Saturday, 14 February 2015

Jack Be Nifty

Peregrine Falcon harassed by Large-billed Crow

Nagaoka, Niigata, Japan

February 14, 2015

Last week I took a movie of a Steller's Sea-eagle being bothered by Large-billed Crows. This week it was a Peregrine's turn.

Actually I was lucky to get these shots and would have missed the falcon if the crows hadn't cried out.

We visited Nagaoka and I took a brief walk near the Shinano River and I was excited to spot a White-tailed Eagle in the distance with my binoculars. I was engrossed in the eagle and ignoring everything around me, when I heard the crows behind me. I spun round to see them chasing an Eastren Buzzard then pass it off to move onto this Peregrine. Again, raptors everywhere. Nice for an hour's birding.

I'm pleased with my D7100 thus far. It caught on to the birds quickly despite their speed. If I had a concern it's the buffer. It's supposed to take 6 frames a second but the buffer seems to be full just after 3 raw shots. It's a nifty little camera though, at half the weight of the D800. I guess I have to be choosy when to take the shots.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Return of the Great Ice Eagle 2015

Steller's Sea-eagle

Niigata, Japan

February 7, 2015

There were about four cars there when Mr Honma and I arrived about 8:30, but about four and a half hours later when we were leaving we counted 20 or more (Not including the ones that had come and gone and were about to arrive) 10 along one narrow dirt road and some 12 along another.

In between the cars were large Italian tripods holding up huge Japanese camera lenses. The subject that lured us all sitting quietly up on top of a large power-line tower. An adult Steller's Sea-eagle. As every year passes it seems the act of capturing images of their presence is growing more popular. We get just a few as they make their way from the north in search for food, but they are certainly celebrities here.

We, in blogland, are spoiled by the images we see every year from Stu's Hakodate Birding Blog up north. They are few here and only for a short time.

It was a fine Saturday and I too, stood at a tripod, ignoring I needed a toilet break and a mouthful of water. For more than four hours we didn't move. Only when the eagle wagged its tail or moved its head did oohs and ahhs sound and the chatter of camera shutters echoed about me.

Looking at it so high up just doesn't excite me as a photographer but I don't take for granted the opportunity to be here and see such a beautiful bird. I tried using my V1 attached to my little Nikon ED50 scope on took quite a few videos and have tried to present a sample here. I hope you like them. They are not perfect but it's one small step to share the experience. 

Mr Honma and I left before the eagle and I'm sure we missed something exciting!

Shake it!

Bothersome Large-billed Crows

Stretch it!

And...just one more stretch!