Welcome to my birdwatching blog. This blog will contain stories about my bird watching trips, interesting bird news and other tales that may or may not be bird related. I want to make it useful to the avid birder as well as those who may only have a passing interest in bird watching. I enjoy photographing bird life, common and rare through a spotting scope, not that they always sit still long enough for me. Being on the outskirts of North East London, my reports will not only cover my local patch of Redbridge/Waltham Forest, but also dip into deepest Essex, Suffolk, Kent and Norfolk.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

A bit more Bittern…boring.

Hmmmm. It’s funny but I’m getting a bit fed up with the Bittern. I want this rubbish weather to dissipate and for us all to be basking in glorious spring sunshine. The spring migrants are a month away and what a joy they will be as they sit atop scrub or tree and sing while I – in shirt sleeves – shoot away on my little Nikon with a decent shutter speed for a change. It’s true though that digital cameras are sophisticated enough to give reasonable results in the darkest of days but couple that with a moving subject and things get bad, really bad.

So for now, I have had to rely on the elusive Bittern as a subject. This can be an uneasy and often unproductive partnership. So while I wait for the Bittern, I used this female Mallard to practise my digiscoping skills on.

A few people have asked me how I get the shots I get. Well, most of the time the shots are pretty poor. I occasionally get a decent image and then hastily run it through Photoshop CC and bingo, better results.

When the Bittern did eventually show itself, I got two shots. One was useless and the other was this…

So this was not bad and considering the light condition I was very happy. But once I sorted out the levels and dropped a bit of unsharp mask on the bird, I ended up with this….

Nikon Coolpix 6500S with Opticron HR66 scope.  ISO 400 – f3.6 – 1/250 sec

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