Update on the Foxes, where is the Male?

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I’ve been having a few issues capturing footage with the Bushnell camera but all is good now after a swap out. I have, however, been watching through the window and haven’t seen the Male for a while.

The Vixen is regularly visiting through the night which hopefully means her Cubs can be left. As you can see in the first still shot, she’s looking in good condition. No sign of the Cubs yet, but more worryingly, no sign of the Male unless there was a brief showing last night. The second still shot is from a video in that a head appeared briefly before disappearing. I can’t quite tell, but this might be the Male as the neck seems a lot thicker than the Vixen. Now that the Bushnell is back up and running, hopefully he’ll make an appearance tonight.

Vixen
Vixen
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Getting Close with the Reversing Ring Adapter – Nikon BR-2A

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Today, I found a Mason Bee (sometimes called Mortar Bee) on the floor in the living room. As we have an old house, we do have these Bees in the brickwork, we also have a Bee Hotel for them too.

So after giving it some honey which it drank like it’s life depended on it, well it did! I thought the perfect opportunity to try out the Nikon BR-2A Reversing Ring Adapter that I recently purchased. The adapter, just a few quid, enables you to mount a lens with a 52mm filter thread to your camera body backwards. This turns the lens into a manual Macro lens for super close-ups.

As I own an AF-D 50mm f/1.8 which has an aperture ring (most new lenses don’t), it’s the perfect combo. These 2 shots are just a very quick sample of what you can get out of it. They are not great quality as they are shot with a high ISO as Macro photography demands a lot of light. However, as a cheap alternative to a mega £ Macro lens I think it’s perfect. I recently sold a very old Macro lens from the 1970s as I didn’t use it much, so I replaced it with this cheap alternative. More to come.

Mason Bee
Mason Bee
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Hoverfly in Flight

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Whilst photographing the Parakeets in Abbey Wood, I was surrounded by Hoverflies. I thought to myself that as they don’t move around very quickly, could I actually photograph one in flight.

I had the 300mm with 1.7x Teleconverter on, so at 500mm I could photograph them from a couple of metres away. There’s little chance of the Autofocus being able to focus on something that small, so I had a few attempts and then managed to get this photograph by manually focusing and shooting with a fast shutter speed.

Ok, it’s no masterpiece, but this is a real hard shot to get, especially whilst handholding a D7100 with battery grip and the 300mm f/2.8 with Teleconverter attached.

{Click image for a higher resolution, click Flickr Link in caption to view photo on Flickr}
Hoverfly - D7100, AF-S 300mm f/2.8 with TC17EII @ 500mm, f/5.6, ISO1600, 1/2500sec - {Flickr Link}

The Parakeets of Abbey Wood

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Yes, that’s Abbey Wood on the outskirts on London and they have an abundance of wild Ring Necked Parakeets. Nobody really knows why and how, but they seem happy to be there. I was here before Christmas and it was very cold, they still seemed happy enough flying around. There are a few thoughts of how they became settled in the South East, including escaped captive birds and intentionally released, however, I personally think that the warmer climate that the UK is getting means they came here naturally. It’s not just this part of the South East where they can be found, they are appearing in many areas especially the South Coast. There has also been sightings in the Midlands too.

I wasn’t there to photograph the birds, but having a weekend away in London but as took the camera to get some shots. I was woken at about 6:30am on Saturday morning to the sound of a Woodpecker in full hammer mode on a nearby tree. So I grabbed the camera and headed out to find him. As you can see, I found him (quite easily, I just followed the noise). He was high up in a large tree, so couldn’t get a close up photo, but happy with what I got, remembering that I’d only just woke up. I find it hard to function for the first hour every day!

The sunrise light was great so I wandered around snapping a few photos of the Parakeets, again, not the best photos, but as mentioned, I wasn’t there to take the photos so didn’t really have a great deal of time to spend.

The last photo of the Blue Tit just reminded me that you don’t need a great super sharp photo for a photo to work. Whilst waiting about for the Parakeets to fly over (they didn’t) I saw this Blue Tit clinging to a far reached branch and it just made a perfect frame for a shot.

{Click image for a higher resolution, click Flickr Link in caption to view photo on Flickr}
Pair of Parakeets - D7100, AF-S 300mm f/2.8 with TC17EII @ 500mm, f/5.6, ISO1000, 1/1250sec - {Flickr Link}
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Chiffchaff or Willow Warbler?

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I spotted a quick flash of Olive colour darting between the bushes and then it made an appearance at the Waterfall. As you can see, the Waterfall is now running at full flow as I have now cleaned it and the filters.

Normally, I’d say this is a Chiffchaff as it’s more common and normally has darker legs than the almost identical Willow Warbler. However, the Chiffchaff has a very distinctive song (which is what gives it it’s name) that I have not heard in the garden. I have however, heard a song similar to a Willow Warbler.

I will keep an eye and ear out to see if I can confirm it’s identity. I’ll be very happy if it turns out to be a Willow Warbler as they have an RSPB Amber status due to decline.

{Click image for a higher resolution, click Flickr Link in caption to view photo on Flickr}
Chiffchaff - D7100, AF-S 300mm f/2.8 @ f/5.6, ISO400, 1/1000sec - {Flickr Link}

Garden Birds

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Spent some time in the Hide yesterday in the garden. Saw an abundance of birds including Gold Finches, Great Tits, Long Tailed Tits, House Sparrows, Blue Tits, Black Birds and even a visit from some Pheasants.

However, not all the ones actually came to the feeding area, as they were busy collecting twigs for nests so I didn’t manage to photograph everything.

Here is some of the ones I did manage to snap though. All shot using Aperture Priority with Auto-ISO configured with a minimum shutter speed of 1/1000sec.

{Click image for a higher resolution, click Flickr Link in caption to view photo on Flickr}
Dunnock - D7100, AF-S 300mm f/2.8 @ f/4.5, ISO400, 1/1000sec - {Flickr Link}
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