Tuesday 31 May 2011

Canon firmware updates

Canon EOS 5MK2
Canon ID Mk4


It was a nice long holiday weekend here in the States and that coincided with my Birthday so we managed a couple of party's and not a lot else, I had hopes of getting the kayak out yesterday but although the swelling on my foot has gone down the toe is still quite painful but getting better by the day, I decided to give it a rest and hope to be back to 100% by the end of this week, The weekend was very hot with temperatures not far off of 100, Today it was above 85 and climbing by 9am so it looks like the extreme temperatures are here to stay for a while, I did try to shoot some dragonflies around the pond yesterday afternoon but squatting down just aggravated my foot so i gave up, I had hundreds of birthday e mails so thank you for everybody who sent their best, I did get asked a question about sensor cleaning over the weekend and it is probably THE most common question asked on any forum, I use a blower first-a good one with a valve like a this, This will remove most dust particles, If there are still some left i use an Arctic Butterfly, Mine does not have the lights but they are a very god idea, If you have oil spots on your sensor then using a butterfly will just give you smears and you will need to do a wet clean, For this i use swabs by visible dust and visible dust solution, You may to give it a few swipes to get it perfectly clean so do not panic if its not clean after using the first swab, The last clean i gave mine took 4 swabs-cropped sensors are a lot easier to clean than a full frame


Monday 30 May 2011

Dave's Birthday

Dave is a bit older today, as he mentioned in his blog yesterday.

So Happy BirthDay Dave

Send him your best wishes in the comments if you wish


Springwatch is back

So that annual television event is back on our screens tomorrow  Ooops - tonight- yes its time for BBC Springwatch.

With a comprehensive website here and a new location for this year at RSPB Ynys-hir, it is a great little series to follow.

The new location in Wales will bring us a completely new set of interests this year and I am looking forward to watching it in HD this year, as our HD service got switched on here just over a month ago.

 I see from the twitter feeds that Iolo Williams, one of the regular wildlife guys on the small screen that he was stuck on Skomer last week for a while due to the windy weather preventing the boats from running.

Springwatch also has its own twitter feed here so follow this if you want to keep up with the going's on.

Following my recent post on webcams to watch, the BBC also have cams on Barn Owl, Oystercatcher, Redstart and Woodpecker that can be seen here.

Happy viewing for those UK based or those able to get BBC wherever you are in the world


Sunday 29 May 2011

Pleasure and Pain

Its my birthday tomorrow and last year my wife bought me a kayak, Well the kayak has been sitting on the wall untouched and unused much to my shame, I wanted one to get near the osprey and heron nests out in the middle of a large local lake, So last Thursday afternoon we went down and gave it its maiden voyage, Its was a nice hot day with a good breeze, I shot around the bay where the herons and ospreys are still nesting and came back full of plans-Great, I even took my dog Alfie out for a spin in it, The next morning i awoke to a very painful and swollen big toe on  my left foot, I have no recollection of being stung or bitten but it was really sore, We went out shopping for food etc for the annual birthday party and i really struggled hobbling around all the stores, The next day-Saturday the food was now swollen-not just the toe and the toe was so swollen that it felt like it could burst so off to urgent care for a check up before it got too bad, The doctor said he thought it was a sting or bite and re-leaved me of $140 plus a prescription, So after a few tablets and a hot towel wrapped around my foot the swelling started to go down and today the foot is back to its old self but the big toe is still sore but feeling better than the day before, I think i may have stood on sonething at the area where we put the kayak in the water and from now on i will wear something on my feet-a lesson learned
So for my birthday i am now a 3TB Western Digital Caviar Green hard drive better off as my 2TB are filling fast

 All images taken by my wife Marian


Saturday 28 May 2011

Saturday Quickie - Supporting Wildlife Conservation

Here's a bargain that you might want to take up if you are into butterflies and moths.   Butterfly Conservation have got a half price membership offer on until the end of May, so you have got a few days left to grab a good offer.  Check out the link and have a look.  You will also find your nearest area branch from the site as well.  Not just covering butterflies but moths as well.  We are already members of the WWT, RSPB and the Wildlife Trusts and it can get a bit expensive to support so many, but with the offer I thought it was worth it.

While we are on the subject of butterflies, it has been a sparse time recently for them in the garden here.  With a run of much cooler and windy weather, pus the very hot early spell in April, we are not seeing anywhere near as many at the moment.  It is the same with damselflies too.

I set my moth trap last night and grabbed a few new species for the garden so I will get round to processing them and share with you soon, along with an interesting caterpillar that is busy eating one of Jacqui's plants.

Enjoy your weekend, and make the most of the bank holiday on Monday if you are in the UK.


Friday 27 May 2011

Service and repair

At some point your camera gear will need to go in for repair, At the moment i have the Nikon D7000 on its way to Nikon as the rear command dial which allows you to scroll up and down through the custom functions and images does not work in the up direction which is a pain, Its been the same since coming back from Japan and it seems like a good time to send it in as i am busy behind the PC, I spoke to Nikon and filled in their on line form and printed off the shipping details-all very professional as always, I hope its not away too long
On the other end of the spectrum i have now had to deal with Sigma as i found that the 180mm Macro will not work at all with the D7000, The lens is about 2.5 years old and purchased new from BH Photovideo, I spoke to a lady on the phone who took all the details and was told that the lens was an old one and could not be fixed, I had already told her the model and after some moaning on my behalf that a lens under 3 years old could not be classed as an old lens was told as it was not a DG lens it was old-I had already told her it was a DG lens-DER, So i was put through to somebody else to go over it again, I gave the serial number and was told that it probably would not take the firmware upgrade-$10 as it seems it was older than the 2.5 years and must have been sitting on BH's shelf for some considerable time, So i may have 2 choices if the firmware upgrade does not work
1.Live with it and only use it on my D3s which works fine
2. Have a new circuit board fitted at $100+
I guess this is a lesson learnt to anybody looking at buying a 3rd party lens, If i had purchased a Nikon lens it would work on any Nikon body, The Nikon 200F4 micro currently sells for $1700 whereas the Sigma is -just checked BH and it shows as discontinued-Great, Seems like they have dropped the 180mm and just have the 150mm in the long macro range
Its a shame as the 180mm Macro is a very nice lens-beautifully sharp, Pretty well built and the controls are smooth, I will send it in and depending on the outcome decide if i will repair it (if possible) keep it or sell it
Fingers crossed that it will take a firmware update however the guy on the phone wasnt very positive about that, Here is the first image taken from my pond taken with the D3s and 180mm macro


Thursday 26 May 2011

Wildlife Webcams to watch

Just a quickie from me tonight to share a couple of webcams that are most definitely worth a watch.

The first one is from Nottingham Trent University and it is following the fortunes of a nesting Peregrine pair.  I have loved watching this and it surprises me still to see how late the adult birds fly.

As I type this, one of the parents is just sitting off, keeping an eye on the four chick, that are getting bigger on a daily basis.

The second one is from Rutland Water and is following a pair of nesting Ospreys as part of the English re-introduction programme.  Two chicks have hatched in the last couple f days so we will now see much more of the adult bird movements now they have chicks to feed.

Check in and have a peek.  It is great to watch.

It would also be great if you could let us know of any other favourite web cams that you have at this time of year.


Wednesday 25 May 2011

Guest Blogger-Graham Goddard

 I am pleased to have Graham Goddard as todays guest Blogger, Although i have not actually met Graham in person i have watched his progression in wildlife photography through various forums and we have exchanged a few e mails about shooting fox and badger, A couple of things struck me about Graham, Firstly he has good fieldcraft-The most important thing for successful wildlife photography and like me he likes to go out and find his 'own' wildlife and has tackled some difficult subjects like kingfisher,barn owl and badgers with success which shows determination-all the traits that you need if you want to be consistently successful, Read on

I was very flattered to be asked to prepare an article for WATW, so a big thanks to Dave and Martin for asking me to do so.

I have my own blog  and write regulary on there, but at first, the thought of preparing something for someone else was a bit daunting. Should I write about some techniques I use, locations I visit or the equipment I use ? In the end, I decided to write about a project that I've found utterly challenging, but very satisfying indeed - more of that later though.

Firstly, a little about myself - I'm a self taught amateur photographer and keen wildlife enthusiast. I've had a life long interest in nature which I think I can thank my parents for - they own yacht which as a child I sent most of my summer weekends and holidays upon.

We cruised the Essex & Suffolk coasts and rivers and on main holidays, made our way to France, Belgium and Holland. My opportunities to get up close to sea and shore life was ever present and as a young RSPB member, ticking off my first Avocet sighting in Holland or my first Sandwich tern was exciting.

About 4 years ago I decided to buy a DLSR - in a slightly drunken moment, I bid on a 30D plus loads of kit on ebay. I won it, and have not looked back since.

The 30D (and all the kit) has since been sold off and upgraded as invested more and more money in this expensive hobby. I now spend a lot of my free time photographing, planning projects, going on trips and observing the wildlife in South-East England and East Anglia.

One project that I've devoted almost a divorce inducing amount of time to is Badgers, which is the subject of this piece.

I discovered a set a year ago. Having no experience of these animals other than on TV or from seeing the odd dead one at the side of the road, I had no idea how to go about seeing them, let alone getting any shots.

My discovery set me up for one of the most frustrating, but enjoyable projects that I've so far attempted in photography.

Enlisting the help of my friend Calum, I started putting a little food down for them so that we could at least confirm their presence.

We then started our vigils and I've lost count of the hours spent at that set last summer, waiting for darkness and straining to see any sign of movement in the gloom.

Over time, we got plenty of sightings - owls, deer, fox, hare, bats - even the odd bloke with his dog. The badgers were scarce and I was beginning to think that there must be and easier way to do this.

We did get badger sightings, but they were very brief, the badgers were very wary, and they usually appeared a long way from my carefully placed, pre focused and remotely triggered camera.

The set itself is on farmland that I have permission to access but what didn't help was that the farmer had planted a huge crop of sweetcorn adjacent to the set - so guess what, the badgers developed a liking for the corn and whilst we could hear them running around and eating it in the field, sightings were rare.

October arrived, the weather turned, and we decided to stop for 2010.

This year, we started the project again in April. Regular visits to place a few tasty morsels after work were shared between us and we were delighted that on our first vigil, we were greeted to the wonderful sight of not just one, but five cubs, all foraging for the peanuts we'd left for them.

As April and May have progressed, the badgers have got used to my presence, the shutter noise and crucially, my scent. I've been able to get closer to the set and, crucially, the cubs are now bold enough to venture out before sunset.

Just sitting and watching these super creatures is a pleasure and photographing them in broad daylight is an experience that will live with me for years to come.

I am looking forward to seeing the cubs grow as the year passes and if Dave and Martin ask me to write an entry again, I'll let you have an update.

I've a few more projects on the go at the moment, so check my own blog if you want to see the results of those

For now though, here's my favourite shot so far.


GJG Photography'

It would be great if Graham could do an update in a few months, i have mentioned in previous blogs that i tend to shoot in a project style i.e take 1 subject and spend some time shooting it over a period of time, Badgers can be one of the most difficult of subjects to shoot especially if they are nocturnal only animals-some venture out in daylight and some will only come out well after dark
Again thanks to Graham and look forward to the update


Tuesday 24 May 2011

A couple from an Evening wander

I popped out last Thursday evening for an hour or so to check on progress of the orchids at my local patch.  The Bee Orchids are just starting to show their heads, and the Spotteds are getting on with it now.  Just one was in bloom was out, nestled down in the undergrowth.

Nothing special, but I am looking forward to a lot more to come in the forthcoming weeks.

A little further away in the same area, I found a few Burnet Moth cases on grass stems and some of the caterpillars before they have turned into the chrysalis.

This one was set up quite nicely with the only challenge being the wind blowing the stem around.

With the very strong winds that we have here at the moment, I was glad to make the effort to get out after a busy day at work, even if it was for only an hour.


Monday 23 May 2011

Food Raider PT2

The weekend had flown by, The weather has finally agreed that its summer and 90 degrees and blue skies were the order of the day, It was a very busy weekend for me but i did manage to get a few shots in, I had carried on watching the Raccoon raiding my feeders on both Friday and Saturday night, I had made a few adjustments to the set up to try and get the feeder pole out of the shot, This done i then decided to wait and watch and see how the Raccoon chose to feed-what side and position, After a couple of nights it was obvious that it liked to sit on the left and side so last night i set up again as before-D3s with 200-400 and 2 SB600 flashguns either side of the raccoon, I had a soft-box on the left one but the right one was au naturel, I increased the output from the flashguns as last time they were about 1/2 stop or so dark, 8.20pm and the first raccoon shows and feeds on the dog food left for the fox and then goes, 8.45pm and the fox shows and has a sniff around where the food was and goes, the all quiet until 10-45pm when a raccoon enters the garden and has a sniff around and then comes over and climbs up on the fence and starts to feed on the bird seed, I give it a minute to settle before taking a shot, I had decided to shoot in landscape mode this time and remember last time how far the raccoons tail hung down but once it was totally settled i knew i had not left enough room below, I think i will need to set up a hide and do this properly, The raccoons have no problems at all with flash and do not react in any way to them which is great so you can get in 20+ shots easily before they decide to leave
The raccoon started off feeding with a long stretch and was probably the best shot of the night

100% crop showing some determination
I am pleased to announce that we will have a guest blogger on Wednesday


Sunday 22 May 2011

West Midlands Bird Watchers Fair

I took a trip up to Middleton Hall yesterday to visit a small Bird Watchers Fair and take a quick glimpse at the newest RSPB reserve that has just opened there at Middleton Lakes

At the Fair, it was good to catch up with a few folks and look at one or two bits of gear.

One of the most useful was to check in with Manfrotto/Gitzo and get the details of where to order some replacement feet for my Gitzo 5541.  The feet screw in (or off) when you don't want them too, unless you Loctite them on.  So I shall order a new set one (or two) as I lost one last year.

I took a peek at the newest Fluid Head from Manfrotto,  MH055M8-Q5 055 Magnesium Photo-Movie Head with Q5 Quick Release,  a beautiful (but expensive ) piece of kit that would be great for video use for any DSLR capable of video.  In addition, for still, it can also be easily switched into portrait mode.  Good load capacity that means it is a viable proposition to use with a 500 lens.   Mmmmm - will have to think about that one - how much video do I shoot?  Very little in all honesty.  Link is below if you want to buy one.

Also caught up with Opticron to get my binos checked over.  I though there was an alignment problem, but had it confirmed it was fine.  Had a look at the Leica HD's - my favourite Bino 'want' - but given that they have gone up by over £400 in two years, for the same reasons that Canon lenses went up so much - i.e. exchange rate, plus general price hikes, plus extra VAT, they can stay on the shelf for now.

Moving outside - it was great to meet up and chat with the Butterfly Conservation -  Warwickshire people again, and I will look forward to their open day next Sunday. They also confirmed the Nutmeg moth from my recent post.

Back into the Hall, I bought some new books, again that I have linked below for you, and you can save some money over what I paid.  But I was happy to support the guys at the show.

The Dragonfly book is a true field guide and gives masses of information over and above the basic id information.  Excellent photos, detailed differences, habitats, locations in the UK, nymph and larva stages - all round excellent book and a must to have on the shelf.  The second book on Moths and Butterflies is again an excellent and different book, and well worth adding to the regular books that I have promoted. Again, excellent photos, plus caterpillar images too, which the reference works do not have. Again, a perfect companion to the core books.

Finally, it was good to catch up with Mike Lane, who wrote a guest blog for us a couple of years back.  He was there promoting his wildlife photographic travel company with some great destination options.  I know that if I was in the market for the sort of trips that Mike runs in a competitive market, I would most definitely choose to go with him.

It was a year ago today that I was in North Uist, and with no Scottish trip currently planned for this year, I have been yearning to get back there, but looking at the weather that they have been having recently and forecast, I am content that I am not there at this time.  It will still be there next year.

That's it for today.  Hope you all had enjoyable weekends.


Saturday 21 May 2011

Food Raider

For the last few weeks i have noticed that my bird feeders are emptying very quickly and even if i fill them in the evening they are nearly empty the next morning, A couple of weeks ago i slept with the windows open as it was a nice cool night and was awoken at 3am by a ting.ting.ting noise coming from the garden, I looked out of the window and could see a silhouetted shape of a raccoon, I have watched it regularly since then and its been coming earlier and earlier, So last night i set up my D3s (quiet mode) with the 200-400 on a tripod and had a SB 600 flashgun on each side of the bird feeder, I wanted a black background so did not put any flashguns behind-a simple set up, I wanted to take a test shot so used my mini schnauzer which is a similar colour and adjusted the guns as needed, I did not want to burn out any light areas on the raccoon, I did not have a hide set up so i thought i would use my wireless remote, I set the camera up visualising the raccoon and feeder and hoped it would be about right, And then it was just a matter of waiting, The first signs were at 8.20pm when it came into the garden and checked the areas where i put food out for the fox and then went and started to eat some corn i had put out for the deer that were there earlier, Suddenly the raccoon shot up the nearest tree and after a minute a  deer came into view, A couple of minutes later the raccoon descended from the tree and went and fed with the deer, I was amazed, They fed on the corn inched from each other without a problem, I cursed putting the corn out and thought that maybe that would be that, It was gone 11pm when 2 raccoons came back into the garden, One of them climbed the fence and started to feed from the bird feeder whilst the other stayed underneath and fed on anything that fell from the one above, I waited a couple of minutes and then pressed the shutter and with a blinding light-nothing, The raccoons carried on like nothing had happened, I carried on shooting for the next 30 minutes until they left, i quickly went and grabbed the camera etc and bought them indoors and quickly checked the screen, I had not left enough space on the left but apart from that all was good, The exposures were a little dark but not too bad and easily lightened in processing-not bad for the first try and now i can refine things
Every photographer should have an Alfie-better than a grey card

Best shot from the first night
100% crop showing that the DOF was good, I set the camera to manual mode 1/125@F11, I used a Nikon SU800 to control the flashguns and a Hahnel remote release to activate the shutter-from indoors


Friday 20 May 2011

Day Trip - Butterfly Site, Prestbury Hill, Gloucestershire

As I write this blog on Thursday evening for Fridays post, the Swifts are flashing by my window, screaming as they chase each other.  Wonderful sight.

Last week, Jac and I went down to a site in Gloucestershire that is managed by the Butterfly Conservation site.  The forecast wasn't brilliant and being a south west facing hill was exposed to the strong breeze.  This made getting top quality images difficult and I was happy enough under the circumstances to get some record images of a few species that I had not seen before.

Given the conditions, all these images are handheld, and as such in a number of cases the depth of field has suffered with not enough as I tried to make sure I had a fast enough shutter speed.

 An early 5 Spot Burnet

 Brown Argus

 Tatty Duke of Burgundy

 Same again on a cow pat......nice!

 Green Hairstreak

 Common Forester Moth

 Peppered Moth

 Mother Shipton Moth

 Small Blue (f)

 Small Blue (m)

 Small Heath

Wood Tiger Moth

The new  butterfly species for me were Brown Argus, Duke of Burgundy and Small Blue.  I shall get back to this site when the weather is a little kinder and see if I can get some better images.


Thursday 19 May 2011

Familiarity breeds success

The good thing about going to the same place many times is that you get to know and when animals and birds will be there, This holds true for me in the bay/Monterey area of California, I must have been 10 times or more at different times of the year but spring for me is the best, When you only have a week to get all your shots in you dont want to be spending time searching areas out, So although i did shoot some new areas i started off on known territory, I know where American Avocet and stilt nest close to the road, I know excellent places for wildfowl and where they fly into in the mornings and if i want to shoot mammals sea otter,seal,sea lion and ground squirrel are guaranteed and i guess that why this area of California holds such an appeal for me, the light is generally very good at this time of year and things are so abundant and every trip yields a surprise or 2, I have realised that i like to shoot gulls and Monterey is a great place for this, there are a couple of places that i visit where gulls come in and land on particular rocks, Gulls being gulls always want the rock that other gulls are on so there are always swabbles, I always make sure i spend a couple of evening shooting the gulls when  i am there, If nothing else its a good place to improve your flight technique as well as exposure,I have visited India many times at the same places for the same reasons, Its very difficult to compete with local photographers when you are only there for 1 or 2 weeks of the year but if you go back time after time and go at the very best times of the year you can give them a good run for their money, I treat my local area in the same manner, Working the same area for some time until i feel i have the best from it before moving on but keeping an eye on the area and returning when things are good,


Wednesday 18 May 2011

Mothing in the Garden

In my second go at trapping in the garden last weekend, I attracted very few moths, but then there was quite a strong moon so I think I am out of sync with the moon on my weekends at the moment, and need to get back to dark nights.  I am going to try to set the trap at least every other week so I can progress the species that visit in the dark hours.

New species included the lovely Cinnabar moth - a very common and usually seen easily enough in daylight hours, but I have never photographed them before so that was a bonus.

The Heart & Dart is a very common species and can be attracted to light in great numbers, and once again there were half o dozen of these in.

The moth that I have labelled as the Tawny Shears is the one I am least confident that I have got right, so if there are any lepidopterists that read the blog, please do put me right if I am off here.

Finally, the Buff Ermine is a lovely moth and this one is a male.


 Heart & Dart (so called form the shapes on the wings)

 Tawny Shears ?   Nutmeg ( Thanks  David)

 Male Buff Ermine

I also borrowed a Bat Detector from some of the ecologists were I work.  Activity was faint, with recordings of just one Pipistrelle on each of Friday and Saturday night.  will have another go later in the year to see if there are any others about.

In my next blog, I will bring you some butterflies, including new species to me including the Duke of Burgundy, Small Blue and Brown Argus from a day trip I made to Gloucestershire last week.


Tuesday 17 May 2011

Nikon D7000 and the P mode

The Nikon D7000 is a very good camera, Infact for the money i think its excellent, I use it more than my D3s which says a lot but it does have a couple of shortfalls, It has a small buffer-not a problem most of the time but when things do get fast an furious it can be somewhat limiting, The other problem is the mode dial, its far too easy to knock it into another mode by accident especially when you carry the camera over you shoulder or you grab the camera and tripod and quickly move with it pinned against your hip, I had this happen to me in California when i was down on a beach shooting whimbrel and sanderling, I was going through my images the other day when i looked at the exif on a few and noticed that i had shot with the 600+1.4x combo but the aperture was at F5.6, This struck me as strange as with an extender i never shoot wide open, Looking closer i see that i was in programme mode, I do not actually remember resetting the camera to manual but i must have done, The exposures were ok but some where a little darker than the next, not a lot luckily but not the consistent exposures that you get when in manual, Its important to shoot in manual mode when on a beach near the sea as when you have the sea as a background the rolling waves will give different exposures in all other modes than manual, If the sea has any kind of waves, the background will be white one second and blue the next and this will affect exposures unless you have them locked i.e in manual, Anyway i was lucky and i got away with it, I think by looking at the images i was only in P for a few minutes, Thinking back its probably 15 years or more since i last used the P mode, I do know some pro's that will quickly pop their cameras in P when taking a shot at night with flash-weddings etc, The benefit with P over the fully Auto mode is that you can adjust the exposure by compensating and change the aperture, I would advise you to use Manual or if the sun is in and out use AV/ aperture priority and take control of your camera for a more consistent exposure

A couple of P mode images


Monday 16 May 2011

Mini Trip Report Pt 6 - RSPB Minsmere - Grey Heron

Grey Herons are one of those common birds that I have never really spent a huge amount of time photographing.  Almost prehistoric looking in appearance and flight, they are extremely graceful and wonderful to watch, but because they are relatively common I have too often overlooked them in the past.

Well in the final part from my short trip to Minsmere at the end of last month, here are a few photographs of some in different forms for you.

 Just coming into land and it has swept its legs forward and out of sight

Nice to see in amongst and over the reed bed.


Sunday 15 May 2011

Thinking out of the box-Photostiching wildlife images

When i was in California i had many occasions where i would wait patiently for a wildlife subject to do something or i would just watch and learn, One evening i was on a beach with a sleeping Sea Otter, I waited for some considerable time for it to awake and in that time it crossed my mind that i could make a very large image of it by taking multiple images and stitching them together, Agencies are always after more and more pixels and bigger files so i took 5 images in portrait mode from head to tail allowing extra at each end and i stitched them together in PTgui, A brilliant software that invisibly stitches you images together-seemless, Firstly when doing this you need to set your camera to Manual so that ALL images have the same exposure,Do not use AWB so i set mine to sunny and shoot where each image has an overlap, I shot with the D7000 and after putting the images through PTgui i ended up with a huge 227MB file (8bit Tiff), After cropping etc i still had 150MB file-twice that of a D3X, So the image could be if needed printed HUGE, If your subject is very still then this is a cheap and excellent way of getting big files from a cheaper camera
Click on image to make larger


Saturday 14 May 2011

Unacceptable Behaviour for Wildlife Photographers

Dave and I have said on more times that I care to remember that the most important thing about the wildlife that we enjoy is that the welfare and well being of the wildlife ALWAYS comes first.  We have linked the Wildlife Photographers code many times, and I have just added it here again.

But with new technology comes new opportunities and it seems that the use of SmartPhones apps for bird calls are now getting the attention in the mainstream media.

Now, notwithstanding the fact that lazy journalists clearly cannot understand the difference between twitchers, birdwatchers, and wildlife photographers, the message here for me in this link from the Daily Telegraph is clear and stark.

The use of bird calls will lure a bird via distress behaviour (Problem No 1).  It could cause it to leave the nest and therefore place it at risk of predation (Problem no 2), so the wildlife has been disturbed in the eyes of the law.

To me this is pure laziness on behalf of whoever the user of such apps for this purpose.  Just be patient, wait for the moment when the subject is prepared to show itself and rely on your own fieldcraft

So if you see, hear or know of anybody that uses this technique, then please remind them of the law, and if they don't, well I hope the law gets them.  In which case that is problems No 3 for the individual concerned.

On a wider note, this sort of behaviour gets the rest of us a bad reputation.  We should guard our reputation jealously.  Our wildlife in this country faces too many other problems from farming practices, loss of habitat, and illegal persecution - it doesn't need anymore problems.

To other blog readers and/or writers, I would be grateful if you could please link this story and lets make sure the wildlife photographic community keeps its sensible head on.

Enjoy your weekend


Friday 13 May 2011

Blogger probs part 2

Looks like Blogger have recovered the lost posts as Thursdays effort is back.  That will save me re writing it, thank goodness


Blogger Problems

Blogger.com are obviously having some problems, There was some maintenance Wednesday night and yesterday i could not post, This carried onto today and i see that Martins post yesterday has disappeared, I am sure that they are working on getting back to normal, My blog today was going to be about the coincidence of Martins post yesterday where he was shooting Godwits and Avocets and thats what i was shooting in California,half a world away, I was about to post the blog when it too was gone, I am in a rush to get out today so i will leave you with the images that would have been in the blog-fingers crossed that this is a small hic cup

I will try and put up another small blog later on using P mode