Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Some Good News

Pied Kingfisher - Canon Eos

 I am going to sleep so much better tonight as I have received confirmation that my telescope has reached its destination in Tokyo where it will be repaired. Phew! I have died a hundred deaths over the last few days. And, my Nikon P6000 kit arrived from Tara in the US of A. That means more crap photographs! It also means a short trip to Japan to collect the telescope. So I am mightily relieved.

The local bird scene has been really interesting these last few days. Yesterday evening about 750 m  from my home I had the pleasure of two Pied Kingfishers. I have to say they were close enough that had I my digiscoping rig I might have managed some cracking shots. I managed a couple of decent shots with the EF-S 55 -250 mm zoom, but had I been set up with the rig, who knows?!

The Pied Kingfisher really does it for me. Well they all do really. However the Pied is a new species for my locale.

The merit of simply getting out and looking at the birds that come along really shone through this evening. Obviously I am comparing this to twitching but as the light started to go I noticed a large dark raptor which I automatically categorised as Black Kite. It was hovering high up and came over in my direction. This was no kite but an aquila eagle. I reckon it was a Steppe Eagle but i have sent my photographs off to Tom for an opinion. If not then it will probably be an Imperial as this fellow had a big wingspan and I doubt if it was a Greater Spot. An aquila eagle will be another tick for the local patch. Not really what I was expecting.

Add in a pair of Black-shouldered Kites plus a male Pied Harrier flew over and sent everything scurrying  ........ great to be out birding on my doorstep and seeing such interesting species. Even better now that I know my gear is where it should be.

My wife said to me early this morning that it was going to be hot today. It certainly was - looks like the so called cool season is over. I am sure visitors from colder climes will have found it hot here in the middle of the day. It's now going to be uncomfortably hot.

These are also the first photographs that I have processed using Apple's Aperture software which I bought when I got my new notebook. There is a lot to learn, let's say!

The photograph above gives an idea of what the rice paddy is like right now. In a few weeks this will be all green with the latest batch of rice plants.

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