At last I managed some success with my Buzzard project today. I haven't given up trying over the last week but I hadn't had much luck this week.. Either the cameras were not working properly or they ran out of power, or there was a memory card error and when I was sure that I had got everything set up properly the Buzzards didn't show, all very frustrating to say the least. With every problem encountered, I found a solution, rectified the problem and then moved on to the next one. For example the cameras ran out of battery life when in standby, it was just a case of connecting them to power packs. Today, I just about had everything sorted I felt. I have purchased a good item of equipment, an Atomos field recorder. This allows you to take the feed from a camera which is set up remotely and then I can record uncompressed footage from the camera. I have to say that I am massively impressed with it. Videos when recorded on cameras is apparently compressed but the Atomos recorder records in uncompressed 10-bit HD which is very superior. I think you will agree that straight away there is a noticeable improvement. Basically, you connect the camera - which is in stand by mode - to the recorder via an HDMI cable. The recorder is left in monitor mode and shows exactly what the camera is seeing, useful in itself. Once there is something in the viewfinder of the camera, record is pressed and up to 12 hours of video can be saved. The field recorder can also be mounted on to a camera and used as a live view for the camera when you use it normally which is a massive improvement. They are expensive but not as costly as a good camera so, in actual fact very affordable.
Anyway, this afternoon I set the lumix camera up, connected it to the field recorder, I set up my Gopro to record any bird flying in and set it to record. I also had my Pentax camera set up with the 300Da prime lens and pointed on the pole. I had it all covered. Suddenly after about an hour one of the adult Buzzards flew in and landed on the baited pole. I prodded record and then went to the Pentax to take photos there. It all turned out just about as fellas it could have., A good result.
Notice the worn feathers on the wing coverts of the bird. You can clearly see that the bird has undertaken a partial moult.
Please don't be too upset about the day old chick that the Buzzard has come in to take. These chicks arrive frozen in a box of 240. They are a "by - product" of the poultry and egg industry. Chicks are euthanised on hatching if they are not the correct sex. For the egg laying flock, all the newly hatched male chicks are destroyed and for broiler "meat" birds, the female chicks are destroyed. It's all pretty nasty.