Monday, 3 August 2009

Not an Amazon in Sight

Spent a couple of hours lazing in the garden today and occasionally photographing and filming the butterfly visitors but that will have to wait until tomorrow.

Just about teatime a group of about ten Swallows suddenly appeared and spent about ten minutes zooming around overhead before moving on. I tried the camcorder but to get them in vision meant wide angle and I ended up with a few specks speeding across the screen. In the end I fetched the DSLR, set it to a fixed focus and tried for a few stills. Most were out of focus and all were grainy as I had upped the ISO to get a fast shutter speed. Today they stayed high up so the pictures are cropped from small sections of the photos.


Just one gave a passable photo, certainly better than anything I managed last year anyway.

Swallow in Flight

Plenty of Swallows, but not an Amazon in sight.

Last year I watched a group on the cricket field. Marvellous to see them swoop down at high speed within a couple of inches of the ground over and over again. I watched them for nearly half an hour as they gradually cleared the field of all the insects they could catch.


  1. WOW! I love them John, well done! Swallows are so difficult to photograph in flight. I would be more than pleased if I had managed to capture them.

  2. Thank you kindly Jan. They certainly are bally difficult to photo. They move sooooo fast. It was a pity the best shot was against the only dark cloud in the sky. I guess it must be getting near migration time as that is the only time they seem to gather here near the coast.

    Just had a bird of prey land very briefly on the wires over the feeders. At first I assumed it was a Sparrow Hawk but looking at piccies on the net I think it may have been a Kestrel. By the time I'd picked up the camera it was nowhere to be seen :(

  3. I found your blog through another blog that I found through another blog.........etc etc and so it goes on! :)
    I've so enjoyed watching your videos and reading about the life in your backyard. I'll definitely be back to finish some of the older posts.

  4. Better than any of my efforts John. They are fast. Great to watch though.

  5. Very excellent swallow shots John...great there's a bird that is hard to get good shots in flight they are faster than a flee on a horse!!! I gave up trying...but I might try again now that I've seen yours.

  6. Hi Pam. Thank you for visiting and your kind comments. You are very welcome. I think we all find a lot of blogs that way.

  7. Hi Keith. As you say they are fast. Last year I spent ages trying and I think I binned the lot so I was pleased to get something that looked like a Swallow this year.

  8. Hi Crista. Thank you. They kept coming back for an hour or more but most of the time I just enjoyed watching them. I find the auto focus is useless for that type of shot so I choose a distance which they seem go through many times and set the camera to that and hope!! The one thing I forget to try is setting the camera to multi shot which may increase the chances of a clear picture.

  9. Looks like the profile of a Spitfire! You can see where RJ Mitchell found his inspiration!

  10. Hi Matron. Very true the wing shape is remarkably similar.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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