Sunday, March 24, 2013

Waiting for the Spring Thaw

Update March 23
Apparently spring has gone missing. Despite global warming, el niƱo and the spring equinox winter is not going out without a fight; at least it can look good in pictures...

In Southern Sweden the days are already 5 hrs and 30 mins longer than they were at the winter solstice. From 7:00 on Dec 21 we are now at 12:30. So things are quickly moving in the right direction. But since we did not visit Southern California for Christmas, I have to admit I am getting a bit tired of the cold and dark and the lack of interesting material to photograph. So as we wait for the spring thaw I took a few minutes at a nearby feeding station:

Friday, March 1, 2013

A Shot in the Dark

Things are beginning to happen, the snow is melting, the temperature is rising and birds and other wildlife are beginning to prepare for spring. One elusive resident we have nesting a couple of kilometers from our home is a pair Eurasian Eagle Owls, one of the largest species of owls in the world. You'd think such a large bird should be pretty easy to find, but our pair lives in a rock quarry, where there are trucks and blasting going on all day. That doesn't seem to bother them a bit, because it is also off limits to all unauthorized personnel. The best we "unauthorized personnel" can do is stand on a look out point impossibly far away and wait for the owls to come out and show themselves after sunset. It's like finding a needle in a haystack, and I pretty much suck at that. In any case this was my lucky day and I did manage to find the male owl before it was completely dark. I then got the Canon 7D ready with my 800mm lens and 2X extender... in the dark...
Well I didn't expect much but I am impressed at what a good lens and sensor can do even in near dark conditions.

1600mm at f13 1sec exposure. The exif data tells me the distance 4294967295 meters, and although it did feel that far, I think it was a bit closer.

Breakfast with Peregrines, or Life is Hard in the City

This is not much to speak of photographically, but seeing nature in action always excites me and seeing a peregrine falcon take up residence in Lunds Cathedral for daily viewing is a real treat.

When I woke at 6AM I saw that for the first time in weeks the sky was clear and the winds were calm, so I thought this could be a good opportunity to try to photograph our new resident. As always she was perched on the top of the South Steeple, but only for about 3 minutes before taking off, and then returning to land on the top of the bell-tower will a newly killed pigeon.

A video clip from this morning


A shot from this morning Mon Mar 4, 2013
Went to see the peregrine at 06:45, but all that remained of today's pigeon was a few feathers blowing in the wind, and the gorged peregrine was getting ready for a nap