Blog

Sat 9th July 2011

Posted on July 10, 2011 at 2:30 AM

birds : I suppose that, since July has arrived, we can say that Autumn has probably begun - for birds anyway. The early breeders, or non-breeders, or failed-breeders will have started to move away from their nesting sites, and one species that appears mid-summer here in Guernsey is Med Gull. The number of post-breeding birds appearing here is increasing year by year, but this summer the numbers have jumped up and at lunchtime on Thursday I had a single flock of 12 birds on the rocks at Fort le Crocq. This was easily the largest flock I have seen in Guernsey, nine of which were juveniles.

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Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls, Fort le Crocq, 7 Jul 11

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Also Thursday evening, I was out and about at dusk and popped in to Chouet, where two young Long-eared Owls were showing very well. Also one was giving the 'squeaky-gate' call really loudly and it was so similar to an actual squeaky gate it was quite funny. Unfortunately I did not have my sound recorder with me.

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other stuff : The most exciting event this week was the arrival of a new toy. It is about ten years now since I bought my first digital camera - my Nikon Coolpix.

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Even after these ten years and probably 100,000 photos it is still great and does a good job. It is great for macro and for digiscoping but it does have its limitations. Flight shots or fast-moving birds, virtually impossible - scenery shots, pretty average - convenience, not so good as I need to spend time to attach to the scope. So I bought a second camera to fill these gaps - a Panasonic Lumix FZ45.

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The main reason this was chosen was it can zoom to 21X - which is practically the same as my scope. Of course the quality at this magnification reduces but it is still pretty impressive and excellent for a birder to take out in the field for record shots. It clearly takes better general shots, the colours being noticeably more vivid and it has lots of different settings for different situations. The macro is not as good as the Coolpix but you can use the zoom to get decent field shots of things like butterflies. And it has a viewfinder as well asan LCD screen which I find much easier to use. Technology has advanced a lot since the Coolpix and this camera has lots of "smart" features which make focussing and lighting etc a lot easier. And it can take movies! So I will still need to use both cameras - the Coolpix for digiscoping and macro, and the Lumix for everything else. Here are a few photos taken already.

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Categories: 2011 Summer