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Kingfisher and Kestrel from a day in Worcestershire


On Tuesday I spent the day on a Nikon School Day with pro Chris Gomersall near Droitwich in Worcestershire.

The first hide was to capture a Little Owl coming to feed on some Mealworms, however, this wasn’t successful, although we heard it’s distinctive call in the tree above the hide, it never came down to feed.

Next up was the Kingfisher hide where we had 4 visits from a young Female, fantastic to get so close to this stunning bird and here’s a few shots from that session.

{Click image for a higher resolution, click Flickr Link in caption to view photo on Flickr}
Young Female Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
Waiting, watching – D810, AF-S 500mm f/4 @ 500mm, f/8, ISO1100, 1/400sec – {Flickr Link}

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Thanks Nikon for Standardising Batteries

MH-25a Charger (Photo from Nikon Europe's Website)
MH-25a Charger (Photo from Nikon Europe’s Website)
I’m booked on a triple hide day tomorrow with Nikon School and Chris Gomersall. I’m taking both the D810 (with the 300mm with 1.7x and 2x Teleconverters) and D7100 (with 80-400mm) as a backup. As I use battery grips on both cameras it means 4 batteries in total to charge.

So I get both chargers out and set them up to charge. I plugged the MH-25a (supplied with the D810) in and inserted a battery and although it charges, there is a loud sparking noise coming from it and a nice smell of burning electronics.

Luckily, the D810 and D7100 both use the same EN-EL15 Battery so the MH-25 charger that comes with the D7100 (notice the “a” missing, I’m led to believe it just has a slightly lower power output) can charge all 4 batteries.

So a big thanks to Nikon for standardising their batteries throughout their range. I’ll give Wex Photographic a call to get this charger sent off for repair/replacement.

Swimming in the Fog


These photos just goes to show how foggy it was at Aqualete Mere this morning. The issue with fog is that it’s not actually dark but a very diffused light (which is why your automatic headlights don’t turn when driving in fog), but the light is just so desaturated that it takes away all the colour (which is why I’ve processed them as Black and White). Also the tiny droplets of moisture suspended in the air between the lens and the subject takes any usable detail away.

I used to get really frustrated and annoyed, but unfortunately that’s the one thing about nature photography, you can’t control the environment. It’s what also makes it more challenging, so you just have to take it on the chin and move on.

{Click images for a higher resolution}

Canadian Geese - D810, AF-S 300mm f/2.8 with TC-20E III @ 600mm, f/4, ISO280, 1/1500sec
Canadian Geese – D810, AF-S 300mm f/2.8 with TC-20E III @ 600mm, f/4, ISO280, 1/1500sec

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Wrong Choice Of Location This Morning

Ducks Arse! - D810, AF-S 300mm f/2.8 with TC-20E III @ 600mm, f/8, ISO560, 1/500sec
Ducks Arse! – D810, AF-S 300mm f/2.8 with TC-20E III @ 600mm, f/8, ISO560, 1/500sec
This photo sums up my bad choice of location this morning (and there’s heavy editing just to remove the thick fog!). Last night I checked the weather forecast and it was showing as clear skies and sunny. So I packed my bag ready, got up at 5:45am and made the 40 minute trip to the hide at Aqualete Mere near Newport in Shropshire.

As soon as I got to Stafford, I hit a thick covering of Fog that just made bird photography impossible. Kingfishers, Warblers, Wrens and various Ducks and Geese were all in abundance, but no photos worthy of sharing. Still, it was good to sit there and watch the Kingfisher coming and going even if it did look black and white.

On the drive back, within 5 miles of leaving, glorious blue skies, certainly was the wrong location but the forecast (as it’s been for a while) was wrong.