Husband, father, geek.

by Chris Pearson


Starlings For 600

When I got home last night I noticed that there was a starling nest in under the roof tiles of next doors house.  This it seemed would be a good opportunity to test out the 300mm and the TC-20III teleconverter.

A startling perches on the aerial of next doors house

I quickly went in grabbed the gear and put on the 2x.  I also set up my 3 Legged Thing Dave at almost full height.  This proved to be a VERY precarious setup so I can’t wait to get the Gitzo and Wimberley now.

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A Fox And A Fire

Well I finally got a new lens.  A 300 2.8 VR II and a set of teleconverters. It’s heavy, but it’s a cracking lens.

The first time I took it out about a week ago I went to see the roe deer and took a monopod to help with the mass.  In honesty it seemed to make it worse as the load is so top heavy, meaning I couldn’t keep the lens still enough for even the VR to take up the slack.  The end result was I didn’t really get anything worth sharing.

The positive side of this outing was I met the ranger who was kind enough to point out the site boundary which I have never been sure of and also confirmed my suspicions on the location of the Barn owl nest in previous years.

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Spring Has Sprung

Well it seems spring genuinely is here and it wasn’t s false alarm.  On Saturday evening I had  couple of hours available in the evening so went to see if I could find the roe deer.

Upon arrival I was quickly deflated as the cows where still in the field the deer frequent meaning I was probably out of luck.  However I have often seen them along the river so decided to try the tow path along the other side to see if that worked.

On the walk round I spotted this Small Tortoiseshell butterfly, a sign that spring really has sprung.

Small Tortoiseshell butterfly

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A Promising Start To Spring

I spent another evening over at the reserve this evening.  It would seem I am starting to get the hang of this wildlife thing as I not only found a single female deer almost straight away I also managed to get with in a sensible range, about 30m, without drawing attention or alerting her.

A female roe deer

The lone female was feeding on the grass near the river. She moved closer at times but eventually drifted to the far side of the field.

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A Successful Stalk

With the later evenings thanks to the clock change I was able to spend an hour at the local reserve.  Things didn’t begin overly well as the cattle have been moved to the field where I had seen the roe deer previously but I started a lap anyway.

Near the start is a small ring of brambles with a grass opening in the middle.  There are a few clear animal tracks in the grass so I followed one and heard the rustle of an animal moving in haste.  I backed off and decided to try look from the other side.

After a brief walk I heard the noise again and there in the undergrowth a fox looked back at me.

A fox stares from the undergrowth

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Getting Back Out In The Field

After a stressful couple of weeks at work this weekend I took the opportunity to get out and explore my local nature reserve for an explore and to see what I could see. Getting out more here was a goal I set my self at the end of 2012.  The idea was to get a better feel for the land and try spot where the wildlife was gathering and their routes.

Saturday didn’t start off too well, a full lap of the reserve hadn’t shown much.  The fields where heavily waterlogged which lead to a fairly large discovery: my boots leak. I was okay in wet grass, but the standing water got in eventually.

As I was getting ready to leave I decided to take a 2nd look into the first field I pass again.  There where 3 roe deer right in front of me. I spent some time trying to get some images of these deer, not very successfully, when some thing caught the corner of my eye.

SWT Manor Farm Roe Deer

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Lowepro Classified 160 AW Review

I bought this to use in place of a my much larger Vanguard backpack which was far too large and kept getting in the way, there’s only so many people you can knock over before it gets frustrating. The idea being a smaller more manageable bag gets taken with you.

This seemed ideal based on the specs. Room for a pro body, I used a gripped Nikon D7000, with a 70-200 on it (which I don’t have, yet), a spare lens or two and a few pockets for the other required odds and ends you need for a days shooting.

Lowepro product page link

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2012 In Review

The end of a year is a good time to not only reflect on the past 12 months but to also to look forward to the next.

The last year has proved to be somewhat mixed as proven by the fact I’m sat posting this in the famous St George’s hospital waiting to see a neurosurgeon.

'Fudge' the Ferruginous Hawk

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A Big Cat In A Big Zoo

I had the opportunity to visit Marwell Wildlife in Hampshire this week.  As this was primarily a family trip I didn’t come home with a huge number of images but there was one I am very happy with.  A Snow Leopard!

Snow Leopard

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