Wheatear redux

September 21, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Another day, another Wheatear. I really cannot get enough of these brilliant birds. Ask anyone who knows me what my fave bird is, and they won't hesitate. A spring male, generally the first migrant I see each year, mere words cannot describe my joy. OK, so this one is on the way back, but you get the idea - I like them. A lot. This series was taken once again on Wanstead Flats with my 800mm lens and a 1.4x converter. Just a monopod for support again - although I do have a tripod and gimbal, I am trying to get the shots I want to without using it, dumb though that sounds. It's all about weight and flexibility. If I'm on the Flats, I'm in birding mode. I want to able to move quickly, and have both hands free for my binoculars. Support is critical, but in addition to slowing me down, the tripod and head add a full 2.4kg on top of the monopod, plus take up a hand. I'm sure that as the year progresses and light levels decline, my shutter speeds will get slower and slower and I'll eventually find that there is no option but to switch to the tripod, but whilst I can continue to get away with it, it's easily my preferred method. Shutter speeds today ranged from 1/800s to 1/1250s, and whilst some (many!) shots were off, there were more than a few that made the grade. Damn I love Wheatears! Not looking forward to winter when there aren't any...


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