Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Little things mean a lot

Bush Stone-curlews sit and stand around doing not much most days. Then they wander off to feed at night and rehearse for the eeriest bird noise prize. Spine-tingling wailing choruses arise. Burhinus grallarius was also known as Bush Thick-knee. (There is also a Beach Stone-curlew (Esacus neglectus), more boldly marked and rarer).

The two birds pictured at Tyto today are helping tell three stories. The crouching bird is a maturing juvenile with an injured leg. It can hobble awkwardly but I suspect it relies on the parents for some food, months after the usual age of independence. Time will tell, I guess (carers ruled out rescue: repair unlikely).


The bird also offered a grey-day opportunity to make a comparison between noise levels on my Panasonic FZ30 handheld with 1.7x converter (700mm=). Bit of a surprise. ISO 200: F5, 1/100th, 3.57mb file; ISO 400: F6.3, 1/160th, 2.72mb. Note huge file difference. Overall, a big thumb up the Pana's image stabiliser (six of 12 shots were OK or sharper). But ... which is which?
This picture is ISO400. Image stabiliser did better job!


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