Wag Wag

I went back to Nai Chung today as I wanted to have another go at the egret. When I arrived it was not there but after 20 minutes or so it landed in almost exactly the same position as it was in yesterday. Egrets are clearly creatures of habit and not early risers. Perhaps it had already breakfasted as its sole occupation seemed to be preening. I took some shots but none has moved me to process it yet. There were also some wagtails around, both Grey and White. I decided to set up my walk stool and see if the waggies would come close.

At this point my HK$44,000 1Dx Canon body decided to freeze and it refused to do anything. I checked all the obvious problem areas but no joy. I switched the camera off and on. Twice. No good. I removed the battery and put it back in again. Bingo. Except the settings were moved and I discovered it had altered my exposure compensation to -2. Good grief, Canon. When will you sell me a product that doesn’t have problems?

I eventually ended up with 2.5 images that are blog-worthy but not ‘keepers’ in the true sense.

First, the White Wagtail. Motacilla alba leucopsis.

White WagtailI don’t like the drippy looking things by the bird’s right leg – I think it is the water and I can’t be faffed to remove it in PS.

Then the Grey Wagtail. I quite like the upper shot. Not sure about the lower one. I suspect I shall bin it.Grey Wagtail Grey Wag2There were other common birds around: Daurian Redstart, Red-flanked Bluetail, Common Sandpiper, a couple of Treepies were heard near the BBQ site and a very distant flock of tiny waders piqued my interest. I will go back later in the week and see if they are nearer. No Komodo Dragons today. A trip to the big city tomorrow.

That just leaves me to wish my pal Steve Gingold a very happy birthday. Have a good day, Steve.

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16 thoughts on “Wag Wag

  1. ‘ I wanted to have another go at the egret’ I smiled when I read that first sentence, it makes it sound like you were going to go back and thump it or something, or tell it off! I love inglish.
    What a pain about the camera, the same thing has happened with mine and it really p’s me off when all the settings get lost. The waggies are very nice though.
    Thank you for reminding me about Steve’s Birthday- even though it’s been popping up on Fbk for days to remind me, i’d forgotten. I’d best be off and write him a Happy Birthday gritting 😀

  2. I would never have noticed the drippy thing had you not mentioned it. The look on his/her face is quite captivating and totally drew me in.

    As for the other two, they are both far better than I could ever do, but the backgrounds are busy, to me as someone who doesn’t know one wagtail from another, that is the problem. Why is the grey wagtail yellow?

    • If it were all yellow it would be a Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava). I had the same question from someone a week or so ago. They insisted they had seen a Yellow wagtail and I told them they hadn’t. We went to see the bird and sure enough it was a Grey Wagtail. Very confusing for non birders I admit. Its like the difference between a weasel and a stoat. The weasel is weaselly recognised and the stoat’s stoatally different.

  3. despite all the troubles you had with your camera, Andrew, you’ve served up some marvellous shots. Mr Wagtail looked to be asking take my ‘best’ side. 🙂 … And adding my Happy Birthday Greeting to Steve. xPenx

  4. What harsh cold temps were you experiencing to freeze your camera? Or did it have nothing to do with the actual temp and just malfunctioned?
    Completely outrageous for that caliber of camera! Shame about the goo in the first photograph, a great demonstration of a frustrating outing. Better luck next time!

    • Caroline, it was about 20C!! Plus not minus. Just malfunctioned. I had a Canon camera fail after 1100 frames and as it was over 12m old Canon wanted an outrageous amount of money to fix it. I also had problems with a flash gun and the 1Dx was delivered with a dirty sensor. Its either a remarkable run of bad luck or Canon’s quality assurance is lacking. I have removed the goo from a revised version. The light was not good – very misty. I knew it was going to be and that’s why I wanted to try the Moody Egret again but somehow today it didn’t seem to work as well. I am getting very frustrated by the lack of good light. I was also shooting using a 2x extender which doesn’t help sharpness. I hope it brightens up soon.

  5. Great pics and the last one is actually very good. I like the bit of water dripping from iits beak and the position of the bird indicating that it is bending to drink.

    Anyhoo less I jinx myself I will say that all 2 canons that I have owned have not failed me yet. These are simple SLR and DSLR cameras that did not cost an arm and a leg. Konica, Contax, and Bronica are the best cameras that I have used in the past. Still have them stored in a box in the closet.

    Andrew I also choked when I read 44,000 HK dollars for a camera.

    • I can’t make my mind up about the last shot, Yvonne. It is a very different processing approach. It was done to bring out the detail – the other wagtail image is much smoother. Yes, top end camera gear is expensive. The 1Dx is Canon’s flagship model. I resisted for about 18 months on cost grounds then my willpower snapped. My father used to have a Bronica – good cameras. I don’t know what happened to it.

    • They are such fun birds to watch, Marylin. They are constantly on the move. Always restless. If you sit still for a while they ignore you and carry on feeding as if yo uwere not there.

  6. I like the middle shot the best, but as others have commented I would be thrilled to have taken any if them! I agree egrets are not early risers. We went out early today especially to catch the egret in the river. We were going to find our way down tom the beach and venture under the bridge and up the estuary. But there was not an egret to be seen! So we wandered along to where the dog owners congregate and shot some dogs (photographically of course).
    There will be a blog post on dogs not Egrets now.

    • Poop poop! Said Mr. Toad. Even more reason to clone it out. What exquisite timing. I didn’t realise I had caught the wag in the act. Such an embarrassment for the poor thing.

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