I spent most of the day counting gulls and ducks for the Wetland Bird Survey; I fired off this quick shot of a Sedgie just as I was heading home. The original was not quite in focus, very flat, washed out, and lacking contrast. I seldom do any processing other than cropping and perhaps a tiny tweak of exposure, but I cranked up the curve in this using some very rudimentary software and got this effect. Let’s call it art. Or crap!
Meanwhile, Jason went to the Wirral and did some proper digiscoping, starting with this Grasshopper Warbler at Leasowe …
… and then this Grey Seal at Hilbre
I’ve not managed to get to Nel’s Hide during its opening hours this week to snap the near-summer plumage Spotted Redshank currently there. The last time (and indeed the first time) I saw one in summer plumage at that hide was also one of my first ever “successful” attempts at digiscoping, on the evening of the France v Portugal match in the 2006 World Cup, if I recall. This was taken with a Coolpix 995; the bird was on the nearest mudbank to Nel’s along with a juvenile Little Ringed Plover. I got back home in time for kick off.
Another very fleeting visit with Django, the dog, tonight. Little to photograph except the resident Kestrel once again, who poses for me very readily. I think he has one eye on Django as a likely snack. The midges had similar thoughts about me.
My mooching around the house all day, being off work sick, was clearly too much for the family, who persuaded me that a bit of fresh air would do me good, and dumped me and the dog at the end of Marshside Road some time after 6pm. Rumours of a Great White Egret having flown over at 5pm were quickly scotched by a phone call, which also advised that the Spotted Redshank was still viewable from Nel’s at the time it was locked up, and sure enough it was ‘scopable even from Junction Pool but a photo was out of the question. So the highlight of this short visit was this Whinchat. Having seen, but failed to get a decent image of, the bird in the sandplant on Saturday, this one was at least eventually sufficiently obliging for me to get these record shots. A probable Tree Pipit flew over the sandplant, which had plenty of Wheatear around.
male ruff Philomachus pugnax marshside rspb 18/04/2009, originally uploaded by jason stannage.
Easter Monday, from the bench at the Marshside Rd junction.
I haven’t taken a decent digiscoped still for a few weeks! But I’m happy enough with these few snippets of video spliced together, including yesterday’s Garganey and a couple of the Short-eared Owls at Marshside. Click the HQ button on the player for higher quality, if it’s visible.
I’ve cut this file to MP4 as well, and it looks and sounds far, far better on an iPod than it ever will on YouTube. If anyone wants a copy let me know and I’ll find somewhere to upload it to and link it.
From October 2006, not the bird that was on Rimmer’s Marsh earlier this week but similar plumage and photographed in precisely the same location. Photos cropped from original taken with a Coolpix 995, no other processing.