Monday, 20 February 2012

Not something we wanted to hear at all

The Safari took Frank around Patch 1 yesterday late afternoon. To our surprise, and Frank’s great joy, a Fox was sniffing around on the rough grass of the Butterfly Zone...not for long though!!! Poor Frank had no chance of catching up with it as soon showed him a very clean pair of heals and vanished before his very nose into the Bramble thicket...well you’ve never seen a Labrador do so much sniffing and scent marking after that, a full ten minutes worth of back and forth following his nose! Nothing else of note was seen or heard there.
Patch 2 this morning on the rising tide gave us about 500 or so Common Scoters on the very choppy sea but no sign of yesterday’s Velvet Scoters or Harbour Porpoises :-(
On a much smaller theme we did see two Sea Slaters, one tucked up in a crevice where we rest the scope and the other trundling across the promenade walkway – have to say it’s quite a while since we’ve seen one on the seawall...always nice to make a re-acquaintance.
Once back in the office we had an email from the Rangers with some very sad and disheartening news. Some time yesterday the Waste Services team were called out to dead animal on the roadside by the big park, only a few yards from where we were photographing the Herons on their nests the other of the Otters from the nature reserve had been killed by a car as it tried to cross the road.
The corpse was taken to the deep freeze and will be sent for a post mortem, the animal was an adult male so perhaps it has already mated with our female...fingers crossed. Otters don’t have a breeding ‘season’ as such.
A few minutes before lunchtime the Posty delivered a rather large package. Hidden in the depths of the bubble wrap were two goodies...a super-macro conversion lens and at the other end of the scale a 2.2X teleconverter. A quick play with the macro indoors – that ‘M’ is actually 2mm tall 
Ultrat-macro with new lens
 Super-macro straight off camera
 'Normal' camera

– then it was out onto a very grey and dingy sea wall to see how the teleconverter would fare...nothing else for it but to wind it up to full whammy and blast away at some gulls; they are all a minimum of 30 yards away. The melee at the water’s edge pics are about 70 yards away. All pics are hand held...looks like another bean-bag like the one we have for the scope will need to be made to make sure there’s a bit less wobble in the pics.
Black Headed Gull
 Herring Gull
 Redshank - a  bit blurry but they were running around all over the shop
A random melee of feeding gulls formed at the surf, these were a long way off! Keep your eye on the one bottom left as it moves across the group.

Any ideas yet?
Looks to us like a 2nd winter (3CY) Yellow Legged Gull we've fluked on to there...Nerd Forum will no doubt give us the answer later.
Not sure about the BiF shots, did them on rapid fire mode but can’t quite seem to get the focus just right ...bit of sunshine giving a faster shutter speed and smaller aperture might help there.
Herring Gull with a full belly giving the 'long call'
 Lesser Black Back Gull also with a full tummy

Then the rain started so it was a quick dash back inside before all this new-fangled equipment got wet.
Where to next? No matter where we get to, although it’s hardly likely to be anywhere other than the patches, it’ll be cold, wet and very windy.
In the meantime let us know what runs the risk crossing the roads in your outback.


Warren Baker said...

A sad end to the Otter davo, a fate that has almost caught up with me on the Lane I live on, people just dont slow down for anything or anyone - not macho to drive slowly I suppose :-(

PS I am selling my two converter lenses - I couldn't get on with having to manually focus!!

Anonymous said...

Dave, i`ve tried sending you that image you requested, but it`s refusing to send for some reason. You might be as well left clicking the image, then right click and "save picture as"

PS : looking forward to seeing the results of the supermacro on some micromoths etc.

Laurence Browning said...

The Raynox macro lenses are the ones I have that I mentioned to you the other weekend! Great fun to play with.

cliff said...

Good luck with the new camera kit Dave. The macro gear's just in time for the bugs appearing & you'll beable to reach out & touch the distant stuff with that telecon - happy days.

cliff said...

I forgot to say - that's very sad news re. the otter - so they've been visiting Stanley Park as well as the mere then. What a crying shame we've lost one of them.