Archive For The “Alpha6000” Category
A near blizzard did not stop the people of Kitimat turning out for the Remembrance Day service on November 11, 2017.
Tuesday, October 25, 2017 was a beautiful sunny afternoon after four days of storms, snow on Saturday and three days of heavy rain which reached more than 200 millimetres (about eight inches). The late fall sun was out but the Kitimat River was higher than usual. (Robin Rowland)
I went down “the Channel” (the collective name for the waters of Douglas Channel and the surrounding passages, channels and canals) with friends on Monday, August 28.
We were first heading down Ursula Channel toward Monkey Beach where I was going to shoot some portraits of my friends, Before we got to Monkey Beach we saw humpbacks breaching far, far down Ursula Channel.
After we finished shooting the portraits, we went into nearby Bishop Bay for supper. We never made it to the famed Bishop Bay hotsprings. There was a pod of perhaps seven humpbacks hugging the shore, feeding. So we had supper on board and spent a couple of hours watching and photographing the humbacks.
As well the whale missing a chunk from its back, at least two others showed scarring from probable past ship or boat encounters.
Walking through London’s Kensington Gardens I saw a crowd of people around some trees and a loud screeching of birds. Then I saw flashes of green as the birds flew between the trees and often landed on people’s hands and even heads, as they were (sometimes) fed.
This was a flock of what is called in Great Britain the ring-necked parakeet and in North America the rose-ringed parakeet. The species originates from both central Africa and India and has long been popular in the pet trade. A population of feral parakeets was first noticed in England in 1969 and there are now thousands in parts of the country. While in most places the feral parakeets thrive in city parks, their range is increasing in rural and wilderness areas. Because their diet includes cultivated fruit they are considered a pest by farmers. It appears that in England, the parakeets have rapidly evolved to survive the winters. As you can see at least in the summer, they are perfectly camouflaged among green leaves. As well as England, there are large numbers of feral parakeets in Japan, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, with smaller populations in southern California and Florida.
So what did I do on my summer “vacation”? I am (semi) retired, so it isn’t a formal vacation, but I did have some relaxing down time on my trip to England in June. After attending a conference in Liverpool, I went to Stratford-upon-Avon to see the Royal Shakespeare Company production of Julius Caesar, then spent some time with cousins in Oxfordshire and finally went to London to see some shows and some friends. I didn’t set out to concentrate on bird photography but that was what the photographic gods provided,
Oxfordshire Upper Thames River
Our route in the Miss Moffat II along the Upper Thames River. King’s Lock is at the beginning of the line following the route of the river and the Farmoor Reservoir is the large body of water in the lower left (where we stopped for lunch). Wytham Woods are the wooded area roughly to the right of the river.
Wytham Woods – Oxfordshire
Wytham Woods are an area of ancient semi-natural woodland to the west of Oxford, UK, owned by the University of Oxford and used for environmental research for the past sixty years, including climate change research for the past eighteen. Hiking is permitted by special permit.
The Serpentine – London
The Serpentine is a small lake between Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens in London.
I was able to photograph my second sequence of aerial bird combat in a few weeks on June 15, on a boat trip on the upper Thames River in Oxfordshire, in England, above me a carrion crow (Corvus Corone) was taking on what in Britain is called a buzzard and internationally the common buzzard (Buteo buteo)
The buzzard is a hunting raptor, and although it does eat carrion, its main diet consists of rabbits, voles, other small mammals, small birds, including young pigeons and crows. It may be that the crow was defending its young. (Robin Rowland)
I first spotted the two high up over the fields of the English countryside along the Thames. (Robin Rowland)
It was just a couple of weeks earlier that I photographed a red winged blackbird taking on a hawk over Topley, British Columbia.
Here’s the approximate route we took on the Thames River, with the track from my Garmin Extrex 20x uploaded to Google Earth. (The straight line is where the GPS jumped from where I was staying to when we began the boat trip). Oxford is in the lower right corner.
The persistent crow mobs the buzzard over this and the next few images. (Robin Rowland)
All images were taken from my cousin Bob Timm’s boat, the Miss Moffatt II, with my Sony Alpha6000 and the Sony G 70-300mm lens with ISO 1250 and shutter priority at 1/2500 at f8/