I am not a twitcher, but..!

Posted on 2 January 2012, 18:42

But I’ve said before that if an “interesting” bird sees fit to hang around for a while, well – it’d be rude not to..!

With that thought in mind, my photography “partner in crime” Mark Mowbray and I decided to pop up the coast to catch up with the Desert wheatear that has been gracing Newbiggin by the sea with its presence for a couple of weeks now.

We’d picked our day well – beautiful Winter sunshine – and the bird was easy enough to find, its location given readily away by the crowd of adoring birders and photographers gathered around it!

It was ridiculously confiding: I’m sure it would have taken mealworms out of my hand given the opportunity, but it seems to be thriving anyway, so I don’t think it needed my help.

I dropped a clanger when I first started shooting – I was at 3200 ISO, and didn’t notice for a while. On the one hand I’m not scared of high ISO with the 7D, but on the other it’s still not where I want to be in the kind of light we had. Mind you, it did guarantee a high shutter speed, which doubtless helped with the WIF image!

The first two are at 3200 ISO, the rest at 400 ISO, all with the 7D and 100-400mm handheld at 400mm:


Desert wheatear


Desert wheatear


Desert wheatear


Desert wheatear


Desert wheatear


Desert wheatear


Desert wheatear

Something I’ve noticed about the 7D’s Auto White Balance interpretation of Winter sunlight is that it’s too warm for me – I’ve had to put some effort into these to get the WB where I like it.

Still, that’s a small price to pay for the pleasure of spending time with such an entertaining, approachable and obliging bird.

And being on a beach, the backgrounds look just right for a Desert wheatear..!



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