June 2009

I spent the late afternoon of 28th at Chew, testing the autofocus of the 1D Mark III on some easy objects - flying gulls. The camera coped well.

Black-headed gulls

black-headed gull

black-headed gull

Lesser black-backed gull - top, a colour ringed bird, 3rd summer? The bird was ringed by the Severn Estuary Gull Group at Stoke Orchard landfill site some 76 km away on 6 December 2008. Subsequent sightings have been from Priding and Gloucester landfill site before the bird arrived at Chew.

lesser black-backed gull

lesser black-backed gull

It was great to see a tame yellow-legged gull, the first I've seen at Chew for some time. It appears to be a 3rd summer bird, and is a very slender and elegant individual. The red orbital ring and line anterior to the gape are prominent.

yellow-legged gull

yellow-legged gull

yellow-legged gull

Jackdaw in the garden - 27th.


My first visit to Collard Hill near Street on 21st, to see the reintroduced large blue butterflies.

Common spotted and pyramidal orchids were abundant at Ivythorn Hill: a photo of a 6-spot burnet moth on the pyramidal.

common spotted orchid

pyramidal orchid/6-spot burnet

Stinking iris

stinking iris

And finally some large blue butterflies - they were quite difficult to photograph, hiding deep in the grass.

large blue

large blue

A female laying an egg in a thyme flower head

large blue laying

Mid-June madness as usual with external examining in Aberdeen and a field course to teach in Orielton, Pembrokeshire. First impressions of the 1D Mark III are positive - much better at handling noise than the 50D, and better colour and resolution than the 1D Mark IIN. Autofocus was difficult with fast-flying auks against a dark blue sea, but maybe that would have been the case for any camera. Click on the raven for photos.


A male LITTLE BITTERN at Walton Heath on 7th was my first new British bird of the year. It showed a couple of times in flight during the late afternoon, and I saw it once in the reeds. Most impressive was its song - a repetitive, low frequency barking sound. Bittern's-eye view of the twich below, with a characteristic 19:3 sex ratio.

little bittern twitch

I also saw 2 hobbies, heard a cuckoo, and saw a barn owl in daylight between Wedmore and Cheddar on the journey home.The grey heron below taken with the 5D - almost lacking noise.

grey heron

And this will be the last picture I took with the 50D toy. It's packaged up and being sent with my 1D Mark IIN for part exchange with a used sub-mirror fix 1D Mark III - a camera that has done more to harm Canon's reputation than any other. I'm optimistic it will be a good deal - let's see. The 50D was a disappointment. Who would have imagined that 'downsizing' from a 15 MP on a 1.6x sensor to 10 MP on a 1.3x sensor would be a good move? I'm confident. Autofocus will be the challenge...

A tame roe deer next to the Flax Bourton cycle path on the morning of 3rd made me return for my bike and camera after the dog walk.

roe deer

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