Monday, October 01, 2007

Egrets and others

One of the uses I've taken to putting the camera to is for birding. I have never really had a satisfactory pair of binoculars. The ones we have now were not cheap, but are somehow awkward, difficult to train on the object, inclined too need a lot of fiddling with, steam up, by which time my eyes are starting to twitch and the bird has usually flown.

The zoom on the camera is not as powerful as good binoculars, of course, and the visibility while looking through it is poor, but you do at least retain an image of what you were looking at which you can refer to later. At its full digital range, the image is usually rather fuzzy, like these oystercatcher and curlew, and tern

but adequate for identification. In fact the tern turns (the wind and the rain...) out to be a sandwich tern, which are a more unusual sighting than the usual arctic, common or little ones, and I wouldn't have known without the picture to check it.
A few are reasonable as photos, these curlews striking attitudes make me smile.

The subject of egrets has come up. I was disbelieving when, perhaps fifteen years ago, someone told me they had seen egrets on a river estuary in south Devon. Now here they are in abundance in northern Europe, bringing a touch of the Nile and the Carmargue to these greyer shores, not unduly timid and quite assertive with other birds, hobnobbing with seagulls,

their archaic elegance offset by the quaintness of their yellow feet on their long black legs.

We came to know them quite well.


Fire Bird said...

I've never seen one of these. Aren't they funny!

apprentice said...

Yes you need about 500mm lens to get good pix of birds -but I agree these are great for identification. I believe the birding 'scopes now have a place to attach your digital camera to, so that might be something to think about for the future.

I love water birds. My niece in Florida has egrets in the garden, and blue herons.

stitchwort said...

Catching up after a week away - what a super series of photo-posts! So many wonderful images.

Unknown said...

They look very much at home, secure and self-confident.

meggie said...

Loved seeing the birds. Those yellow feet are rather a funny surprise, aren't they!