Friday, 31 January 2020

My name is Simon, and I'm a GG addict

I really need to get a life! I have a real backlog of GG photos that I want to show yet I find my addiction is so strong that I go out and get new shots every day. Today, I found that fresh snow and new backgrounds was the only excuse I needed to feed my habit.

After the snow it then warmed up causing mist which created quite an atmosphere in the forest 

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Guiding for the triple

The next installment of (old) GGO pictures will have to wait because some new shots have been taken. Not just of GG but also Hawkie and Piney – I was guiding Barry (Twitter: @barrystidolph), Ian (@tynewearbirding) and Michael today who had flown over from Newcastle via Schipol as they too needed a shot of these top notch bird drugs.

We had an absolutely top day with not one but two each of GG and Hawkie all seen incredibly well and three Pineys that showed also very well in a very urban setting. It really does not get much better ūüėĀ

Here are just a few photos from today.

I only bothered with a mobile shot of the Pine Grosbeaks - but here showing the urban setting

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Great Grey Pictures part II

Good flight and hunting shots have been, and remain, my primary focus with the species. These are the best from the last week.

sometimes there is nothing in the way but the focus doesn't lock on

or shutter speed is too slow

and when the focus and shutter speed are better then the bird was headless

better but messy background and twigs in way

losing focus

would have worked if it was sharp

here a Magpie that had been giving the owl hassle had the tables turned on it

focus and background are all good but bird is flying in wrong direction!

hunting shot (just before it plunges down) but obscured

the problem with this shot is obvious!

if only it had flown off to the left, to the right or straight at me...

finally in focus but again headless!

Monday, 27 January 2020

Great Grey Pictures part I

I have rather a lot of Great Grey Owl pictures that I want to show. When I spend time with this fantastic species my hope is always to capture it hunting. This is easier said than done though. A lot of time is spent watching the bird sleeping during the day when it does very little other than preening or yawning. When it is hunting then it can perch on a tree stump or branch for 10 minutes before all the action happens in the course of a few seconds. You miss it if you do not have your finger ready on the shutter button and even if you are ready you have to hope that the bird doesn’t fly behind a bush or that the camera loses focus. I am still waiting for that perfect shot but have never-the-less accumulated a huge library of other shots that aren’t too bad.

I will start with some close ups.

starting to preen


important to loo after those feathers

post preen silly face

what a tongue! Look also at the half closed inner eyelids

the hole in the top of the mouth is presumably from the nostrils

here the bird has a posture that makes it look far slimmer and has me thinking of Long-eared Owl

Saturday, 25 January 2020

The word is spreading

The word is clearly spreading about the quality of the Oslo GG and today Mark and Lizzie from Essex felt they had to get a dose. The GG was so obliging that we also managed to squeeze in a shot of Hawkie despite only having a few hours at our disposal ūüėä

Happy (and photogenic ūüėÄ) punters! 

and a change in the focus shows why



Thursday, 23 January 2020

Terrible Trio

This week has been about administering dangerously large doses of GG on a daily basis and the stuff is good! This morning after breakfast when the the itch was at its worst I realised though that GG on its own was not going to cut it anymore. I needed to go for the all time high, something that I would not even have considered possible just a week ago. I knew what I needed and I knew how to get it: GG, Hawkie and Piney in quick succession. It would either kill me or if lucky deliver such an ultimate high that I would transcend to a new level and not need these silly stimulants anymore.

In only an hour and a half I scored all three within 20 minutes of Oslo and the stuff was of an exceptional quality!

Just think that I have dreamed of the Hawkie - Piney combo before and got to experience them together on one memorable occasion but to add GG to the mix and consume all three within such a short period of time is beyond even the worst addicts dreams.

Where did it leave me? Did I transcend to a new level? Hardly! Within half an hour of the trio I was back trawling the streets and shooting up again on GG. Once you’ve had GG, you never….

I have an enormous number of photos and videos to go through especially of GG and will have to have another post but here are 2 pictures of each.