June 29, 2012

Golden Plower in Redmires

As I wrote in the previous blog post I hoped the weather would clear up at night and it did. So, at: 18.00, I took and biked up to Redmires, forecast had promised Cloudy with rain, but when I checked out from the apartment, it was clear skies and warm in the air but still it was windy, which I felt when I approached Redmires for up there it is pretty open.
You could say that Redmires is low mountain area. My goal was to shoot Golden plower for now they had taken the prohibition to enter open access land, so now it was free to go wherever I wanted, among heather bushes.
For it is there most of the Golden plower is hiding, but it is easy to locate them by whistling on their special way so they usually respond directly :) found a couple that I immediately tried to sneak me in, it was just  lie down in the wet heather and creeping, crawling up to them. As the closest I was about 20m away wanted to of course get even closer but they were right suspicious.
 I would also be if a big lump trying to creep up to me :) after that I visited  the little creek that runs there, and found my little favorite voles namely water vole. Found a small one that I took some pictures, but now the clock was already 21:00 so it was pretty dark down in the creek, So it was just to raise iso in the camera to 1000 turn on the vr function and lie down on the ground, so I got some sharp image.
But now it was time to start getting back home did not go home directly, but biking around the area in search of owls before it was pitch black outside. But unfortunately, the owls won again: (: (

Here is some pics from there.

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Pied Wagtail

Golden Plower/Ljung pipare

The little quite water vole


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Lapwing and the moon in background

June 28, 2012

One evening on the bike

Last evening I biked down to the Rivelin Valley in search of owls, primarily Little Owl. The owl is only 21-23 cm long, so even if it's there, you have to see it, which I unfortunately did not. I have some bad luck with my owls searching because I manage to not find them anywhere. : (But the weather could hardly have been better sunshine and 23 degrees, I can not complain. Did a little detour into the woods thinking I could maybe see a badger at least or a fox, but of course I did not see it either. What I was thinking about was the lack of mosquitoes, which was really nice because when I was in northern Sweden, it was different, as soon as you stopped when you were out walking they came in rather large swarms not so fun to take pictures then ;) But I managed to see a new bird species and it was a Whitethroat not a good picture of it though. Saw also sparrow hawk, Kestrel and a buzzard that I got some pictures of, the other two were too far away. Between 20:00 to 22:00 I biked on small village roads where they've seen owls, the roads go through the animal farms and there tends to be owls because there are usually also the rodents. After 22:00, it is no great idea to be left on, then it's already so dark that it nearly impossible to take pictures.
And today it is thunder and raining so I do not really feel like going out, but will see in the evening if it clears up, then maybe I cycle up to Redmires.
Beatiful butterfly




Whitethroat (female)


Carrion crows gathers for evening

Whitethroat (male) no good picture ;)

June 26, 2012

Northern Sweden

Last week I was to visit my little brother, who lives up in Kalix which is in northern parts of Sweden. Would spend eight days there with fishing, photography and other fun stuff. Already the second day, we were on a pike fishing competition, which was from the boat and catch and release. We won the contest, which was our first ever, thanks to my brother's knowledge of the water.
We got three pikes with a length of 273cm average weight, about 5-6kilo.
Some evenings and nights we took the car and drove around to look for owls, moose and other animals and birds. Whats nice in northern Sweden is that it never gets dark, the night is almost as light as day.
So therefore you can easily take photos through the night which is good for most animals move at night. We found three different owls places, but unfortunately we managed  never get really close as we wanted to take some nice pictures. The owls that we found was a short-eared owl, and they can be seen chasing around noon as well. Then it was time for more fishing and this time it was my brother's favorite place, that place can really deliver large pike and there is a lot of them also and they are Large. We managed both within a half hour break our personal best, me with a fine pike of 10.4 kg and my brother of an even larger at 11.1 kg. In sweden we say 10kg pike is the Magic limit for pike.  so it was really successful. Another day we went to Jokkfall which is located about 100km north of  Kalix, the place is famous for its salmon fishing and the fish ladder that guides the salmon past the big waterfall.  In the ladder u can see big salmons swim in.  Without the ladder the salmon cant get upp jokkfallet because it is too steep approximately 15m in height of fall and salmon are unable to swim up there. In the Kalix river it usually pass about 6000 salmon if it is a good year. I Read the board where they record all fish that passes the ladder and it had only passed 51 salmon so far. That was some me and my brother had done that week, and about 5 weeks Iam going back there but this time we will go fishing for big grayling, trout, and char in finnmarksvidda (Norway).

Click on image to enlarge it!
The moose is loose


Short-eared owl

short-eared owl
Little brothers big pike 11,1kg

My big pike pb 10,4kg :)

Little gull/dvärgmås

Little gull


Jokkfallet under the bridge

Jokkfallet from the bridge

From the bridge

From the bridge


Arctic Tern

Goosander/Storskrake (female)

June 15, 2012

Back to Redmires Reservoirs

Yesterday, I was again to Redmires, but now a bit later in the day have not been there in the middle of the day, so I wanted to check what kind of activity there is at this time. I notices immediately that there are less birds on the move, maybe just because they seem to be evening / morning active. Found a Kestrel who hunted small birds but did  not get a good picture of it. Walked around there for 5 hours and tried to find something nice to shoot, well found some interesting subjects. But today I had to use a converter for the great zoom, which gave me 800mm on that lens. But unfortunately, you lose quite a lot of sharpness, light, and it becomes difficult to use auto focus when it just works on the central point. But it may be worth at times when you want to get close to birds that are too far away with the 400mm which I would otherwise have. Next week I will be up in Kalix (Sweden), and hopefully me and my brother that I will be visiting finds a lot of beautiful birds to photograph. We will also fish for the famous Kalix River "crocodiles" they who visit the blog will see what I mean because I will be blogging about fishing as well. See you soon ...

Meadow pipit

Sky Lark not a good picture but my first on this bird

Tufted Duck

Tufted Duck Female and Male

Little ringed plower

Little ringed plower

June 13, 2012

Golden Plower And More

Yesterday I went up  4:00 and then cycle to Redmires reservoir, had no great expectations went mostly there just to see what's up. It was a nice sunrise, but after half an hour so it was quite overcast, which was a bit sad for according to weather forecast, it would at least be partly cloudy. On site, I looked after a bird that they had seen there the day before, and it was a sacred ibis is a true rarity. But no trace of it unfortunately, so I went to the place where I usually see the cuckoo up close. But it did not get to where I sat, but the cuckoo was in the area that could be heard all the time. Could not sit there in the cold and the wind so I started walking in the area, I get to a place where there are usually not so many people. because there i have better chance to see birds which is not disturbed. But now  it was so early, anyway.  On the way there came two oystercatcher flying in fairly close, so I took some pictures of them. Then went a bit further and saw a snipe flying in with their special sounds, and after a while so I come to a party with a bunch of heather fields and this is where I found the golden plower. It was a group of 10 pc but unfortunately  it's difficult to get close to these birds, partly because the national park rangers has turned off the areas where the birds nest which is good but Also because they simply are shy. Then I went around the area for a while but found nothing special so I went home again; I was at home at 10.

Golden Plower/Ljungpipare

Nice morning


Canada goose chicks

Curlew calling

June 10, 2012

Flowers with the 50mm F1,8 Lens

Today I went and my wife to the botanical garden, just to stroll around and look at the nice flowers available. The weather was overcast, which is good I think when you're shooting flowers, it becomes a more even light without too harsh contrasts that it can be in the sun. Many of the spring flowers are gone but it had come up fresh flowers, so it was no problem finding motifs. And today, I wanted a little challenge myself by taking photos with a fixed 50mm f1, 8 which is very bright, sharp and provides a stunning bokeh. Bokeh is called as the picture is not in focus. When using a shallow depth of field that you get with an aperture of 1.8 it will be behind and in front of more blurred. Hope you understand otherwise you might see it in the pictures. :) The lens is widely used for portraits as well, just for the short depth of field and bokeh's sake. U can for example take a facial image and only the eyes are sharp, which gives a nice effect to the image. Because it is a fixed lens, you get to move to find great photo angles there by then it is a challenge. If you have a zoom so you can always just zoom in on the object. It may look like you have shot with a macro, but with a macro, it will be much, much closer which is nice too. But it might be fun to vary a bit, and if you could capture with macro in the same way as with the 50mm lens. The macro lens maximum aperture usually 2.8 which of course does not give as much bokeh.

Click on the the pictures to enlarge them!