Friday, 29 June 2012

Holiday time!

I've now got a week off! There should be plenty of pics to post when I get back, though not taken in Devon (will mostly be Somerset, and probably also some not-so-wild animal pics; we're planning on going to a Zoo...). I'm taking a lot of camera gear so I'll most likely see nothing of interest (with the exception of at the Zoo)... You know how it is! Bye!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Hobbies and Little Owls, Seaton & Colyton

*Insert generic excuse for not blogging for approximately 5 weeks due to an excessive workload here*
After an 18-hour day of work yesterday (7am til 2am this morning minus eating time), it was good to have almost a whole hour free today. By free, I mean I was temporarily prioritising birding over work, only to resume work upon my return. In this hour I went to see some Little Owls at a private location. I saw one adult bird which seemed to be trying to entice a chick out of the nest by holding some food near the nest entrance, and hooting and screeching quite frequently. Unfortunately I didn't have time to see if it's endeavours were successful. Here's one of the shots; fairly poor but better than nothing!

Now on to Hobbies. I've seen Hobbies on patch with surprising regularity recently. I'm interested to know where the nearest breeding pair is, if anyone knows? Or if there's a single bird staying locally. I've seen one a few times over the last month, without actually looking for one. Near the beginning of the month, there was one hunting over Black Hole Marsh yet again, and last week I saw one flying rather erratically from my doorstep (Colyton). And no, I am not getting them confused with Peregrines or any other bird of prey. I have photographic evidence of the Hobbies but the pics are LAME compared to the ones I took at Exminster so I won't be posting them. So if anyone knows anything about local(ish) Hobbies, I'd be pleased to here from you! It's odd that last year was the first time I'd seen Hobbies in Colyton, and I saw them right through the breeding season. It sems as though this may also be the case this year.

It's gone mid-June, and I STILL haven't seen a dragonfly this year. I know they're about, and I'm not incapable of spotting them, I just have no free time to go out looking for them. I'll have to make do with Damsels for the time being; they're far more tolerant of the weather! I took a couple of pics of some on my one free afternoon of the month so far. I think it was actually drizzling on the day so it's not all that surprising that I didn't see any dragonflies.

Other news:
I recently purchased a Panasonic Lumix FZ150. I bought this primarily for the convenience as the lens covers a range of 25-600mm (in 35mm terms) in a small package. Also if the weather looks a bit dodgy, this camera can fit underneath a coat whereas my DSLR gear definitely cannot. The camera is very good, and although it's consistently rated as the best bridge camera on the market, it's certainly not a replacement for my Canon 7D with some 'L' glass on the front (not that you'd expect it to be). Definitely good enough to use as a back up should the weather/situation dictate it though.
Also, I'm now back up to a 6+ day working week! So with juggling multiple jobs, a girlfriend, twice-weekly choir, people wanting meetings for photography advice, other people wanting photography tutorials via e-mail, fitness & workout routine (I've started growing in the wrong direction and I am DETERMINED not to lose my 6-pack. Toned abdominal muscles if anyone doesn't know what that refers to), oh and I've got to sleep at some point.
I'll try and keep this blog going fairly regularly; if summer actually arrives and the rain & cloud become less prevalent then I'll be able to go out in the evenings after work. We shall see...