I continue to enjoy using the new Pentax K511s. an expensive piece of equipment that is already proving worth it. I am seriously thinking of going through my galleries and deleting loads of images because having seen what this camera is capable of then I am embarrassed by some of my previous pictures.
In less than ideal conditions today I took some really great photographs, all the detail is there and I can't wait to use it more and more. At the moment my 500 prime lens is back with Sigma being repaired so I am not even using the best lens that I own. This is all very exciting and bodes well for the future.
This bird is one that I have got to know over the last few months. I can recognise it by the tuft of feathers on the back. Whether this is the product of some damage by a bird of prey when it was younger I am not sure, but the tuft on it's back is good because I can recognise it as an individual.
You can clearly see the little tuft in this image, also this one shows the chisel-lke beak that gives the Nuthatch its name. My new Pentax K5iis is extremely sharp and even though these images are taken "hand-held" they are to my eyes, just what I have been trying to achieve for the last 5 years.
When you can see the tiny feathers from around a birds eye, then you know that your camera is doing it's stuff. Also, can you see the bristles which cover the birds nostrils? This is protection against dust particles. When the bird is acting naturally and chiselling away at a nut or dead wood to get at an insect these stiffer feathers prevent the dust entering the nostrils of the bird. If you look closely at the eye (to the right), you can see the reflection of the caravan and also of interest is the difference in the feathers that cover the ears. These are much looser and consequently they will not hinder he bird's hearing which is vital if they are going to hear the alarms of other birds and escape predation.
The Jays were really showing well today, there is a pair . At least one of them is a great imitator. AsI sat in the pit-hide I heard what sounded like Jackdaws in the distance and I immediately guessed that I was going to have a Jay in front of me very soon, I had hardly had that thought when there it was. It proceeded to make distant Buzzard calls which I recognised from yesterday.
I may do some experiments with noise and see if I can teach teach the bird to immitate some sounds, that, this would be a really good experiment. It came in to my pile of peanuts and stuffed as many in to it's throat as possible. I then watched it fly on to the nearby field and start to burry them in the grass. It repeated this behaviour half a dozen times. Previously when I had seen it fly in to the field I had wondered what was going on but today I realised. It was regurgitating the nuts and burying them randomly all over the field. I have read about Jays caching away acorns in massive numbers so it's no surprise that they are taking advantage of the feast of peanuts that I am providing.
I cant wait to get back out there tomorrow and see if I can get photos of the Buzzard. He was noticeable by his absence today. However, for the first time at the hide, Long-tail Tits were nearby and also a Chaffinch. When the weather worsens I am sure we will see more species. Green Woodpecker would be nice?
I just love this Robin photograph, only a hint of snow or frost on the branch would make this perfect.