Having been away from the DH scene for a few weeks I found time to pop along to the monthly timed practice up at Stile Cop on Cannock Chase.
The chosen line was a favourite of mine as a rider and consisted of Ridge Run veering off into a link up to Little Bringe and then veering off to a different ending through the tight trees making for a great mixture of features for the day.
Weather wise well…the forecast showed for some showers and then mainly dry and sunny spells, that certainly wasn’t what we got. Heavy prolonged showers from 10am onwards with the odd spell where it stopped to allow for some windows of good visibility – all made for a good days riding and photographing however.
The results are not yet up so for now I will just share some highlights of the day from the photos – all images of the day can be found here: http://djaphoto.pinkbike.com/album/Racers-Guild-June-2012/
After what looked to be an un-eventful start to Spring with regards to any Redstarts nesting on our local patch I was delighted to pop out this afternoon for a little walk and see a friend of mine watching a pair taking food to a nest hole, result!
The weather was terrible really, poor light, rain was heading in and only a small window to try and get some initial shots of the pair.
It’s a great nest site with plenty of branches surrounding the hole so photo opportunities look promising without having to upset the parents in any way.
In came the rain so the male shots were all pretty naff, which only left me with a few frames of the female amidst some heavy showers.
I did manage a nice one of her bringing some food to the nest and perching before entering the hole, so I was pleased.
My first weeks holiday of the year so time to relax and fit some in with the camera on my local patch and maybe further afield.
I took a walk up to Cannock Chase for my usual round trip to look at a new Great Spotted Woodpecker nest that a friend informed me of and also for a look at a Green Woodpecker nest too.
The Green’s were playing hard to get as per usual so I put my efforts into the Great Spotted nest with my new TC-17E II teleconverter. I am now able to shoot at 500mm F/4.8 so was a great opportunity to try it out.
Great sucess at the Great Spotted nest site, nothing at the Green.
Heading back I thought I would pop by the Tawny Owl site to see if any of the young were still hanging around, and my luck was in! One youngster was in it’s favourite tree and I was able to make eye contact for a good few seconds before he flew off into a nearby location.
Not wanting to disturb too much I followed him patiently and found him perched high up but to my luck in an open space allowing for a quick few frames before leaving him be.
Result! My first Tawny and what a splendid bird it is
So I managed to miss the young fledging the nest, bound to have been in the morning while I was at work, can’t be helped I suppose, but I can’t complain at the shots and last 3 weeks watching them.
I picked up a Nikon TC-17E II to go on the 300mm 2.8 for a nice 500mm reach at minimum f/4.8. Hopefully I can get some decent shots now of things further away from me as 300mm alone simply isn’t enough for wildlife.
The first test seemed to show you can get useable images for sure, and that was in poor light and on my old Fuji S3 Pro body, but for some reason it’s only working in manual on the D300 & D200 bodies.
A roundup of the last few weeks in images are below.