Bird Spotting in the Petite Camargue


I have a lot going on at the moment and I feel that everything is mixing up and merging together. So I thought that I would continue this theme with the blog title and title image.

You are right, the title image is not of a bird!

Most of the images are of birds though. This entry is from another Monday trip to the Petite Camargue. Monday mornings are great in Petite Camargue, there are hardly any people around, and if you go to the hides that are slightly further away from the parking spaces, you'll more than likely be alone most of the time.

The aim for the day was to further test, as with the last blog entry, the 300mm f/4. This time I thought that it would be better to put the x1.4 adapter on the lens than leave it on my desk!

On that note, all of the images in this entry were taken using a 300mm f/4 with a x1.4 adapter. 420mm or 840mm if you want the 35mm equivalence.

I started in one of the hides to the north of the reserve. One that is higher up and offers a very wide view across one of the larger lakes. Sometimes I can sit there and be so content in watching the activity that I forget that I have a camera with me. Although I usually remember at the moment when the opportunity to the image has just past!

This first image is of a Great Cormorant that came a little bit closer to the hide. I couldn't decide whether colour or black and white fits better to the shot, so I added both. ISO-200, 1/1600 f/7.1. You can decide.

It's fairly detailed, a nice structure can be seen on the feathers and it's overall not too bad. Dot sight of course!


After some time in the hide I decided to take a stroll around the paths to see what else was going on. I heard the Wren in the next images before I saw it, from the song I could tell that it was moving around in the wetlands, but not quite where exactly. I stood close to one of the fences slightly hidden at the edge of a thicket and listened intently as the song moved from perch to perch. Finally spotting the tiny Wren and picking up on a pattern. It would hop from perch to perch and sing for a while. I took advantage of this pattern and used it to focus on a perch in preparation for when the Wren returned. It worked well, although I unfortunately forgot that I had set the ISO to Auto and all of the images are at ISO-2500. Due to this, a lot more noise can be seen in these images, but still not too bad in respect to the detail.


Back to the title image. There is also a herd of Highland Cattle in Petite Camargue. They are kept to control the wetlands, to keep the bushes and trees from encroaching on the open spaces.


The next shot is from later in the day. I'd moved to another hide further north which I'd seen on the map, but had never been to before. While walking along the path towards the hide, I saw this Grey Heron soaring between the branches overhead. The Dot Sight is great in this situation, it is so easy to find the target when you don't just have the area of the lens.


Another shot of the same Grey Heron. I like the way that the light passes through tips of the wings feathers.

Another great opportunity I was able to catch because of the dot sight. In case it's not clear, I really love the Dot Sight. The colour, smoothness and complexity of the background fits wonderfully against the detail and colour of the Great Tit.


I like all of the images that I've published in this blog entry. As I've mentioned all the way through, they are detailed and sharp. They look good on screen, but that is as far as it goes, if I view them at 100% as the two images below, they are all slightly off. It's not that they are not in focus, it's just that in my eyes at least, the images are not sharp at 100% and there is a noise pattern in the image that is disturbing.


Maybe I'm just expecting too much. I now plan on giving another lens a chance.

One more piece for this post. This one is of a non-native Red Eared Terrapin that must have been released by someone at some point. I also saw a couple of non-native Coypu (Nutria) in the reserve too. This species has been around in the wild since the mid 1900s after escaping or being released from fur farms.

To show the reach of the lens with the x1.4 adapter. The image below was taken with my mobile phone, the red ring indicates the area shown on the image of the Terrapin.