Garden BirdWatch ‘09 & 5D MkII

Well its that time of year again where many of the UK’s families get out into gardens & parks to count the number of birds that are there. If you’d like to find out more please visit the RSPB web site. We duly did our count, with the noticeable change being more house sparrows & less goldfinch. We’ve recently had an issue with our supplies of niger seed, so that explains the Goldfinches and its very pleasing to see more sparrows.

Having received my Canon 5D MkII on Saturday lunchtime, it seemed suitable to take some test shots of the garden birds, here’s a blue tit:

_MG_0048-25Jan09-edit  Click any picture for a larger view …

Various members of the tit family were here in significant numbers and so were the ever present chaffinches. This little Robin kept trying to creep up unannounced:

_MG_0051-25Jan09-edit  Shy Robin

I don’t have the hide out at the moment, so these images were taken with the camera & I all camouflaged up but standing out in the open. The setup was 5D MkII on the back of 500mm L with 1.4 extender in place; all mounted on a monopod, to help me support the weight.

_MG_0062-25Jan09-edit  House Sparrow

I always loved the 500mm lens on my 5D but I think it’s even better mounted on the MkII. I just had to try out the video feature so here’s a brief YouTube video for you. Please forgive my slight wobble but 700mm fl on a monopod in a breeze, it is not the easiest thing to steady 😉



Birds Feeding

   Select ‘HQ’ from the menu, to see via YouTube’s best quality

I’m impressed with this new camera and when I’m working on a tripod I expect to get great natural history video from it. The compression for the web does not show the full video quality, in 1080i HDR it is truly stunning.

Shameless Plug: May I remind you that many of my images are available as prints, contact me directly or look at the selection on Posters Wales.

If you haven’t done a bird watch before may I encourage you to get involved next year; if you’re wondering why?

  • It’s good fun
  • It helps raise awareness of our native birds
  • and provides data for the RSPB to monitor

If you feed the birds regularly & develop you garden to be wildlife friendly, it’s amazing what you can see.


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