It has a mystical quality to it.
    "the ring of fire" is when all focus points are activated instead of individual points or a couple. The AF tracking mode you found is the one I adjust downwards you went up I found this mode when up at a faster speed grabs at the background to much there is a couple of shots there if it hadn't been for clipped wings would have been brilliant they still can be with creative cropping.
    I will have to disagree with bird ringing though. It was bird ringers who have alerted us to bird numbers dropping and providing evidence to governments that numbers were dropping before that ministers would just say are you sure you are not miscounting etc. Also with mist netting we have been able to track cuckoos with radio tags which has and will help with the conservation of species we've also been able to tag certain species of raptors and now know on which toff's estate they're vanishing over and when done correctly is great educational tool/way to encourage youngsters to appreciate wildlife.
    One day as radio tags get cheaper mist netting will vanish back in the 1800's Lord Lilford wrote a book about birds in it there were excerpts like "today Johnny shot 16 yellowhammers with a catapult for me to count and study" (slight paraphrasing) methods change.

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  6. Sorry should add it's the BTO(British Trust for ornithology) who issue licences for ringing and it is thorough with strict rules and very thorough training

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  7. Douglas, I would love to get better at snapping them, these as you know move quick. They were only a yard or two away and often closer as they associate me with food.
    Can you do another tutorial for idiots. There are two many choices and you didn't make it clear. I only shot six frames of this Gull but I only got four cos another bastard gull got between mine an' the lens. The focus bit worked cos the camera knew which was my one.


    As for ringing...I hope we can agree to differ. I saw a post today with half Northern Ireland tramping through a nest site. The ringer was handing birds about.......Dick Head.

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    1. If we all agreed it would be a right boring world wouldn't it. I see what I can do about another tutorial if you see something dodgy report it to the BTO ETC

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    2. Sorry for the delay Douglas. I have deleted this halfwit and had to trawl about to get a link that shows how badly proper birders can behave.
      MARGARET
      If you look at her latest post they are passing wee birds about. They record what they have caught......what was left hanging in the nets whilst they got a load of old foggies off the boat.

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    3. I had a read of Margarets post. I think and I hope Margaret let's us know but I think you may have misinterpreted the post and definately the images. There was a group of twenty, the birds had already been caught, the ringer split the group into two and took them into the lab.. Probably a shed:-) and showed each group how and why is bird is ringed. The images to my eyes of the bird in the hand, the hand is the same hand, no offence to the "hand" owner, but look at the chubby fingers (really am sorry) and the wrist us also chunky..the hand owner is going to punch me. Hopefully Margaret will clear things up.

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    4. Douglas, I just can't see the point of interfering with them. Just give them somewhere safe to nest that is rat free.
      I get wee birds hit the window. I have a little box to pop them in and a pipet to give them a drink. When I pick them up they look dead but nine out of ten fledglings come round.
      Mist netting is awful.
      We'll not fall out but obviously we can't agree.

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  8. How do you what boat that was Adrian, have you got an app or what ever they call it or just bloody good eyesight.

    peter

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    1. Peter, excellent eyesight and hearing.
      go to:
      MARINETRAFFIC
      If you are by the seaside and see something floating past on the sea it will tell you for free what it is.

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  9. Now those awesome bird shots.

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    1. I'll have to keep trying Red. One day I'll get them framed up.

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  10. Being one of the world's great sleepers, I really feel sorry for anyone who has difficulty with sleeping. Doesn't appear that you need a lot, anyway. Not when it comes to photography at least. I have six bantam hens and two roosters. One rooster has to go, I'm fed up with their macho nonsense.

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    1. Pauline, they are full of character but are aggressive. You need to get more hens or as you say it will be chicken tonight for tea.

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  11. I am really enjoying your photos of this picturesque area...Your gull photos are so crisp and clear. I also like zeroing in on large marine craft and finding out details about them. What a great adventure you are having!

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    1. Glo, it is good looking out of the van and being able to identify ships and where they are heading for.

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  12. "it's Very Hard" - No need to boast about your physiology old chap! Personally, I don't find seagulls as arousing as you clearly do.

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    1. YP, I invent titles to attract hits.
      The gulls are wonderful. Try getting to know a few and I bet some of your best friends will be Gulls.
      I don't get a hard on but letting them take food from my fingers without drawing my blood takes a couple of days. I like that they can learn not to grab.

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  13. That bird looks very cross indeed. Maybe it's shy.

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    1. Frances. it is the boss bird but the others have to be chased away. It amazed me that a little Common Gull can sort all the others out.

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  14. Ten cuidado con ellas son muy malas:))))
    Un abrazo

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    1. Sin Laura, yo les he enseñado a ser bueno.

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  15. Wow ~ so much in this post ~ adrenaline is definitely working A.

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    1. Carol, some days are busier than others.

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  16. Just catching up. Lot to take in on this one. I'll just pick up on one thing. Hand feeding gulls. They are wild creatures Adrian and a menace. The Black-backed and Herring Gulls in particular quite happily attack people now because they are used to people feeding them. Making them a protected species should mean that they can't be interfered with like that and then they wouldn't be such a nuisance to the rest of us.

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    1. Graham, I was hoping you wouldn't read this when I saw your last post. I consider myself bollocked. I won't do it again.
      I'll get a wee notice popped up so that everyone knows it's naughty to feed birds.

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