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  1. #1

    Default Photographing Birds

    I'm thinking of startng to photograph Birds....I know its an expensive hobby..

    But can someone give me a heads up on teh equipment required and the likely costs..

    complete beginner.

    thanks

  2. #2

    Default

    Camera!
    One of the best skills that an angler can ever develop is knowing the difference between passing the time and wasting it!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Co Fermanagh
    Posts
    1,865

    Default

    Followed by birds!!
    "Nothing makes a fish bigger, than almost being caught"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Belfast
    Posts
    2,699

    Default

    I use a drill and a wee hidden camera for photographing birds. Although the equipment was confiscated after that last court case.
    What to do? Stay green.
    Never mind the machine,
    Whose fuel is human souls
    Live large, man, and dream small.

  5. #5

    Default

    Birds never even crossed my mind dabbler! Handy if you wanted to take their picture too!

    Couldn't let my intial post go Ciaran. You left yourself open for that one!

    Seriously though. An DSLR camera would be my advice to you. Stick to Nikon or Canon and you won't go too far wrong.

    You can buy DSLR kits that usually come with a lens in the range of 18-55mm and another lens probably in the 50-200mm range.

    When I bought my D5000 a couple of years ago it came with a 50-300mm lens.

    You may need to by a lens in 500mm focal length to take pictures of birds at distance without spooking them.

    There are some good entry and mid level camera available. Since I bought the D5000, it has been replaced with the D3100 and D5100 models. I really havn't kept up with specifiactions or anything so not entirely sure of the difference in them.

    You would probably also need a decent tripod if you are going to be sitting waiting on birds. Saves trying to lift the camera and trying not to spook the birds at the same time.

    I'm sure springer or crispin or anyone else who uses Canon equipment could advise you on those. I really don't know what model numbers are entry, mid range or advanced or anything.

    Here is a website that reviews camera's, lens etc. I found it useful when trying to decide on my first DSLR: Digital Photography Review

    Hope this helps and you enjoy your new hobby! It can be great passtime and possible income too!

    Good Luck!

    EDIT: I did not add the links to ebay under DSLR Camera or 18-55mm
    Last edited by Jockiescott; 16-02-2012 at 12:40 PM.
    One of the best skills that an angler can ever develop is knowing the difference between passing the time and wasting it!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Newfoundland and Labrador
    Posts
    1,442

    Default

    Thought you might enjoy a look at Mark Williams' stuff. He uses a Nikon D7 for most of the pics he sends me. Some L series lenses and filters and bags and such ($10-$15K ought to do it if you buy used goods) and you should be good to go. Most of it comes down to early morning light and hunting ability.

    Raptors, Birds Of Prey in flight, Nature & Canadian Wildlife & Stock photography Calgary, alberta - canada

    One from me (NOT a pro like Mark)...and its a falconry bird .




    Cheers;
    Silverleapers
    Get educated and involved in what salmon open net pens are doing, before it is too late!

  7. #7

    Default

    Cheers for the advice lads...and of course the sleggin'

    time to do a bit of research and find the cheapest option to start off (unfortunately - not in the 10-15k range yet SL)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Newfoundland and Labrador
    Posts
    1,442

    Default

    Hi Ciaran;

    Sorry about the cash call...it was just a warning as to where this is going for you.....you will not stop until you have $5K worth of camera gear at least I can assure you. eg D3 and two L series lenses.

    I'm not sure about the legal twists on this in the UK. BUT, often a good wildlife photographer is a great hunter....only one is not using a gun.....so one can deploy all kinds of less sporting methods. (cue evil laughing background sounds)

    I will use a goshawk as an example as it is usually a secretive and very hard to find bird (but this works for all birds). I can find them at will for pictures and video and make them attack or sit pretty at close range for a camera! I can also find its nest rather quickly...hmmmm...maybe this should be a PM...any idiots in the UK?

    eg Bait...dying hare call, ruffed grouse drumming recordings, stuffed hare (camera next to it for that amazing attack shot), stuffed grouse, etc.

    One thing I did was cheap and amazingly effective and cutting edge (you also can buy a Fox Pro caller ($500) and they are first rate and I HIGHLY recommend them, remote control for 100s of yards, loud, clear, upload any songs you like, etc). I bought a cheap pair of portable battery powered speakers ($10). I connected this to a cheap MP3 player ($10). I downloaded bird calls from the internet (free but some I have are well...let me just say that the security on some data sets for bird calls is rather weak). Then I sorted through them and listed them by species and type of call (eg Goshawk breeding call female chupping, goshawk breeding call male food offering, goshawk chicks in distress, goshawk female defending nest, etc). They are not listed like this in the bird call CD (most birders don't know what the heck the bird calls means...this is where either trial and error helps to isolate the great and effective calls or building specific PhD level knowledge about the bird)...anyway.


    Then the set up...local good habitat...in our example good scrubby forest full of bunnies....early in the morning during the breeding season you head out with your caller....ever 200-500 meters (calm, no wind) you give a bunch of calls and wait 5 minutes....eventually....voila...and a goshawk shows up calling...you snap some pictures, set up your stuffed rabbit while the hawk can't see what you are doing etc...BUT you watched where it came from (Direction) and where it flies off too (direction)....you do this again but use a Swedish goshawk call and even earlier in the morning before good light (They learn the calls and will ignor them if you don't mix it up and change locations...)....you watch where it came from....your getting closer to finding its roosting site...anyway...try again duiring breeding season...find nest...stay away from bird nests...you just want to be in the general area (btw a goshawk will rip your face off if you get close to its nest....and not give ANY warning it is coming for you).

    I can tekll you oodles more....but that is enough to get you taking snaps as good as Mark Williams

    soem more of by blurry pictures...




    Cheers;
    Silverleapers
    Last edited by silverleapers; 17-02-2012 at 09:51 AM.
    Get educated and involved in what salmon open net pens are doing, before it is too late!

  9. #9

    Default

    Thanks for the info SL...i started doing a bit of research last night and my head started hurting..

    But I will persist..i've been birding for nearly 30 years, so its about time I started documenting it.

    Cheers..

    P.S trying to find a Goshawk in Ireland is a little more complicated...there is only a handfull
    Last edited by Ciarán; 17-02-2012 at 11:45 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    cotswolds
    Posts
    2,073

    Default

    Here's a couple that my mate Pete took - sat in a hide for goodness knows how long to get them.





    The first one is a Hoopee and the second a Goshawk.
    Last edited by tenet; 17-02-2012 at 12:29 PM.

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