Tuesday, August 11, 2020

The Sky at Night

Montnegre at night
And so the NBBC had another go for Owls and Nightjars and also a bit of Astrophotography around the area of the lone tree.

A male Black-eared wheatear, perch up long enough for us to get on it.  The Trumpeter Finch site didn't produce a single bird, maybe they've moved on already?
Swallows, Craig Martin's, and Red Rump's we're hawking insects along the length of the track till dusk not a single Swift was seen compared to 3 weeks ago when the evening sky was full of them, 

Teatime and a Slab of fruit cake, "nice" deck chairs out,  cameras set up for the Night Sky,  listening and waiting for the darkness.

2 Common Pipistrelle Bat's entertained us as the light ebbed away, then the screech of a Little Owl a new bird for the Valley Montnegre, nothing mega I know but nice to confirm there up here.

The light level was almost there for night sky photography, I heard a faint Scops Owl, but John and Michelle missed it,  luckily the bird or another started calling at quite close range, another new bird for Montnegre. Red-necked Nightjar we're heard calling.

The Plough on the left and Cassiopeia on the right

It was now black enough for Night Sky Photography 
 but we had to be quick as a cloud bank was approaching and blocking the stars out.
As the clouds took control we call it a day, I mean night and packed up.

The plough

Heading back down the track hoping to see a Nightjar sat in the road, but not single bird along the full length of the tarmac road.

As we head back to the coast and at the Alicante end of the road the Sky's had cleared so we thought we'd quickly give the night sky one more go, I took a few shots and nothing just black, I said to Michelle I've got nothing no stars or sky?  Michele said change your ISO speed, which I'd done more photos of blackness Michelle said I've got nothing as well.
I said do a longer exposure?

I bet Sir Patrick Moor of the Sky at Night didn't have these problems.

Thanks to him for getting me interested as a young boy in the Heavens,  Star Gazing and the Planets.  And the Sky at Night.

And the Man
Sir Patrick Moore OBE

More photos of blackness and the same for Michelle.  A car drove past as a long exposure was happening, I thought at least I'll have headlight trails in the photo, but No! more of the blackness
Then it slowly dawned on me "I said"   I've only left the bloody lens cap on. Michelle started laughing at me and then realized she done the same thing
What a pair numpties.

We fell about laughing. John was shaking his head at us and mumbling number of expletives like amateurs! Call your self photographers! Etc.

3 Golden rules of night sky photography
      1 remove the lens cap
2 press the shutter
3 point the lens up

Enjoyable light hearted evening and night.  A few photos of the back of the lens cap some big belly laughs must cock it up some other time

2 New birds for the valley of Montnegre can't be bad

Have fun and enjoy
Cheers BT

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