This new family were an ideal subject on which to practice digiscoping, located on private ground and remaining flipping miles away. I’d estimate the group were mostly 60+ metres from me, although both adult birds halved that distance at various points for brief periods. The fledglings were scampering all over the place, often only 1 of the 4 was visible whilst the others were hidden in low growing vegetation.
I used the same set up as before (Swaro ATS80HD, DCB-A adapter, Panasonic DMC-G3, 20mm f1.7) but was also trying out a remote shutter release, to reduce vibration/movement as much as possible. I’d tried digiscoping on Friday afternoon but the heat haze was awful. This morning was overcast, fresh and calm so I thought I’d give it another go. I could have done with more light: it was difficult to get a workable shutter speed at a reasonable ISO. But, I came away with records of the family that I would not have been able to get with anything else I own. In the end, once I got the hang of taking photos with the set-up, I digiscoped some video footage and pulled a couple of stills from that. The white balance is off (which I don’t seem to be able to put right in post-processing) and the quality is poor in terms of sharpness but I was asking an awful lot of the system. Ultimately, I think the distances involved were probably pushing my luck, especially with such a small species. Anyway, all good practice and they were wonderful to watch!
How many chicks can you get under a brooding parent….?
|Distance approx 60m. Digiscoped: Swaro ATS80HD, DCB-A, Panasonic DMC-G3, 20mm f1.7, remote shutter release|
| ...the answer is FOUR! (still from video)|| Stretching the growing wings (still from video)|
EDIT: Update 03 June 2015
I visited the LRP family today and the juveniles are now able to fly and almost the same size as the adults. Now that they are less vulnerable, here’s a contextual shot taken from where I was standing and showing the location of the birds during the digiscoping session. I could barely see them with the naked eye…