OUTER SUBURBS 297 – DAYSTART, AND JACKDAWS

 

 


.
Walking the Outer Suburbs, just as Our Star starts to rise.  Windows reflect the light, bands of colour fill the sky – and the Jackdaws? >>> they’re on the chimney top at far right.  They’re crows, the smallest of our crows, and they love chimneys;  they are starting to move as the light brightens, bustling on the chimney tops and filling the air with their  sharp calls – “tjack-daw!

Click onto the “early morning” tag (below) to see more images from the early hours of the day. 

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window – certainly recommended.

Technique: TG-5 at 49mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait profile; south Bristol; 1 Dec 2020.
.
.
.

ARCHIVE 519 – THE LOVE OF JACKDAWS FOR CHIMNEYS

 

 


.

A bright moon on an icy morning,  just at sunrise, and a pair of Jackdaws are on the top of a chimney in the village Stanton Drew, not far south of Bristol.

Jackdaws are our smallest crow, they pair for life, and they are often around our houses – and especially our chimneys – in which (amongst other places) they nest.  They are sociable, garrulous and often quite accepting of man, and I have a lot of affection for them – but then, I have a lot of affection for wildlife generally.

Click onto the “early morning” tag (below) to see more images from the early hours of the day.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Stanton Drew, near Bristol; 6 Nov 2017.

.
.
.

BIRDS 124 – JACKDAW (MONO)

 


.
Walking in the early morning of New Year’s Day in south Bristol, and being suddenly delighted by a storm of black bodies and whirling wings close overhead. They were Jackdaws, small crows, and this large group had recently emerged from a communal roost where they’d spent the long winter night and – garrulous, sociable, busy, noisy – they were off around Bristol’s rooftops in search of the day’s first meal. They landed on the roof of a nearby factory but, active as they were, I knew that they’d soon be aloft again in a noisy, wheeling black cloud.

.

.
LOL!!! >>> and so to one of photography’s great sayings >>> that the best camera for the job is the one you have with you >>> and so, from my pocket, I produced something really totally unsuitable for the job ahead, the only camera I was carrying, the Olympus TOUGH TG-5.

.

.

But the birds were on the move again even quicker than I’d anticipated, and any “photographic technique” on my part was reduced to managing to get the zoom to it longest length (100mm equivalent), pointing the little camera at the whirling flock and firing five quick, single frames.  The camera was set for spot metering, thankfully at 3200 ISO, but on this dark morning that still only gave me 1/30 second at f4.9.

I’m also a great believer in “any picture is better than no picture at all”, and in this case the slow shutter speed blurred the flailing wings to give a real sense of movement – and so to high contrast black and white processing in Lightroom and something of an impressionistic result.
.
.
.

STANTON DREW 53 – JACKDAW AROUND THE CHURCH

 

 


.

A Jackdaw, the smallest of our crows, flying around the church’s decorative architecture.  A lucky grab shot.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further – recommended.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Stanton Drew, south of Bristol; 6 July 2018.
.
.
.

STILL LIFE 244 – JACKDAW 2 (MONO)

 

 


.
Jackdaw on a roof at Church Farm.

An earlier image in this series is here: 1 .

Click onto the image to open another version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Classic Chrome film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Architectural preset; Stanton Drew, near Bristol; 6 July 2018.
.
.
.

STILL LIFE 242 – JACKDAW

 

 


.

Jackdaw on a roof at Church Farm, Stanton Drew.

The smallest of our crows, and attractively busy, bustling, talkative and, often, approachable.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it – recommended.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Church Farm, Stanton Drew, near Bristol; 6 July 2018.
.
.
.

BIRDS 98 – JACKDAW (MONO)

 

 


.

How I love crows! >>> this was a very lucky, very quick shot – the bird was perched on the church’s rooftop cross, I raised the camera – and, instantly,  it flew!

Another recent picture of Jackdaws, on a building nearby, is here.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window – recommended >>> in this enlarged version you can just make out the bird’s pale (in fact, white) eye, which is one of its identification features.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv);  3200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Contrast and Structure preset;  Stanton Drew; 6 Nov 2017.
.
.
.

BIRDS 97 – THE LOVE OF JACKDAWS FOR CHIMNEYS

 

 

.

A bright moon on an icy morning,  just at sunrise, and a pair of Jackdaws are on the top of a chimney in the village Stanton Drew, not far south of Bristol.

Jackdaws are our smallest crow, they pair for life, and they are often around our houses – and especially our chimneys – in which (amongst other places) they nest.  They are sociable, garrulous and often quite accepting of man, and I have a lot of affection for them – but then, I have a lot of affection for wildlife generally.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it still further.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Stanton Drew, near Bristol; 6 Nov 2017.

.
.
.

BIRDS 90 – JACKDAWS OVER TADHAM MOOR

 

 

jackdaws-over-tadham-moor
.

Standing out on the Somerset Levels, before sunrise.  Enjoying the (freezing!) moment, the stillness and quiet; a camera inert, itself freezing, around my neck.

All at once the silence was cut by harsh, garrulous calls – “TJACK! … TJACK!” – and, looking up, a small, dark and nebulous mass, shaped like a misty lozenge, was powering towards me high above that flat landscape.  To an ex-birder like me, the calls proclaimed the callers, Jackdaws, small black crows with white eyes, flying out from their roost at first light to feed.  They would have spent the night as a flock, perched safely up in tall trees, occasionally shuffling, occasionally calling, enduring the sub-zero temperatures of the long January night.  Some, of course, may not have made it through that ice box of a night, some may have succumbed to the deeply penetrating cold, and toppled silently from their perches, to lie frozen through now on the rock hard ground below.  But the rest, now, at dawn and with the sun about to rise, had left their roost and set off across country, to an area where they could find food to replenish the ravages of that stark darkness.

The camera, the Fuji X-T2, with its much trumpeted reputation for speed, was around my neck, switched off and with the telezoom at minimum.  Having appeared from nowhere, the flock was almost over me in an instant, there was barely time to do anything – in one movement my forefinger switched the camera on, got onto the shutter button and for the briefest instant held it half down for focus, and then fired off two frames – managing 1/350 at f4.5 and 25,600 ISO in the poor light.

And here is the result, which can be viewed in three ways.

First, and most trivially, it serves as a crude test of the X-T2’s start up and autofocus times.  The birds are more or less sharp, with some blurring of their flailing wing tips – and that’s good enough for me – I want the moment, not technical perfection.

Then second and far more valuably, this is an instantaneous picture of the Natural World, of relatively small, warm blooded creatures that have weathered many hours of darkness and sub-zero temperatures, relying on their feathers and whatever fat reserves they may have to ward off the biting, sub-zero temperatures.  Now they are out over that flat landscape, hungry, needing food to survive, and powering towards somewhere that, yesterday at least, there was food.  What can I say?  The Natural World never ceases to interest and excite me.

And finally, thinking more abstractly, this image shows a variety of bird shapes, silhouettes, set against a grainy blue background.  Perhaps it might serve as a pattern for a table cloth, curtains or an arty blouse, such is our world.

There is a much closer image of a Jackdaw here.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 84mm (equiv); 25,600 ISO; 1/350, f4.5; crop shows just over a third of the total image area; 27 Jan 2017.

.

.

.

STILL LIFE 42 – JACKDAW WITH ELECTRICS (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 

jackdaw-with-electrics-mono-colour
.
Jackdaw near Perranporth, Cornwall, 14 April 2016.

What do I think about this image?  Well, to start with, it looks odd, and the more so perhaps because I’ve re-coloured the more colourful elements after taking the whole thing into slightly toned black and white.

Then there is a disparate assemblage of elements here, the living, natural bird on the one hand and all those decidedly non-natural electrics on the other – and those electrics are held up in the air, safely away from the likes of you and me, on wooden poles – which are formerly living (and now rounded for purpose) natural things.

And the bird is looking out of the picture, away from all the technology.  Is there disdain there, in that averted gaze, for the immobile, Unnatural World?  Or maybe there is the knowledge that that World has certainly, by one means or another, significantly reduced the numbers of this country’s wild birds within the lifetime of the FATman who, out of frame, is standing below this tableau and looking up.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window.

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Yellowed 1 preset and selectively restoring colour.
.
.
.

%d bloggers like this: