Monday 30 December 2019

Playing with Sol

RSPB Rainham Marshes: 30th December 2019 
It looked like it was going to be a nice morning so I headed to work early and struck out along the river wall before sun up to be greeted by a wall of billowing mist that came and went in swirling waves.  The City, landfill, A13 and pylons were obscured and only the traffic noise hinted that I was not in some remote wild marshland landscape.

Needless to say my opportunities with the new camera (Sony DX10 mkIV) were once again very limited but I did have fun watching Sol come up over the QEII Bridge (again) where not only did the colour and size seem to constantly change but so did the shape with some weird distortions taking it out of the spherical and into the wonderful world of mutant citrus fruits.

This is natural vingetting as the sun pushed through a wave of mist

And so rose the mighty Ugly Fruit

Fieldfares and Redwings erupted from the Hawthorns having once again roosted in the overhanging Willows by the MDZ and I could hear the Wigeon, Teal and Pintail out on the marsh but only ghostly shapes occasionally emerged as the fog swirled in and out.


Misty Fieldfares

I thought that the sun would quickly burn it off but it did not actually happen till well after nine and what followed was a manic day on the reserve with a full car park but just after ten and a gazillion punters in inappropriate footwear attempting to navigate our now slightly flooded trails.

I escaped for ten minutes in the late afternoon but nothing was playing ball so I papped some distant duck before returning for another classic sunset.



The only small bird to sit still was this nice male House Sparrow

And three phone shots to round up the day...

Monday 2 December 2019

A taste of what may be to come...

RSPB Rainham Marshes 2nd December 2019

It would appear that I may have bought myself a new camera over the Black Friday weekend.  I have been having a play with the Sony RX10 IV for a few days courtesy of Andy Tweed and became sold on the idea that an upgrade from my stalwart Canon SX65 bridge was becoming a necessity especially with my once in a lifetime trip to Costa Rica in February looming ever closer.

My sparkly new camera does not arrive till later in the week so today I took the opportunity to take out my loan one for a proper pre-dawn walk along the river wall.  I did not even take my bins so that I could concentrate of the camera and kept it in auto for the time being just to see what it could do.

It was very cold, still and calm with nowt but me and the birds for company and as the light slowly improved the chances of something to snap increased.

I think I will let the pictures speak but suffice to say I was very pleased with the outcome, especially given the low light levels.

I enjoyed playing with the encroaching Sol...

And then some very low light images along the foreshore

As the sun came up things started to glow...

I even tried catching some passing high Fieldfares which my SX would never have had a hope it. The reaction time and locking onto the object was fantastic.

A Grey Heron lumbered across as I headed back but the light was already going as the sun was disappearing behind a cloud bank but again it locked on with no trouble at all.

I mucked around with a bit of macro too and again was pleased with the results given the low light.

Another Grey Heron posed and the House Saprrows were now awake...

Ten minutes after getting into the Centre the sun reappeared and I scuttled down to the Purfleet Scrape to see what I could get on the snoozing ducks at about 50m range.

So all in all a succesful test run with lots of pointers to an improvement in images to come.  It will be a bit of a re-learning excerise but I have lots of teachers around me!