I heard it on the dead vine………

I should have done some serious birding today but the flesh was weak. Instead I took my SX50 camera and headed to the LNEC in Sai Kung. Of course I had my binoculars but no big gear or tripod.

I was pleased to see some  of the regulars around that so far this autumn I had failed to connect with. Daurian Redstart, a spanking male; Asian Brown Flycatcher, very fresh looking; Olive-backed Pipits were around but they have already been in the garden this year; plenty of Greater Necklaced Laughingthrushes and, somewhat to my surprise, a pair of Hair-crested Drongo. I don’t associate them with this season but sure enough The Avifauna says small numbers are regular in winter. It adds that Most migration is over by late October so I assume these will overwinter. It also says remarkably that Hair-crested Drongos are often to be found in mixed flocks with Greater Necklaced Laughingthrushes…. and they were.

However I was feeling in a frivolous frame of mind and had decided to experiment with some of the stranger in-camera presets. One is called “Toy Camera Effect”. It has 3 tones – standard, cool and warm. I only realised this towards the end so most of mine were shot in warm mode. Here are some of the shots:

Bauhinia petalThis is the dead vine 🙂Dead Vine2


Flower head





And I managed a couple of butterfly shots but just for the record:

IMG_5007 Yellow butterfly


You can see they are very grainy and that was why I wasn’t bothering with heavy gear. I spent 20 minutes or so chatting with two local guys. Both good photographers and one in particular showed me some excellent bird images he has taken. Put mine to shame. He said he shoots with a 300mm lens! I don’t understand how but it is a salutary reminder just how little kit matters if you have good fieldcraft and skills. The forecast for tomorrow looks better than it did a day or so ago so if it holds I shall be out and about but the HK weather, like la donna, is very mobile. Fingers crossed.


15 thoughts on “I heard it on the dead vine………

  1. The toy camera did a great job. I particularly like the one that looks like a bottom (albeit with rather rough skin) with a wrinkly leaf on top – not sure what it is – maybe it is a bottom? 😉

  2. To shoot a close up of a bird with a 300mm lens my two thoughts would be extension tubes or cropped images. Either way you are right, you don’t need a bag full of gear to get great shots.

  3. I have a ‘toy camera setting’ on my Sony. I’m not sure what it is trying to do. It also has warm cool etc. I haven’t tried it out to see what the images look like.
    The first butterfly came out extremely well.
    Lottie has a penchant for seeing bottoms – and Steve a thing for seeing — er things.)

  4. WOW, I can’t imagine what you’d accomplish with “real” photography gear. These are stunning.
    All are gorgeous, but my favorites are the 2nd and 7th pictures. Maybe it’s because I’m just getting over an ear ache, but they both strongly resembled “ears” to me. (I think I might have a transference problem…)
    You are very talented, Andrew.

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