A week in North Norfolk...

Posted on 29 April 2012, 12:36

...And bugger all to show for it.

Last week (from Monday 16 May to Saturday 21 May) I was down in Wells-Next-The-Sea, staying at a nice little guesthouse called The Cobblers – I’ve mentioned before that I love North Norfolk (hard not to, you might say!) and I really needed a break.

The trip was also going to be a proper shake-down of my Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS with TCs.

Well, that was the plan anyway, but (as usual!) the fates conspired against me.

In summary, the weather was generally bloody appalling, birds were routinely conspicuous by their absence, and – to add insult to injury – from Wednesday morning I was struck down by a particularly nasty bout of “The Brown Rain” which seriously curtailed my mobility.

The net result is that the best image from the week is of a Black Headed Gull, which is something of a disappointment (although to be fair, it is quite a nice image, I think!), and particularly galling is the fact that aside from the pets at Pensthorpe, I didn’t anywhere near the waders I’d hoped to photograph.

Still, in the spirit of making the best of a bad job…

Black Headed gull, Titchwell

Chiffchaff, Titchwell

House sparrow, Titchwell

House sparrow, Titchwell

House sparrow, Titchwell

Dunnock, Titchwell

Wood pigeon, Titchwell

Greylag geese, Holkham Hall Lake

Black winged stilt, Pensthorpe

Turtle dove, Pensthorpe

Mandarin, Pensthorpe

Mandarin, Pensthorpe

Mandarin, Pensthorpe

Mandarin, Pensthorpe

Mandarin, Pensthorpe

White stork, Pensthorpe

Lapwing, Pensthorpe

Collared dove, Wells – from my guesthouse bedroom window. 600mm, 1/125, handheld

Curlew, Pensthorpe

Pintail, Pensthorpe

Ruff, Pensthorpe

So that’s it, really – there are plenty more like this, but nothing special. Still, the lens behaved itself well enough (with the predictable caveat that it AFs best when there’s enough light for good contrast) and even at 600mm handheld is capable of very good sharpness, even wide open, as long as I did my bit.

And at 420mm (lens plus 1.4x), it’s excellent.

I again found myself wondering how the hell I’d have managed to get most of these pictures with a fixed focal length lens. I know people do it, but I was up and down the zoom range all the time, just as I would have been with the 100-400mm.

Finally, although the visit didn’t really go to plan, I’m still going to figure out a way to retire down there!

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