It’s definitely autumn now. Last night at least 2 troops of cranes flew over our house and heading south.
The image above is taken about 3 weeks ago. They were resting near the baltic sea. In that area, they stay for about 4 weeks. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t that good for wildlife photography. But, I’m happy for having seen them again. This time, my wife was with me. She isn’t in photography and not interested in observing wildlife. But, she was also very impressed.
Cranes flee very easy. They have a fleeing distance of about 300 m. And you better not disturb them, because every flight needs energy and they need the energy for their next long-distance flight to the south to their destinations in southern France and Spain. So, either be in the observing place before the cranes come (that’s long before sunrise) and stay there until they left (after sunset) or observe them from a distance (also from a hide).
What I noticed this year was, there were not many adolescents with the adults. You now, they only have one or a maximum of two eggs in a season. But this fall, most of the adults hadn’t had any kid. The most probable reason is the two hot summers and the dry winter between them. So, the wetlands weren’t wet which results in unsafe nest places and less food.
While photographing birds recently, I met this little guy. Is it a skinhead or a punk? It also reminded me of a vulture. Did I find a new species, a vulture tit?
I guess, this little poor guy is quite young and the black feathers are about to come soon. Nevertheless, I find it quite curious. 🙂
While I was in Wales, my wife changed the destination for our summer holiday. Instead of heading south to the Bavarian Alpes for staying two weeks near the National Park “Berchdesgardener Land”, we were heading north to the Dutch province Groningen. Beach instead of mountains. Fair change in my eyes 🙂
But, what a surprise. No beach 🙂 Only a harbor for ferries and fishing boats. But, a huge lake with no tide and lots of birds was nearby. So, from a wildlife photographers point of view fantastic opportunities. But, this wasn’t her intention. So, she was quite disappointed with her choice although the area was very nice and offered many options for walking, hiking or biking, but no town nearby. The next shops were about 15 km away.
I also was a bit disappointed, because I left the lens, I usually use for wildlife, at home. I didn’t expect these conditions. So, I have to return 🙂 Is anybody out there willing to accompany me?
So, now tons of images are waiting on my hard-disk to get developed. Most of them are birds, but I also have many landscape images. Some of them are a mixture of both kinds, just like the one above: a flock of seagulls is chasing a spoonbill at sunset. In one of the next frames, you can see them attacking the spoonbill. But, I like this one more because of the light conditions.
When taking wildlife images, I use a technique called panning. The camera settings are continuous shutter speed, a fixed shutter speed depending on the kind of animal and expected action, fixed aperture (wide open), continuous auto-focus spreading over a couple AF fields and Auto-ISO with spot metering. The camera has an APS-C sized sensor and a tele-focus lens sitting on a monopod. These settings help me to get pretty sharp images even of flying birds. I start taking photographs in a certain moment and following the movement of the birds with my camera. That’s quite easy because it’s mounted on top of the monopod and follows my turns. So, I’m able to follow the movements of my main subject. Back at home, I have to view lots of images and many of them get deleted. But, this technique gives me the opportunity to not miss a shot.
The exact settings for the above image are: APS-C sensor, 1/1000, f5.6, 80-400mm lens at 280mm (~420mm equivalent for a 35mm camera or full-frame), ISO 500