Saturday, January 15, 2022

The last pandemic a look back n time

Photos from the last pandemic in 1918

Looks uncannily like this pandemic, but these are from another time.

 At this moment there seems there are a few exceptions to the rules though?

when is a party not a party, it's just not acceptable to behave this way, after what we have all sacrificed to stay safe and protect others?

I've not seen any of my family for 2 years. Like him or loath him, the line has been crossed. Boris Jonson and the Conservatives party, is untenable. to be honest, they will have little or no chance in the next general election.

Boris doesn't know his ass from his elbow how did he ever become the leader of the country.

Great idea Let Party!

Just look at our Queen and at the time the country was in mourning

You can see the Queens sadness

I don't normally do politics on my blog but it's an absolute disgrace, the behaviour of our politicians and civil servants.



Saturday, January 08, 2022

Re up Digital Blasphemy

I thought I'd re-up this blog.

Richards Pipit
Isles of Scilly
Date: 27/08/2003
Model: Canon EOS-D60 Lens (600f4): 250 ISO: Aperture: 4.5
Shutter: 1/500 Exp. Comp.-0.7 Program: Aperture Priority Focus Mode: AI Servo AF

Wilson's Petrel
At Sea Isles of Scilly
Model: Canon EOS-1D Mark II  Lens (400f4 Do)

As I've just bid on one of canon ancient cameras that I use to own over twenty years ago   I've bid £10.00 on a Canon D60 6.3Mb.  I paid in 2002 £1.600+ for the camera, but my reason for the re-up is can you tell the difference between 6Mb and 24+mb?

So I didn't win the item on eBay, it sold for £15.00, but I have won/purchased on eBay a Canon 30d 8.2 MB ill 

A twenty-year review of my ancient Canon EOS Digital Cameras 

Blyth's Pipit
Isles of Scilly
Date: 19/10/2007
Time: 13:37:22 Model: Canon EOS-1D Mark II
Lens (mm): 840 ISO: 200 Aperture: 7.1 Shutter: 1/2000

It's something that I've been planning to do.  A review of my Canon Digital cameras and the image quality.  So make your mind up and draw your conclusions. 

There are lots of photos to look back on from my archive of images from around the globe.  To be honest, my camera equipment is now showing its age, it's a bit like me getting old and creaky and banged on about a bit.

Red-Throated Diver
Isles of Scilly
Of interest, I was up to my waist in the sea photographing this Diver when it dived right between my legs.
Date: 27/08/2005 
Model: Canon EOS-1D Mark II Lens (300f4): 250 ISO: 160 Aperture: 4.5
Shutter: 1/1000 Exp. Comp.-0.7 Program: Aperture Priority Focus Mode: AI Servo AF

Semipalmated Sandpiper
 Porth  Hellick
 Isles of Scilly
Date: 02/08/2003
Model: Canon EOS D60 Canon Lens (:300f4) and ISO: 100 Aperture: 7.1 Shutter: 1/400 Exp. Comp.:-.3
Program: Aperture Priority Focus Mode: One-Shot AF


At Sea 
Isles of Scilly
Date: 27/08/2005 
Model: Canon EOS-1D Mark II Lens (300f4): 300 ISO: 160 Aperture: 4.5
Shutter: 1/5000 Exp. Comp.-0.7 Program: Aperture Priority Focus Mode: AI Servo AF

You'd think with the advances made In digital SLR photography and Mirrorless cameras, megapixels, sensors, autofocus, lens optics, screens resolutions, and so on, you'd be thinking there'd be a massive improvement, in image quality. There has been in certain areas, an improvement, flip out, rotating screen and resolution, autofocus speeds, operating system, menus etc?  

I'm now starting to feel, a bit of a photography dinosaur, now after 50 years of photography, using a variety of different formats 35mm, 6cm x 6cm square images on 120, 126mm,  Slides, and print film, Polaroid's, medium format, Hasselblad's etc and finally Canon EOS Digital.  

Steve Young from Birdwatch Magazine ( my amigo) said back in the day,  digital photography, it's never gonna catch on.   In those days we'd sell prints to birders of rare birds, we've never let him forget what he said about it. Digital photography and how it is now mainstream.

Short-billed Dowitcher 
Isles of Scilly
Model: Canon EOS 550D ISO: 200 Aperture: 6.3 Shutter: 
1/640 Exp. Comp.: +0.3 Program: Aperture Priority Focus Mode: One-Shot AF

 I owned full-frame cameras that we're at the time was the very best you could get,  I have other types that could rattle off 10 frames a second, which I rarely used the high frame rate, which would occasionally frighten off the bloody bird.  That's a good thing about mirrorless no shutter noise,  I've almost always had the latest high-end cameras from Canon. But for me at this moment in time, I seem to be reverting backwards in time.  All I'm using the camera and lens for is just to record what I've seen, I guess that's what most bird photographers do? 

Isles of Scilly
Date: 16/06/2004
Model: Canon EOS D60 Lens (300f4): 300 ISO: 200 Aperture: 5 Shutter: 1/2500
Exp. Comp.: -0.7 Program: Aperture Priority Focus Mode: AI Servo AF

 I've never really felt the need to use all those bells and whistles that we're on offer in the sub-menus. I'm a bit of an instinctive photographer, a single shot at a time, when everything looks right, I Press the shutter

Black-capped Petrel
Off Auckland New Zealand
Date: 31/03/2008
Model: Canon EOS-1D Mark II Lens (300f4): ISO: 400 Aperture: 5.6 Shutter: 1/4000 Exp. Comp.: -0.7 Program: Aperture Priority Focus Mode: AI Servo

But can I justify spending another £3.500+ on yet another Digital camera? for my very low-resolution Birding Costa Blanca blogs. 

White Chinned Petrel
Date: 12/11/2003
Model: Canon EOS D60 Lens (300f4): 300 ISO: 100 Aperture: 4 Shutter: 1/800 Program: Aperture Priority
Focus Mode: AI Servo AF

Arctic Tern.
At Sea South Atlantic.
Model: Canon EOS-1D Mark II Lens (400f4 DO) ISO: 200 Aperture: 10 Shutter: 1/200
Exp. Comp.: -1.7 Program: Aperture Priority Focus Mode: One-Shot AF

  I don't think I'll be winning any more awards for my type of photography as nowadays as it's mostly from a car or a hide. I'm not getting down and dirty for a bird's eye view,  I find it hard just getting down there never mind getting up nowadays.  I'm not supplying rarity bird images for publishing and probably not reaching the minimum requirements needed, for publications.

Cream coloured Courser
Isles of Scilly
Date: 13/10/2004
Model: Canon EOS-1D Mark II Lens (600): ISO: 100 Aperture: 8 
Shutter: 1/500 Exp. Comp -0.3 Program: Aperture Priority Focus Mode: One-Shot AF

My good friend and amigo Hadoram Shirihai, who's is the most brilliant photographer /writer/ researcher said to me this. .... His camera and lens is just a tool to help his research, which will forever wind me up no end, because of the fantastic photographs he takes. And the camera for him was just like a brush is to a painter/artist.

Montague's Harrier 
Extremadura Spain
Date: 14/05/2016
Model: Canon EOS 550D Lens ( 840) ISO: 200 Aperture: 7.1 Shutter: 1/1000
Exp. Comp.: -0.3 Program: Aperture Priority Focus Mode: One-Shot AF

My question is this?

Can you see any difference between any of these photos taken with my various ancient relic Canon Digital Cameras the very top photo of a Semipalmated Sandpiper is taken with a mere 6.3 megapixel D60  but it doesn't look any worse or any better than the Canon 760D 25 + megapixel Alpine Accentor photo?   Most images were taken canon L lenses

Great Spotted Cuckoo
Guadalentín Spain
Date: 17/04/2018
Model: Canon EOS 5D full-frame Lens (740) ISO: 100 Aperture: 7.1 Shutter: 1/800 Exp. Comp.: -0.7
Program: Aperture Priority Focus Mode: One-ShotAF

 I'm I going mad?  

Honestly, I'm not seeing any major difference in images quality?  considering the difference in pixels size, density, crop sensors, and full-frame, and very little difference between the cameras over the last twenty years of research and development.

 I must be missing something?

 I get it, that more pixels make bigger enlargements and finer detail possible, but do we need a 2 foot high Alpine Accentor photo?

Alpine Accentor
Pyrenees Spain
Date: 19/06/2017
Model: Canon EOS 760D Lens (600F4) ISO: 400 Aperture: 7.1 Shutter: 1/2000
Exp. Comp.: -0.3 Program: Aperture Priority Focus Mode: One-ShotAF

 If anything digital noise looks a little bit worse on the Canon latest 1.6 crop sensors cameras.  (It might be different on the mirrorless camera? ) I guess because there cramming more pixels in the same crop sensor resulting in more noise.  Post-production noise reduction can be used with care, it does add a little softening and loss of image detail.

Wilson Snipe
Isles of Scilly
Date: 23/10/2007
Model: Canon EOS-1D Mark II Lens ( 600F4) ISO: 100 Aperture: 8 Shutter: 1/32 Exp. Comp.: -1.0 Program: Aperture Priority Focus Mode: One-Shot AF

Interesting comparison of images over time"

All images processed in the latest Adobe Camera RAW, only basic level's and sharpening applied, little or no noise reduction applied

Pied Wheatear
Isles of Scilly
Date: 16/10/2003
Model: Canon EOS D60 Lens (600f4) ISO: 100
Aperture: 5.6 Shutter: 1/800 Program: Program AE Focus Mode: One-Shot AF

Desert Wheatear
Isles of Scilly
Date: 12/10/2010
Model: Canon EOS 40D lens (600f4) ISO: 400 Aperture: f8 Shutter: 1/3200 Exp. Comp.: -1.0 Program: Aperture Priority Focus Mode: One-Shot AF

American Golden-Plover
Isles of Scilly
Date: 04/10/2006
Model: Canon EOS 20D Lens (600f4) ISO: 200 Aperture: 9 Shutter: 1/1000 Exp. Comp.: -0.7
Program: Aperture Priority Focus Mode: One-Shot AF

Buff-breasted Sandpiper
St Agnes 
Isles of Scilly
Date: 17/09/2006
Model: Canon EOS-1D Mark II Lens (600F4) ISO: 200 Aperture: 5.6 Shutter: 1/2000 Exp. Comp.: -0.7 Program: Aperture Priority Focus Mode One-Shot AF

Royal Tern
Date: 13/01/2008 
Model: Canon EOS-1D Mark II Lens ( DO: 400f4) ISO: 125 Aperture: 5.6 Shutter: 1/2000 Exp. Comp.: 
Program: Aperture Priority Focus Mode: One-Shot AF

Short-tailed Albatross
Chichijima Northern Pacific
Date: 01/05/2008
Model: Canon EOS 40D Lens (400f5.6) 400 ISO: 125 Aperture: 6.3 Shutter: 1/1000 Program: Aperture Priority Focus Mode: AI Servo AF

KaguNew Caledonia South Pacific
Date: 09/04/2007
Model: Canon EOS-1D Mark II Lens (135) ISO: 250 Aperture: 5.6 Shutter: 1/80
Exp. Comp.: -1.0 Program: Aperture Priority
Focus Mode: One-Shot AF

Conclusion my personal view
My favourite Canon Digital camera body of all time very fast accurate autofocus and
pin-sharp images, it never missed a shot and would buy again without hesitation.
Canon 1D Mk Il only 8.2  megapixels and a 1.3 crop

King Penguin
South Georgia South Atlantic
Date: 20/03/2006
Model: Canon EOS-1D Mark II Lens (DO 400) ISO: 200 Aperture: 10 Shutter: 1/200
Exp. Comp.: -1.7 Program: Aperture Priority Focus Mode: One-Shot AF

The Canon D60 is a bit of a relic at only 6.3 megapixels it's a bit slow autofocusing using a telephoto lens and challenging for seabird photography, but I've used it and done it and the results are fine.  I've seen it for sale on eBay as low as 99p in working order with a lens attached, I think I paid about £1.600

Southern Royal Albatross 
Kaikoura New Zealand
Model: Canon EOS D60 Lens (130) ISO: 400 Aperture: 6.3 Shutter: 1/640Exp. Comp.: 0.0 Program: Aperture Priority Focus Mode: One-Shot AF

below is my list of the Canon cameras I've owned and or still have

EOS 550D/Rebel T2i/Kiss X4 

EOS 650D/Rebel T4i/Kiss X6i

EOS 760D/Rebel T6s/8000D


EOS-1D Mark II 


Used purchased EOS D30 


EOS 10D 




Mirrorless Canon EOS M

hope you've enjoyed my review

Have a great day

Cheers BT

First Bud's of Spring

An Interesting morning,  you just never know how it's going to turn out do you?

So earlier this week John and I went to Montnegra more or less to confirm what we already knew? It was so quiet we hardly saw anything, a couple of Bluerock Thrush,  and a few Griffon Vultures, we cut our losses and headed back to the Clot de Galvany not much better there either, to many people and the hides full. But the Shoveler's and the Marble Duck are displaying.

Bluerock Thrush

And so today we went back to our normal route across the Santa Pola Salinas, quite a few Great white Egrets, Spotted Redshank, Redshank.  The Large flock of Widgeon are still present, distant Canteen of Spoonbill, Dunlin, Marsh Harriers, 

Flowing Almond Trees

El Pinet

Plenty of Mud

Looking good but today only 30+ Dunlin.

We ventured inland

A few Serin were flying around and displaying, the buds of spring are beginning to show,  even some early flowing Almond Trees.  We started seeing a few Booted Eagle's, and more Marsh Harriers, eventually ending up at Santa Agueda.  The Green Sandpiper was still there, it's been around about a month now. A confiding Bluethroat performed in front of us for 10 minutes which was good and 50+ Skylark in one of the fields close by.

I can see you Mr Eagle
Green Sandpiper

Green Sandpiper


San Felipe

We didn't stop long to much disturbance and headed off to the Spotted Eagle Tree and a cup of tea and buttery shortbread biscuits.  I didn't see this raptor coming, it was close before I picked it out,  only 150 meters high and I lost it in the sun, I call John what do you think this is?  It was right into the Sun, It didn't fit anything, might be pale phase Booted?  Marsh Harrier? No, it's an Eagle, it came out of the sun and took a few record shots, before it drifted away.

Juvenile Bonelli's Eagle

Juvenile Bonelli's Eagle

 looking on the LCD screen on the camera back and the Collin's Bird Guide it was easy, we've just seen a Juvenile Bonelli',s Eagle, thank God I got some photos or we may have never confirmed the ID and another good bird would have been lost.  I've not seen Bonelli's Eagle in that plumage before, only Adult Bonelli's

Juvenile Bonelli's Eagle

Of Interest

The common name of the bird commemorates the Italian ornithologist and collector  Franco Andrea Bonelli

Franco Andrea Bonelli

Some antiquated texts also refer to this species as the crestless hawk-eagle.
Its feathered legs marked it as a member of the Aquilinae or Booted Eagle subfamily.

Bonelli's Eagle can be considered partially opportunistic, is something of a special predator of certain birds and mammals especially rabbits, galliforms 
( Red-legged Partridge etc ) and Pigeons.

Back to Birding

A few moments later Michelle called Bry what's this.  It was only the Spotted Eagle coming in.  ( well done Michelle ) I quickly grabbed the camera, the bird was losing height fast, I didn't get a photo as I'd knocked a switch into manual focus, ( Oops) and we watched the Eagle swoop into a Palm Tree.

We could partially see the Eagle in the palm through the scope, a double dose of Werther's to celebrate, and we headed home.

We seem to be on a bit of a roll at the moment 

I've now put gaffer tape over the switch so that won't happen again.

Have fun



Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Photograph Review 2021


As promised my Gallery of photographs taken in 2021. Not a complete list,  Some photographs I've not published before ( mostly I keep the best back ) I've not included the date that the image was taken, but will include spring/summer/autumn etc and where it was taken.

True love 
I love this photograph 
 I  believe it's the only ever photo of true love between Trumpeter Finch

No Bins Bird Club 

We've had some Brilliant Birding days during 2021.  Spring was so very special again, of course, we had our Flip Flops days during the year, but gladly they were few and far between.

I've lost count of how many Werther's moments that we've shared in 2021? And we're eager to get Birding again in 2022 fresh on our success with the resent  G S Eagle.

 There was a point I thought?

I was getting good at it  (Rare Bird Photography) I was up there with the best ( it was a healthy league of legends to be in with ) 

 Steve Young, George Reszseter, Mike McDonald, Tony Collinson, Jack Levine, and the rest of the greats, forgive me if your name is not listed etc)

  I  realised now the camera and lens is just a tool. In the words of my friend Hadoram Shirihai, (it is just a tool to help the research and increase our knowledge )

Enjoy the photographs

Great-crested Grebe. Clot De Galvany.

Firecrest. Maigmo Mountain. Summer.

Moustached Warbler. Lo Monte. Spring.

Major Thanks to my birding Buddies.

Sardinian Warbler. Me Casa. Spring.

John Edwards, Garth Davies, Trevor Asley, Mark Etheridge, Malcolm Palmer.

Black-eared Wheatear. Montnegra. Spring.

Spectacled Warbler. Montnegra. Spring.

Dartford Warbler. Jijona. Spring.

Bluethroat. San Felipe. Winter.

Lapwing. Petrola. Summer.

Trumpeter Finch. Montnegre Spring.

Spotted Redshank. El Pinet. Winter.

The Moon? Up there.

Black Redstart.  Santa Agueda.  Winter.

Bee-eater.  Montnegre. Autumn.

White-headed Duck. Clot de Galvany. Spring.

Thekla's Lark. Yecla. Spring.

Tawny Pipit. CV830. Summer.

Temminck's Stint. San Felipe. Winter.

Common Crane. Vistabella Road. Winter.

Stonechat. Urbanonva Salinas. Winter.

Black-bellied Sandgrouse. Guadalentin. Winter.

Black Wheatear me Casa. Autumn.

Wryneck. Clot de Galvany.  Autumn.

Spoonbill. San Felipe. Autumn.

Greater Flamingo. Petrola. Spring.

Little Egret. El Pinet. Winter.

Bee-eater. Sante Agueda. Autumn.

Roller. The Monastery. Spring.

Redshank. Petrola. Spring.

Great spotted Cuckoo. La Marina. Spring.

Bonelli's Warbler. Higuerilla. Spring.

Rock Bunting. Maigno Mountain. Spring.

Melodious Warbler.  Benejuzar. Spring.

Woodchat Shrike. Palm Farm Road. Spring.

White-headed Duck. Spring. Clot de Galvany.

Woodlark Maigmo Mountian. Spring.

Nightingale. Benejuzar. Spring.

Sardinian Warbler. me Casa. Spring.

Little Owl. Catral.  Summer.

Water Rail. El Pinet. Spring.

This is my favourite image of the year
Jupiter and its Moons and Saturn and its Rings
It's so far away I am amazed I've even got an image.

Trumpeter Finch Montnegra. Spring.

Little Bittern. Clot de Galvany.

have a great day