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John's Mammals 2017 (1 Viewer)

prhodes

Well-known member
Weasel

Great photographs John, unlike this... Too fast and distant for my cheapo bridge camera, but when a Weasel ran across the road in front of me I stopped, turned around and then watched as it cross the road back and forth several times.

It seemed to have the sence to avoid the traffic, and was perhaps collecting 'bedding'. I've posted this, as it's not occured to me before that a Weasel crossing the road (which I think we all tend to see occasionally), may be making repeated trips and a chance for extra views.

Regards, Phil
 

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Farnboro John

Well-known member
Great photographs John, unlike this... Too fast and distant for my cheapo bridge camera, but when a Weasel ran across the road in front of me I stopped, turned around and then watched as it cross the road back and forth several times.

It seemed to have the sence to avoid the traffic, and was perhaps collecting 'bedding'. I've posted this, as it's not occured to me before that a Weasel crossing the road (which I think we all tend to see occasionally), may be making repeated trips and a chance for extra views.

Regards, Phil

You were there and I wasn't, but was it perhaps moving its litter to an alternative nest? Your pic looks to me as if it might have a juvenile by the scruff.

Great sighting!

John
 

MarkHows

Mostly Mammals
Several weeks back I went over to see the woodchat shrike in Gloucs.
I noticed a stoat running about frantically along a hedge, I thought it was possible two siblings playing but I got reasonable close for some photos and it was just one individual going crazy leaping in the air and then would calm down for a bit very strange behaviour which I have never seen before.

Mark
 

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birdmeister

Well-known member
United States
John,

I just saw your Hungary pictures today. They are stunning! You must have a fantastic camera and copious amounts of patience. Excellent work!
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Several weeks back I went over to see the woodchat shrike in Gloucs.
I noticed a stoat running about frantically along a hedge, I thought it was possible two siblings playing but I got reasonable close for some photos and it was just one individual going crazy leaping in the air and then would calm down for a bit very strange behaviour which I have never seen before.

Mark

Sounds like the dance of death, which I've heard of but never seen (some good footage in past years on Springwatch etc though).

The old folk-version has it that Stoats use it to mesmerise prey before finally pouncing on it, but lately I think nematode worms in the brain have been blamed (don't quote me on that!) Watching Stoats hunt its never struck me that they need to mesmerise prey!

John
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Quite excited this weekend as I shall be going operational with the Mark 8 version of the night rig (photos attached). Finally a very flexible hand-holdable flash rig with a firmly attached optional white/red/green LED torch (and I can put the IR torch on the pic rail instead if I want to go NV, as well). Look out small mammals!

John
 

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lewis20126

Well-known member
Quite excited this weekend as I shall be going operational with the Mark 8 version of the night rig (photos attached). Finally a very flexible hand-holdable flash rig with a firmly attached optional white/red/green LED torch (and I can put the IR torch on the pic rail instead if I want to go NV, as well). Look out small mammals!

John

Nice! What is the bracket / mount? Can you you fit any LED torch here - LED lenser etc?

cheers, alan
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Nice! What is the bracket / mount? Can you you fit any LED torch here - LED lenser etc?

cheers, alan

The bracket under the lens foot is a Manfrotto 577, which is one of those with a quick release plate and - importantly - two tapped holes at the side for spare screws, one 3/8" and one 1/4". (NB the 577 is smaller than the one I use for my 500 f4, - procurement error by me, I meant to have total interchangeability - but more than adequate for the 70-300).

To that I have attached a length of picatinny rail such as shooters use on their rifles, AR15s etc to attach sights, torches, grenade launchers and other big boys toys. The torch is on that using a quick release pic rail clamp. Two holes had to be drilled on the pic rail to match the 577's screw holes. This does have to be done reasonably precisely!

Torch is a Fenix TK32, 2016 edn. QR clamp for the torch is manufacturer's own but the market is full of such things for use with pic rails.

Everything available on line.

Sounds complicated but isn't really.

Cheers

John
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Popped into the Forest of Dean on the way back from the Rock Thrush on Saturday and had a brief view of two Wild Boar belting across the path into a pine plantation - disturbed between 6 and 20 as I continued, but they all ran away from the path rather than across it.

Foxes have been very regular (pleased to see us back after 2 weeks away on Shetland I should think) and I'll put one or two of the first shots with the new rig up later.

John
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Picture of White Tip taken with the new rig (under red light) as promised. The point is that this is auto-focused in sufficient darkness that it isn't possible without the rig. Range is about seven or eight yards but the red light will do it at double that at least and the white light out to fifty yards or more without using the top setting (important as that is alleged to be potentially capable of damage, though I think they mean if you flash it right in someone's face).

For the record I use -2/3 stop exposure comp on both camera and flash to keep reflection from the animal's eye to a minimum. With any nocturnal beast that has a tapetum lucidum this is essential as the eye will not just white out but actually project light like some eerie sci-fi monster in your photo. Foxes are terrible for this! The best solution is to photograph them when they aren't looking straight at you, but that is quite difficult to achieve when they are focusing on you in anticipation of food.

John
 

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MarkHows

Mostly Mammals
Mostly bats recently, Both Horseshoes, All three pips, Natterer's, Daubentons, Brown Long eared, noctule, Leislers.

Mark
 

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MarkHows

Mostly Mammals
Also Yellow Necked mice who have taken up residence in my garage and a lovely roe deer at Burwell Fen

Mark
 

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crazyfingers

Well-known member
In September we were at Acadia National Park in Maine and saw this porcupine munching on fallen apples. A little guy. I took about 100 photos. Later when I looked at them I can't find one were I can see it's eyes open. We were surprised that it didn't mind my son getting so close. I wonder if it was sick?
 

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Farnboro John

Well-known member
In September we were at Acadia National Park in Maine and saw this porcupine munching on fallen apples. A little guy. I took about 100 photos. Later when I looked at them I can't find one were I can see it's eyes open. We were surprised that it didn't mind my son getting so close. I wonder if it was sick?

Depending how fermented the windfalls were, I wonder if it was off its face.....

Great sighting!

John
 

crazyfingers

Well-known member
Depending how fermented the windfalls were, I wonder if it was off its face.....

Great sighting!

John

I hope the little critter was just drunk. After that day, and especially after looking at the photos on the computer where never could I see it's eyes open, I started to worry about rabies.

Porcupines are such docile critters. I hope that it's ok.

It's true that at that particular spot people are all over the place and it might have learned not to be afraid. But the closed eyes...
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Just been out to my local Badger sett with the new night rig. Pretty happy with the result.

One pic just to show. Taken in the dark across the canal, red torch light from the torch on the rig (to which the Badger paid no attention), autofocus, flash (incidentally I said I was using -2/3 stop exposure compensation but I've upped that to a full stop recently). No crop, minimal adjustment in DPP. The eventual final version will be cropped a bit and the eyes worked on in PSE7.

John

Badger
 

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MarkHows

Mostly Mammals
Not much recently Sika at Arne and some local small mammal trapping produced Field vole, common and pygmy shrew, harvest mouse, wood mouse. And in my garage yellow necked and house mice.

Mark
 

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Farnboro John

Well-known member
Not much recently Sika at Arne and some local small mammal trapping produced Field vole, common and pygmy shrew, harvest mouse, wood mouse. And in my garage yellow necked and house mice.

Mark

That sounds like quite a selection to me, I haven't even seen House Mouse this year despite passing through the London Underground a few times! As for Harvest Mouse, well! Good stuff Mark.

John
 

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