Monday, 12 January 2015


I have taken the plunge and updated the camera to a full frame, however with Richard absent due to his wife being poorly and he not feeling 100%, he had decided not to pass on the bug and so we had separate visits out. I thought even though I had only just received the camera, I would take it out without the D7100 and give it a try, hence the experimenting.

I had a visit to Rutland Water travelling straight from home with no stops this time, having left home at about 11.45 hrs. On arrival I booked in at the Egleton Centre and saw a friend of ours who is usually on duty at the Lyndon Centre with the Ospreys. He informed me that the Bittern were still at Lagoon 3 and someone had reported seeing three. I personally only saw one, and that was only a fleeting sighting as it showed above the reeds.

I arrived at Lagoon 3 to find a party of school children virtually filling the hide with one of the full time wardens with them. All had been provided with binoculars and were having a wonderful time spotting different birds, some were very good and some were a bit of a disaster but still wonderful to here some of the comments they came out with, the best bit being they were all having an enjoyable time. A great way to introduce youngsters to bird watching and nature in general.

However I started taking some images to see what the camera could do and for the first attempt I am delighted, but must check some of the settings. Took the instruction book with me, but you feel a bit of a twit sitting in the hide checking settings in the book, however I still did this but after the children had gone.

All the following images are taken with the lens set at 500 mm.

On leaving I phoned my wife to say I was going off owling and she told me it was raining at home, the sun was still lovely at the reservoir. However by the time I had got to Little Owl site No. 12 it had started raining and the only site I saw an owl at was Site No. 17 and that was only very brief and no image managed.

Pintail Ducks, Lagoon 3.

First image taken on camera at a distance of approx 130 metres at an ISO of 200. Image has been considerably cropped. Nearest two birds are crisp but third bird shows signs of not being so sharp.

Second image, not so greatly cropped to show the fourth bird. 

Red Shank, Lagoon 3.

Bird was striding out and you can see the small bow wave it is making. This bird was 70 metres away.

It then turned and moved to the right and got closer, so I managed to get a side shot.
This still at ISO 200 and 1/640 s, f 6.3.

Little Egret, Lagoon 3.

This bird came in and landed and staid for about a minutes and then went away. Distance 85 metres . camera set at ISO 200 f 6.3 at 1/640 s.

Green Sandpiper, Lagoon 3.

 Again a shot at ISO 200, 1/800 s f 6.3. Distance 45 metres.

Again same setting as above and same distance.

Teal, Lagoon 3.

Teal at a distance of 90 metres ISO 200, 1/640 s, f 6.3.

Teal again at 90 metres, same settings.

Drake Wigeon, Lagoon 3.

I am checking with a friend as to confirm the breed of duck {thank you Arthur}. This bird was 200 metres away and again at ISO 200, 1/400 s f 6.3. I could not crop this image anymore so at least I can get in my mind this was a step to far.

Lapwing and Gull, Lagoon 3.

Same settings as previous and 90 metres away. 

Cock Pheasant, Lagoon 2.

This image at ISO 250, 1/400 s at f 6.3. Distance 80 metres.

I took this image and did a quick check as to the outcome, and the bird flew across the narrow strip of water, that being the shot I was trying to get.

Gadwall, Lagoon 2.

This shot again at ISO 250, 1/400 s f 6.3.

This image would have been better by winding up the ISO to 640 or 800 and setting to f 8 or 9.
This would have increased the focal length and got the head to the same sharpness as the body. This over a distance of only 38 metres. It appears that the closer you get the depth of field shortens.

I hope you appreciate that I was somewhat struggling with the new camera without Richard in attendance but hopefully we will soon be out again together. In the mean time I will keep trying when ever possible to get trial shots in and amend settings as required.

About Me;

Titus White:
Hi I am Richard Peglers friend Titus White, and those who follow Richards posts will understand the name and reason for it. I have been birding with Richard for 3 years and a volunteer at Rutland Water on the Osprey Project for 2 years. My early images were taken on a Nikon D80 with a 70 - 200mm lens. I updated the lens to a 70 - 300mm VR lens but still was not happy with the results. Eventually when Nikon announced the D7100 I decided to change so upgraded the camera and also invested in a Sigma 50 - 500mm lens.
I first met Richard through Arthur Costello as I was having the occasional visit from Little Owls on our land. We eventually found the Little Owls through another contact about 100 metres away. Photo's will follow on future posts.
I have recently upgraded my camera to full frame, this is a challenge I am at the moment enjoying trying to get the best out of the beast.
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