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  #81  
Old 15.01.2008, 22:17
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Re: Bird watching

Thank you. I am just learning how to use my tele-zoom I purchased recently. Still lots to learn. I would love to photograph a Wiedehopf (Hoopoe), but those birds seem to have disapeared

Here is a Baikal Teal I shot in Spain:

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  #82  
Old 15.01.2008, 22:24
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Re: Bird watching

I think I saw a Yellow wagtail at the Rhein the other day. Could'nt get a shot of him though. But he was intense yellow and had a long tail - nervous bird...

Congrats on getting that one.
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  #83  
Old 15.01.2008, 23:33
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Re: Bird watching

That photo is stunning, even if I am insanely jealous...
Chances are that the wagtail was a Grey Wagtail. Yellows prefer marshy areas, while Greys are most at home on river banks, although this is by no means an absolute rule. They have the longest, and most wagging, tail of all wagtails and are quite skittish. Also, Yellows are migratory and nearly all of them fly to Africa for the winter (although a few might remain). Up close, Greys do look fairly grey, but at a distance, it's the yellow rump that catches the eye. Lovely little birds. Best chance to get near them is to find a favourite hunting spot, usually a stone in a river, where they dart out to catch flies. They'll often return to the same spot, so sometimes worth setting up and waiting. They usually occur in pairs, although younger birds might be found singly.
When I was digiscoping, the problem I found was that they often liked slightly shady areas to perch in, which coupled with the energetic tail-wagging meant that it was very hard to get a shot. With the set-up I had, the exposure was ~1/10th sec. You'd have a perfectly still body and a completely blurred tail.
I'm just trying to connect up the camera to the new scope at the moment. It's a bit shaky, but I might ask the guys in the departmental workshop if they'll make me an adapter. I'm definitely in the low-tech part of that field. I've got a dinky, although heavy, point-and-shoot Vivitar and a 12-36x60 scope. I made a remote shutter release for it, which means that I don't have to use a timer to avoid shaking the camera when pressing the shutter button:

Canon-type release bolted to a piece of aluminium strip, a couple of bits of padding and a bolt with a camera-type fit thread. The 'adapter' was an old ice-cream tub, insulation tape and rubber bands, but it did give the occasional picture that wasn't an abomination against photography...


Keep up the good work!
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  #84  
Old 16.01.2008, 10:08
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Re: Bird watching

I do love looking at pictures of birds, I can be objective sometimes. The advice to go and feed some though is not going to be taken by me. When we first moved to Zug, I took the girl to feed the ducks. I am sure that my shrieking was heard in Bern. The ducks were fine, just being a bit ducky and paddling around in the water, the swans were a different matter. They are really tall and aggressive (maybe Zug has mutant swans). Scared the life out of me.
We were at Zurich lake just before christmas, girly was on her scooter and there was a family of swans. We were admiring the ugly duckling - cygnet when a dog ran by. The mother (or father) was out of the water and onto land in a split second and puffed itself up and started twitching in a very agressive manner. We hot footed it out of there pretty quickly. They are clearly loving, attentive and possesive parents.
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  #85  
Old 16.01.2008, 10:38
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Re: Bird watching

Now, is the left one a female and the right a male? ('Coz the one on the right seems fancier and more colourful though not as hefty.)


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If you're after Goosanders, go to the Zihlkanal at Zihlbruecke armed with some bread.



http://www.tonykeenebirds.co.uk/sbirds/goosander.html

That's with a Kodak P850, so if you've anything better than a mouse in a small box with some pencils (which is beter than the P850), then you'll get some good shots of them...
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  #86  
Old 16.01.2008, 10:39
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Re: Bird watching

Oh, I see now how I got that wrong!
(from your website)
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  #87  
Old 16.01.2008, 14:24
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Re: Bird watching

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I do love looking at pictures of birds, I can be objective sometimes. .....The ducks were fine, just being a bit ducky and paddling around in the water, the swans were a different matter. They are really tall and aggressive (maybe Zug has mutant swans). Scared the life out of me.
...
This is a baby black swan - at this point still cute and cuddly...

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  #88  
Old 16.01.2008, 15:41
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Re: Bird watching

AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH how sweet. Sadly it will grow up to be a bread chasing monster like the rest. I feel sorry for swans in a way, they are so gorgeous when they are in the water, gliding along all gracefully looking serene. When they get out though they have the ugliest feet
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  #89  
Old 17.01.2008, 11:16
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Re: Bird watching

Look at my avatar, Zug_bound. Does my left foot look ugly to you?!
(Cinderella would be happy to have such.)
My feet are very nifty for swimming -- big enough to fight currents -- all rubbery and webbed.
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  #90  
Old 23.01.2008, 12:39
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Re: Bird watching

Is it too early for the birds minds to be moving toward romance? I was sitting on my balcony having a cig and watching a pair of birds 'dancing'. they looked as if they were flirting with each other. All I could think was they were getting ready to build a nest and a life with each other.
When do birds start nest building and egg laying. I suppose it depends on the species really. These two, who I am assuming were man and lady, looked to be having a good time. although there was none of the frantic jump on the hens back then off again shagging that pigeons in Bangkok used to do. Dirty buggers were shagging constantly and laying their eggs anywhere they could. When fears of bird flu were very high our landlord came round, fished out a nest from the a.c unit and strangled the baby birds and kicked the eggs off the balcony. No room for sentiment there then
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  #91  
Old 23.01.2008, 13:39
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Re: Bird watching

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Is it too early for the birds minds to be moving toward romance? I was sitting on my balcony having a cig and watching a pair of birds 'dancing'. they looked as if they were flirting with each other. All I could think was they were getting ready to build a nest and a life with each other.
When do birds start nest building and egg laying. I suppose it depends on the species really. These two, who I am assuming were man and lady, looked to be having a good time. although there was none of the frantic jump on the hens back then off again shagging that pigeons in Bangkok used to do. Dirty buggers were shagging constantly and laying their eggs anywhere they could. When fears of bird flu were very high our landlord came round, fished out a nest from the a.c unit and strangled the baby birds and kicked the eggs off the balcony. No room for sentiment there then
The herons are also in mating season. These two are displaying their ruffled feathers and make funny noises at eachother (though I think they are both male competing for the female?):

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  #92  
Old 23.01.2008, 13:54
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Re: Bird watching

Those beaks look as if they could disembowel you. Thanks for the info, I'll keep a look out for nests being built in the trees around us.
When we lived in Essex, a blackbird (or starling) built it's nest in the hedge between us and William next door every year. Every year we would watch them lay eggs, see the eggs hatch (from the conservatory I should add) and every year a nasty spiteful Magpie would come and attack the parents and eat the baby birds. Nature certainly is red in tooth and claw
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  #93  
Old 23.01.2008, 15:55
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Re: Bird watching

I think I must have my camera at the ready as well

Every year the x-mouse tree goes out on the balcony after the holidays, fitted with various birdseed baubles.

Daily we see the blue tits and the great tits along with coal tits feeding on the baubles, two years ago there was also a punk tit , sorry a crested tit , it looks like a punk with its crop of feathers on top of the head

Last Sunday we had sort of 'tits galore', when the long tailed tits came for the first time ever to feed.They completed now the set of tits we could see close up and are living in the area.

Other than them ,we have tons of sparrows and a couple of blackbirds who also regularly pop by as well as the occasional chaffinch,robin and towards end of february a black redstart, who's nesting under our roof.

Also frequently spotted in the forest on my walks is one Eurasian jay and several great spotted woodpeckers .

But also recently, more and more crows and magpies and I blame them to be responsible for the decline of various songbirds in my area!
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  #94  
Old 24.01.2008, 13:25
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Re: Bird watching

This is my favorite bird shot I've taken so far:

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  #95  
Old 24.01.2008, 13:33
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Re: Bird watching

What on earth is that? It is a beautiful colour, but the evil is evident in it's eye. It looks calculating and sly and I would run a mile.
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Old 24.01.2008, 13:36
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Re: Bird watching

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What on earth is that? It is a beautiful colour, but the evil is evident in it's eye. It looks calculating and sly and I would run a mile.
It's just a flamigo.. incidentally there are about 20 of them - does this mean you would run 20 miles? They can fly you know
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  #97  
Old 24.01.2008, 14:08
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Re: Bird watching

I'm now almost ashamed to post this.



Common (or Mew, if you're from the US) Gull, Larus canus. Neuchatel.
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  #98  
Old 24.01.2008, 16:27
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Re: Bird watching

I can barely walk at the moment, let alone run. I'd have to drive. I can remember seeing a flock of flamingos in Oman. I thought I was seeing things -there were about 250 because the water was rich in shrimp. Imagine coming over a hill and seeing that on the horizon. Pretty special I have to admit.
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  #99  
Old 08.02.2008, 17:22
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Re: Bird watching

Another flamingo shot:



I am renting a professional super-tele this weekend, so I hope to get some new bird and other animal shots.
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  #100  
Old 09.02.2008, 08:04
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Re: Bird watching

Something our daughter asked me a couple of days ago following a discussion about flamingo's. What colour are they when they are newly hatched. I guessed white because they haven't eaten any shrimps by then but would like to give her the definitive answer.
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