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Old 30-05-2013, 20:02   #1 (permalink)
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Bird Watching.

I know there are a good few Twitcher on here.
I am not specifacly a twitcher but like getting bird shots.

My wife has met up with an old friend and her husband is a dedicated Twitcher.
My wife and her friend are going for a drink on Sunday and I will be following round her husband with my camera. I have tried to read up and have my 70-300.
Any other advice would be most welcome.
I think me and Roy will get on as I think we are both enthusiastic about or own subjects.

If this subject has been done before. Links would be apriciated.
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Old 30-05-2013, 22:22   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Bird Watching.

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Originally Posted by Fiztastic View Post
Any other advice would be most welcome.
Isn't calling them Twitchers verging on an insult (unless they really are totally obsessed!)? I think Birders is the politer form of address for bird enthusiasts!
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Old 30-05-2013, 22:47   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Bird Watching.

RSPB refure to each other as fellow Twitchers so not sure.
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Old 31-05-2013, 09:07   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Bird Watching.

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Originally Posted by Fiztastic View Post
I think me and Roy will get on as I think we are both enthusiastic about or own subjects.
Thereby lies the problem, me thinks. People who watch birds and people who photograph birds have different points of view. If you are shooting a bird half a mile away with a 600mm then it's difficult to frighten them. However, if your mate is looking at a bird in the next bush then even the lens motor will scare them off...if you know what I mean.

I am a member of RSPB and go there to see and photograph birds. Sometimes, in a hide, I daren't move for upsetting the "twitchers" ( I agree with Mark's descriptions here). Maybe a chat with each other first about your respective hobbies and how you approach the scenario.

PS Don't be surprised if your 70-300 doesn't produce the shots you are hoping for. It's damned difficult with longer primes so take a tripod, mono or at least a bean bag. Have a good time
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Old 31-05-2013, 13:00   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Bird Watching.

Have fun. That's the main thing. I'm sure you'll get along. Sometimes they'll also see the bird thro their bins and it will be out of photo range. Sometimes you get to point the lens and get the closer bird to take flight.

Up the ISO to get the shutter speed you need if you hand hold (Use IS if you have it). Aim for at least 1/250 sec. I normally use F5.6 - F8. Depends on bird size.
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Old 31-05-2013, 14:04   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Bird Watching.

Enjoy. At this time of year I would also suggest listening out for the birds singing. You may be surprised how close the bird is, I experienced this recently. Try shooting from a distance first and then slowly edge forewards, as this is less likely to scare them off.

Chris suggestion of upping the ISO & choice of aperture is good one defo if you are going to hand hold or the weather isnt the kindest. If you hand hold it may be worthwhile firing off a burst of shots as sometimes the first few can suffer from shake.
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Old 31-05-2013, 15:46   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Bird Watching.

A couple of weeks ago I visited Upton Warren a Worcestershire Wildlife Trust Nature reserve with my 23 year old son. We only had a few hours spare which had to include a 45 min journey each way but the weather was fine. Although I have a decent SLR and a 70-200mm f2.8 zoom, I opted to take my new Panasonic Lumix FZ200. I did this partly because my son has an FZ260, partly to see what is capable of and also because it has an equivalent FL of 600mm. I did take a monopod (the first time I have ever used one). We noticed that there were a handful of other photographers but they all had long fixed focus lenses of large aperture which is ideal for this type of photography. Most of the visitors were holding binoculars and notebooks and were occupying a hide over the main lake. We did not bother with this hide as it seemed that the birds in view were much to far away to photograph. We settled for the hide in the marshes and reeds. My son got a reasonably decent shot of a Marsh Warbler which I think is quite rare. I failed to capture this simply because I was on the wrong side and you cannot keep moving about. However, a Great Tit perched a couple of feet from me and posed for several shots. I know it is not rare but who cares. While we were not there that long we enjoyed being out in the sun seeing and hearing the birds and our few successful photographs were just a bonus. I did find that the monopod helped.

I agree with others that there is a difference between just watching and photographing so you probably need to split your time between them. The main thing is just to enjoy yourself.
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Old 31-05-2013, 15:49   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Bird Watching.

I take bird pictures for fun,a break from things I want to take pictures of. Shooting birds has tought me so many things about my camera. I take pictures every year like flowers. I say you already know enough about the camera so don't scare the birds and don't be nervous, as in nervous twitch.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:35   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Bird Watching.

Stay in the Pub for a few hours first!
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:00   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Bird Watching.

Thanks everyone for your feed Back.
As always valuble advice.

We have had a conversation and have decided to knock it on till next sunday. I will be drinking from 3 today so not wise (friends Birthday,Wife wont let me take a camera to it either)
I have found out the word. Twitcher is not an issue. So one hurdle jumped.

I have a decent pair of Nikon bins and a bird book so have decided to take it as a bird watching exercise
but have my camera with the 70-300 in case.Will probably shoot of the LCD as camera doesnt have mirror lock I think.
Will be taking my monopod. I have a very steady hand so not to worried.

Something no one has mention yet. Is there a prefrence in clothes. I made the mistake of googling
And don't think the chuck noris camouflage look suites me. I would look like an army tent.

I am assuming nutral colours and i do have a camo peakcap.

once again thanks so much for your input.

Also I was called Fiz on here the other day. I like this. My name is John but Fiz suites me far better.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:15   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Bird Watching.

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Originally Posted by Fiztastic View Post
Also I was called Fiz on here the other day. I like this. My name is John but Fiz suites me far better.
Fiz it is then!
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Old 01-06-2013, 19:13   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Bird Watching.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiztastic View Post
I am assuming nutral colours and i do have a camo peakcap.
Neutral's good
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Old 08-06-2013, 18:11   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Bird Watching.

Well all set for tomorrow.
Got and extra battery and card in case.

Think its going to be a sunny day so should be good for hi shutter speeds
Going for a meal after so win win.

Will post pics of I get any.
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Old 16-06-2013, 13:31   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Bird Watching.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiztastic View Post
Well all set for tomorrow.
Got and extra battery and card in case.

Think its going to be a sunny day so should be good for hi shutter speeds
Going for a meal after so win win.

Will post pics of I get any.
Well, what happened then, do us photogs still have amicable relations with the 'twitchers?' Or is it muskets at dawn

Forgive the humour, trust you had an enjoyable experience on the day.
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Old 16-06-2013, 13:45   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Bird Watching.

It was great. More a walk in the country side starting with Brunch.

Roy was a mine of information and a very friendly. Plants,Fish,Bird you name it and he could
talk about it.

It was more about looking and listning but got a couple of good shots.

Processing now as today is one day I will be left alone.









Maybe not a bird but a bird puller.:-)

Last edited by Fiztastic; 16-06-2013 at 17:07.
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Old 16-06-2013, 18:57   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Bird Watching.

Glad you had a good day.
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Old 18-06-2013, 02:03   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Bird Watching.

It was. thanks everyone for the advice.
As we were walking and most of the shots were
From the hip. They are not as crisp as I would have liked
But as a momento for the walk they were fine.
I saw my first woodpecker but the shots were out of focus.
will be doing it again for def.
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Old 18-06-2013, 22:33   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Bird Watching.

Glad you enjoyed your visit. Like most subjects in photography, you can develop as you gain experience.

I was in Yorkshire a few days ago and briefly visited the Gouthwaite reservoir and spotted a few nice birds certainly a great crested grebe and a couple of others I have yet to identify. I took some shots with my bridge camera (600mm) then a few with my DSLR Canon 5D2 using a 70-200mm plus 1.4x extender. Viewed on the camera the bridge looked better (twice the size in the frame) but have compared back at home the 5D2 pics are much better. While I may need to crop harder, the sensor is much larger. I am not a serious bird photographer but just enjoyed the opportunity to see and capture a few shots.
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Old 19-06-2013, 11:58   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Bird Watching.

Like the bird with the caterpillar shot you got there. Also nice to get a Swallow (?) sitting still. That your car ?
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Old 19-06-2013, 17:40   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Bird Watching.

I wish chrisa.
Was in the carpark.
Look realy nice slotted in with all the new cars
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Old 20-06-2013, 11:40   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Bird Watching.

Sure does - Think the design of some of the older cars far outdoes the majority of the modern boxes.
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