Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Equipment List

This is an updated list of the equipment we use:

Canon EOS 1D Mark IV
Canon EOS 5D Mark III + BG-E11 Portrait Grip
Canon EOS 7D Mark II + BG-E16 Portrait Grip
Canon EOS 60D
Nikon CoolPix S9100


SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash
SanDisk Extreme III CompactFlash
SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC
SanDisk Extreme SDHC

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
Samyang 14mm f/2.8 ED AS IF UMC
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM
Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM Mark II
Canon EF 500mm f/4.0 L IS USM
Canon EF 1.4 III Extender
Carl Zeiss Diascope 85 T* (Digiscope)

Flash Guns
Canon Speedlite 600EX RT
Canon Speedlite 580EX II
Canon Speedlite 270EX
Pixel TTL Off Shoe Remote Cord
Pixel King & King Pro Wireless Triggers

Kenko Extension Tube Set
Hoya Pro1 Digital UV Filters
Hoya Pro1 Digital ND Filters
Hoya Pro1 Digital Circular Polariser
Bowens 45" Bounce Umbrella
Westcott 43" Shoot-through Umbrella
Lastolite 40" Bounce Umbrella
Neewer 24" Softbox
Polaroid Octagon Diffuser
Lambency Flash Diffuser
Kirk Flash X-Tender
Black Rapid RS-7 Straps
Hotshoe Spirit Levels

Gitzo GT3532LS + Manfrotto 393 Gimbal Head
Manfrotto 055NAT3 Tripod + 701RC2 P+T Head
Gitzo GM5541 CF Monopod
Manfrotto 732CY CF Tripod + 494RC2 Ball Head
Lastolite Heavy Duty Light Stand  + Manfrotto MN026 Lite Tite Head
iShoot IS-200  Light Stand + Manfrotto MN026 Lite Tite Head
Velbon mini-tripod

Lightroom 5
Apple Aperture
Photomatix Pro
Reikan Focal Pro
Canon Digital Picture Professional

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Wirral, Wigg Island and Spike Island - 24.3.11

Started off the day on the east coast of the Wirral.  However, it was very hazy and warm and most of the birds had taken to the shade.  We did see this chap perched nicely for us though.
We then headed to the Wigg Island as we'd never been there before.   Here are a few sightings:
Long-tailed Tit


Male Mallard
This one managed to sing with a beak full of moss!  I felt like saying 'Don't walk with your mouth full dear!'
Nice close up of a Mistle Thrush from the safety of the car leaving Wigg Island (definitely worth subsequent visits).
Mistle Thrush

Male Mute Swan

Male Mute Swan

Female Mallard
To all those arachnaphobes out there (me included): how can one say this little face is not cute!!!

Jumping spider (maybe Zebra)
Quick trip to Spike Island as we didn't know where it was.  Quick look round but was rather packed out with people (even on a weekday).  Seems a rather widespread area and definitely worth a visit again.  Possibly some nice reflections to be got.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Moore Nature Reserve 23.3.11

Today a day's holiday from work.   We went to Moore Nature Reserve for our second visit.  The car park was almost full, we had to squeeze in between two other cars.  We walked through the dog walking area to the first lagoon.  Here there were lots of Little Grebes diving, a pair of Great Crested Grebe, Goldeneye, Tufted Duck, Canada & Greylag Geese, Mallard, Magpies and Woodpigeons.

We then continued through the reserve to the feeding station.  Quite a few little birds here including Reed Bunting, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Chaffinch, a hungry squirrel and a Magpie without any white on it's head!

We were informed that there was a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker to be seen near the boardwalk so we hot-footed in that direction.  There was a small gathering of people and we soon found where the Lesser Spotted was making easy work of clearing out a hole in a tree.  He stayed around for quite a while and we were able to get some pictures. 

Little Grebe

Little Grebe


Male Reed Bunting

Great Spotted Woodpecker and attendant Blue Tit

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Common Toad

Common Toads mating

After this we continued along the path and observed several pairs of toads.

There was some lovely evening sunlight but not much about to photograph except a little blue tit who obligingly sat on a twig for a few seconds. 

Reported to be the warmest day of the year so far - probably explains all the T-shirts we saw!

Monday, 14 March 2011


As we've had a major family emergency since November we've had very little opportunity to get out into the field, let alone take any good photos.

Things are a lot better now, and with the weather getting better and more time on our hands we should get back to updating this blog more regularly.

Meanwhile, we've put up a gallery of our best photos since getting our DSLR kit, at http://www.third-bird.co.uk/Third_Bird/ .

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Freiston Shore RSPB - 6.3.11

Today we decided to have a look around Freiston Shore again.  It was all pretty quiet, a little cold, and particularly drafty along the back section.
Tree Sparrow
We saw plenty of Wigeon and Pigeon!  Brent Geese were visible from the viewing platform off the main path, quite a number of Tree Sparrows and one Reed Bunting.
Brent Geese