Thursday, July 21, 2016

Little Baby Birdy

White Wagtail

Niigata City, Japan

July, 2016

Went out for a walk with my old D300 the day after my last post and found this baby Wagtail. I also used the old Nikkor 80-400 VR. The lens was released in 2000 and boasted Nikon's first attempt at image stabilisation. I didn't get it until 2010 after waiting yonks for the updated version. (It came in 2013). I can't believe my D300 is already 9 years old. I love the build quality. It's sad that I just can't put a new sensor in it. These pics were at ISO800 to 1000. It was very late in the day and in shadows. I scrubbed up the noise a bit with a tad "sharpened". 

Bic Camera is offering 17 000 yen trade in for a D300 for the new D500 ($200aus) It was originally over two grand. The same price as the D500. I think I'll keep it. The kit is very compact.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Shadow of the Wagtail

White Wagtail

Niigata, Japan

July 18, 2016

Been quiet recently. Very warm and humid. I haven't been in the mood to go out much. Steamy is a good way to describe it. This White Wagtail I met this afternoon looked as if it had been walking around in the steam.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Rain, Peregrines and website

Last Saturday morning, I discovered that two new peregrines had left the nest at the Prefectural Office. It started raining, however, and I haven't been able to follow up my discovery with photos or further observations. It's a nice record anyhow.

In the meantime, I've started a basic website to display my photos, which include some bird pics but just my photography in general. If you have time, please make a cuppa and have to look for a few minutes.

Thank you for you visits. Russell's website.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Industrial Kestrels 2016

Eurasian Kestrel
young bird

Shinano River, Niigata City, Japan

May 2016

 I was fortunate to find that the kestrel family again raised 3 young. It seemed to me they had left the nest early....late May. Usually I think it's been mid-June. I've been watching them at the same cement factory since 2005.  This time things looked a bit tougher. The adult bird (pictured below) seems to have lost its right eye. It still managed to fly off and return about 20 minutes later with prey.

The biggest concern to me this year was that all three young birds were spending most of their time on the ground. I've seen an old man alongside the river there feeding cats in the early evenings. 

I first found the kestrels on a Friday evening in late May, then checked them again on the Saturday and Sunday. Each day they were mostly on the ground searching for beetles in the grass. They looked cute but very vulnerable. One bird in particular wasn't distracted by the arrival of a parent bird with food. The other two flew up after the free feed but the one lone bird was playing with a large beetle on the ground.

I was busy for the rest of the week and didn't return until the following weekend. At that time there wasn't and hasn't been any more signs of the family. There were only cats. I can only hope the family moved on to a safer place.

Adult with injured eye.