Tag Archives: magpie

Short Eared Owl and Magpies

I’m going to split Monday’s owl sequence into a number of posts, starting with this short sequence of Shortie being mobbed by a pair of magpies. They were chasing the poor owl all over the bottom of Sheepcote Valley. Great to watch the difference in flight between the much larger owl and the two black and white combatants.

Short-eared owl being mobbed by magpies at Sheepcote Valley, Brighton

Short-eared owl being mobbed by magpies at Sheepcote Valley, Brighton

Short-eared owl being mobbed by magpies at Sheepcote Valley, Brighton

Short-eared owl being mobbed by magpies with the Whitehawk Transmitter in the background

Occasionally it looked as though the owl was doing the chasing, but it's more a case that the magpies would overshoot their target.

Occasionally it looked as though the owl was doing the chasing, but it’s more a case that the magpies would overshoot their target.

Short-eared owl being mobbed by magpies at Sheepcote Valley, Brighton

An arrow-like attack!

Short-eared owl being mobbed by magpies at Sheepcote Valley, Brighton

The magpies chased Shortie along the perimeter fencing. He eventually sought refuge and a breather on a fence post away from the open ground.

More coming soon including some decent in-flight shots and a rubbish shot of the owl with its breakfast!

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

Three of Two Kinds (Rat and Magpie)

Just some fairly standard photos today, of two local wildlife regulars. The first sequence (the rats over at Falmer Pond) were taken in the deep early morning gloom. I ramped the camera up to ISO 6400. The images have been very lightly processed through Digital Photo Pro, which is testament to the excellent noise control on the 7D Mark II. Noise reduction has been applied, but the photos have retained a good amount of detail. The three rat photos are cropped by about 50%.

Rats

Rats

Rats

The weather was a whole lot better by lunchtime. The sun was out, and skies clear. I didn’t get much at the pond, so popped back to the woods at the edge of the car park at work. The local magpie population was very active, and provided some nice opportunities in decent light. These shots were taken at between ISO 640 and 1000.

Magpie

Magpie

Magpie

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

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.