Tag Archives: jackdaw

Monochrome Set (in colour)

OK, these are black and white photos. But they are black, white and shades of grey.

Coot

Black and White (Coot)

Pied Wagtail

White, Black, Grey (Pied Wagtail)

Collared Dove

Grey (Collared Dove)

Jackdaw

Black (Jackdaw)

And a touch of brown 😉

Rat

Rat on Rock

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens.

Posted in Birds, rats Also tagged , , , |

Common and Garden

Nothing too exotic today (though do look at the video clip at the end). I was playing around with my EF 400mm f/5.6L USM prime lens between rain showers. It’s a good lens but in the past I’ve had difficulty consistently achieving sharp shots with it. That’s partly because it lacks image stabilization, but I’ve also suspected it needed calibrating (which is possible on the 7D). A few test shots seemed to indicate it was focusing short (i.e slightly in front of the image). I tested various settings (trial and error) and found a 10 point adjustment seemed to do the trick. The camera retains the settings on a lens-by-lens basis, so I should now be able to forget about it and get on with the business of taking photos. See what you think 😉

First a couple of photos of one of the ubiquitous garden woodpigeons.

woodpigeon

woodpigeon

Now for a the equally common jackdaws.

jackdaw

jackdaw

My favourite sequence though was a magpie. A pair were flying back and forth between the gardens for most of the afternoon (their nest is about six gardens away).

Magpie

Magpie

Magpie

All in all I’m reasonably pleased with the results. The lack of stabilization does mean I need to work harder to get the shots, and I certainly need decent light to keep the shutter speed high. The adjustment does seem to have helped and I achieved a better ratio of keepers than usual. What I would really like though is this (unlikely to happen any time soon).

Now for the video clip. It’s a female badger showing signs of lactating. 😀

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens.

Posted in Badger, Birds, Wildlife Also tagged , , , |

Rottingdean Fulmar Attacked by Jackdaw (photo sequence)

I was down at Rottingdean fairly early this morning, on an errand but while I was there I headed down to the cliffs to check out the local fulmars. This is a good time of year to watch them as they prepare for breeding. There were plenty of them about, flying out over the sea and then doing their typical skimming along the cliffs trying to find a foothold.

Fulmar at Rottingdean

The usual pattern when they try to land is to fly up to the cliff face, turn away, fly a circuit and then try again. They have very weak legs and need to get their landing exactly right. It’s not always easy. I watched several fulmars play this game. Usually they are aiming at a nesting site but just occasionally they pick the wrong spot. As this one did. Here it is making touchdown on the cliff face.

Fulmar approaching a nesting hole

Fulmar approaching a nesting hole

Usually at that point it would either abort the landing, or settle. On this occasion it had chosen the wrong hole. This particular cavity in the cliff was already taken… by a jackdaw; and it was not happy about the uninvited guest. Jackdaws can be very aggressive, even with each other, as the fulmar was about to discover. This is what happened next.

Fulmar being attacked by a jackdaw

Fulmar being attacked by a jackdaw

Fulmar being attacked by a jackdaw

Fulmar being attacked by a jackdaw

Fulmar being attacked by a jackdaw

Fulmar being attacked by a jackdaw

After they separated the fulmar headed out to sea and the jackdaw returned to its roost.

As well as the fulmars and jackdaws, the cliffs are home to pipits, starlings and pigeons and so minor confrontations are common on the cliffs. Usually though, it’s a case of which bird can shout the loudest and longest. Fulmars invariably win that kind of contest!

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens.

Posted in Birds, water birds Also tagged , |