Just over a year ago I was fortunate enough to photograph a Verditer Flycatcher on my local patch. Not a rare bird. We occasionally see them passing through the garden and I once had one that insisted on hopping so close that I couldn’t focus my lens. By and large though they keep their distance. I saw one last week but it was about 50′ up, perched on a tree top against the light. And no, I’m not embarrassing myself by showing that. Hence the dip back into December 2012.
This is of course the same frame cropped and uncropped. My initial reaction is usually to try to show the bird in close up but when I originally posted these images I was surprised that many people preferred the full frame. The full frame shot has also been commercially published.
I have been back to the same spot regularly – 2 or 3 times last week but I have not been lucky. It is a good location but there is construction work going on nearby and I suspect there is simply too much disturbance. Hong Kong is awash with rare (in HK) birds at present and I have steadfastly declined to chase them. If they hang around and I am going their way I may drop by. If not, life will go on. I much prefer to find my own birds, rare or otherwise and sit quietly and watch and photograph. Indeed Mrs. Ha has allowed me to invest in a walkstool, so that I can plonk myself down anywhere and be comfortable. A fellow photographer introduced me to this product. Made in Sweden. The Walkstool not the photographer. He was made in Denmark. Allegedly. Quite expensive but I discovered its all about weight.
I visited any number of local fishing shops looking for a lightweight portable stool and they all had them. However most burst into fits of laughter when they discovered it was for me. It would never hold my weight, they said. Now just a dog gone minute. Billy Bunter I am not. No Fat Owl of the Remove, me. I am a sylph like 85kgs on a good day, 90 on a bad one. I blame the scales. But it seems local stools don’t cater for a standard gweilo build. The Swedes on the other hand are quite happy if I weigh 200kgs. Yes, kgs. 200 of them. That’s quite a lot. I don’t know a single Swede weighing 200kgs. I know a Macanese, who probably comes close. In fact I am seeing him on Tuesday. I shall ask. But I can now sleep easily knowing that when I need to sit and contemplate the avifauna of Hong Kong and there is neither bench nor chair from which to photograph in comfort, I can turn to my Scandinavian Miracle and park myself down safely. All I need now is another Verditer Flycatcher. Roll on Wednesday.
Oh and here’s the one that came too close.