This weekend I am unfortunately housebound due to work commitments requiring that I be constantly in the vicinity of my laptop. This is annoying at the best of times but doubly so when the weather outside is absolutely gorgeous. Not to be beaten though I decided to try and photograph some of the bird species that regularly visit my garden. After a brief stint stood outside it quickly became apparent that approach was never going to work without the aid of a hide. As a result I headed back inside and took up position sitting on my kitchen worktop with one of the windows open. This worked much better and the birds soon returned and completely ignored me.

Normally I take my photographs with a Panasonic Lumix FZ28, which is a so-called bridge camera boasting an 18x optical zoom. This works very well for the majority of the time, but suffers badly in low light and never quite has enough reach for photographing smaller species. I have had an old Canon EOS 10D and an even older 75-300mm lens lying around for ages now but have always had my concerns about the sharpness of the pictures that the combination produces. Over the last few weeks I have begun to seriously consider a move into the land of SLR’s with something along the lines of a Nikon D300s and a 400mm lens. To check that I wanted to go this route I got the old Canon out and these are the results.

12008 - Starling in my garden
12009 - Starling in my garden
12013 - Starling in my garden

I rejected most of the pictures as they just weren’t sharp enough for my liking, but the couple above really worked out well. Thanks to the SLR’s larger sensor I was able to sharpen these images into something acceptable. With a more modern camera and a higher quality lens I think my photography could really move onto a new level. It is definitely time to get serious and work out which of the many SLR’s out there I want to get.

Apart from the Starlings the garden was an absolute hive of activity for most of the day. I had visits from two Coal Tits, two Robins, several Chaffinch and House Sparrows, three Blue Tits, a Great Tit, a male Blackbird as well as six Jackdaws. Overhead were two Herring Gulls, two Buzzard and a magnificent Red Kite which glided right along the back of the houses. All in all not a bad day considering I couldn’t go anywhere!


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