We’ve been a bit out of bird circulation of late. Haven’t been out to Woodlands for sometime, and really haven’t had much contact out there with the birds. Seems most of them are off elsewhere. But we had a bit of a break in the family doings today and took the chance to followup on some sightings that Andrew H and Neil A had given some details on. So armed with the newest toy. The Nikon D7100, and the old toy, 500mm we sallied forth.
The D7100 is really not broken in yet, still having a bit of fun working out the best settings, but the one thing I can vouch for is the accuracy of the autofocus. And its speed. Attack Dog speed.
And while we’re on the dog metaphor, Jack Russell action, and Fox Terrier grip on the subject. This is the first Nikon I’ve used since the D2x that actually finds the subject that I want attractive and doesn’t go off hunting for its own version. Shot some kid portraits the other day indoor/window lighting. Even with the old 70-200 VR the tripod wasn’t needed and the kids eyes are SHARP. (Hope the Nikon D7000 af team read that, although me thinks they wouldn’t understand, as the D7000 would go, Oh, nice eyes, but look at those cute little ears.” ) For birds it meant the difference between sharp eyes and a rather attractive neck and back feathers. Never did seem to get the hang of that. Ok of the soapbox, cause no one cares. But.
The D7100 does sharp.
We were in luck by the the old hospital dam. We found Will.I.Am and Will.am.mena and set about working with them. As it turns out they had company. Wills have been staying over all summer, and we hope had nested, although haven’t personally seen any chicks. But now they have company. A pair of Scarlets have migrated in for the winter. But Will.I.Am, is not to happy to give up his hard fought territory. So we watched fascinated as the two males went at it to determine top dog status. Name calling, tree circling, dancing, and a new one for me, Advancing on the territory with the tail cocked high in the air. Not sure if that was to intimidate Will or attract Will.am.mena. It certainly had the desired effect on her, as she issued both challenges to the males and encouragement to them as they battled it out. If we couldn’t find them for a few minutes then her calls quickly located them. The other female sort of ignored it all and fed happily in the open.
In the end it resulted in a lot of high tree flying and we lost them in the distance. Which says a lot about the size of the territory the male is defending. Must be 700-800 metres minimum around.