Kingfisher on Saturday

I’m still working my way through the photos from Saturday 17 June. Here are some more taken from down on the river Aire in Baildon. By this time I was heading back home.

Kingfisher

But a Kingfisher was obligingly perched on a branch in the river. If the view is clear enough this looks like a male Kingfisher. The lower beak of a female has an orange tint to it, the beak of a male is all black.

Kingfisher

This is just near the East entrance to the Denso Marston Nature Reserve.

Kingfisher

After catching a small fish it then flew across to the other side of the river and I had to leave it or be late for my evening meal.

As usual you can click on any of the images to view them higher resolution on Flickr. There are also a few other shots of Kingfisher on Flickr.

A little nest from last Saturday

Here is another small set of photos from last Saturday. I spotted a Moorhen in the water and then a scruffy looking Moorhen chick near to it. Related? Possibly.

Moorhen nest

But then I spotted this. A Moorhen nest, with eggs, in amongst grass and reeds some way out from the edge.

Moorhen nest

After taking a couple of photos I moved away and kept quiet and still. Could they all be part of the same family? A first clutch of eggs is often 8 with slightly fewer later in the year. Given that a chick has already fledged it is likely that these are from a separate family and have had eggs predated or they are the same family and not going to hatch.

Moorhen nest

Anyway I was pleased to see a Moorhen slowly come back to the nest and clamber aboard. You can see some of the black Moorhen and and the red on its beak just behind and to the right of that centre set of stalks.

This is that section cropped tighter so you can see the red and yellow beak.

Moorhen nest

I quietly moved around to get a couple of shots and then left it to it. I have not been back since to see what has happened. 

Saturday at Denso Marston Nature Reserve

I have decided to split the photos from last weekend into several posts. This is a general one about a walk along the river Aire on Saturday through Denso Marston Nature Reserve and further along towards Shipley but with a bit of emphasis on the masses of Damselfly around.

River Aire

It was quite a hot day so it was good to be near the river and also around the tree cover.

River Aire

One of the things I was looking for was Common Dipper. I expected to see them on the rocks in the river, but no luck. I did see Grey Wagtails and got a few photos but I’ll post those separately.

Dunnock

Dunnock showed themselves a few times

Goosander

I also managed to catch sight of a family of Goosander. So often they see you first and are off down the river, so all you tend to see is the back end of them.

A few other things spotted were…

Scorpion Fly

.. a Scorpion Fly resting on a nettle – thanks iSpot for the ID.

Speckled Wood

Several Speckled Wood butterfly.

Mandarin Duck

A female Mandarin duck with a decent sized chick.

Damselflies

But one of the main interests were the Damselfly. There were dozens. Azure dameslflies

Damselflies

Red Damselflies

Damselflies

Damselflies mating

Damselflies

and here are three pairs of Damselflies ovipositing. The males still have hold of the females.

Damselflies

After I had had the fun of watching the Damselflies I got home and found out that we had some at home too. The back door had been open and two Red Damselflies landed in the washing-up bowl. When my wife came back in she saw them in the bubbles and lifted them out by bringing kitchen paper up under them. She then put the paper, with them still on it, on the table outside. When I got home they were on the ground but still alive. This one doesn’t look too bad after its ordeal.

Thursday Evening on Baildon Moor (Barn Owl!!)

I am still working my way through my photos from the weekend, but yesterday, when I went out, I didn’t take anywhere near as many so they have been easier to sort through. They are not cracking quality but are nice reminders of the hour spent on Baildon Moor in the evening.

There were plenty of Meadow Pipits around and a few Skylark and a cool wind coming from the West so I wasn’t thinking of spending too long there.

Oystercatcher

As is often the case I heard the Oystercatchers before I saw them. Two flew over head. I often see and hear Oystercatchers when in Roberts Park they make a very distinctive noise so it is one of those that I am confident of identifying.

I walked along the path, a bit backwards and forwards because I was half thinking of heading back to the car. The sky seemed clear blue when I left home but by the time I was over the other side of Baildon Moor the sun was behind quite thick cloud and the evening was looking rather grey.

But then evening seemed to brighten up when…..

Barn Owl

… a Barn Owl drifted past.

Barn Owl

It flew over silently giving me a look as it went by. When it was a fair distance away it circled a spot, getting lower then dropped into the grass.

Barn Owl

After quite a few seconds it came up and started flying back towards me with something in its claws. I can see two little legs and a tail.

It went off into the distance to feed its young somewhere.

Curlew

I had heard quite a few Curlew over towards High Eldwick and could see them drifting in as they make their weird call. This one came from over the fields and flew over the golf course.

Swift

I then tried my hand at photographing Swifts as they flew around the side of the hill. More practice needed.

A Quick Play With HDR

Following some discussion in the camera club I have had a quick look again at HDR, and it is a very quick look. I had used HDR software in the past but I have had several PC incarnations since then and it was no longer installed.

I have just installed Enfuse and used the EnfuseGUI which can create HDR images and, I believe, also do focus stacking. It is open source and so costs nothing. I believe it can also be used as a plugin for Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture. In that case you use Enfuse and a plugin.

I have put next to no effort into this and I think the results are quite presentable. Because it was so easy I thought I would share it. With a bit of experience who knows what is possible?

The image I have used is a view of the cricket pavilion in Robert’s Park.

Straight from RAW file

The image above is taken from the RAW file. Looking at the settings it looks as though I had very slightly tweaked it – brightened slightly, the contrast increased and the shadows darkened. The sky is a bit (?) nondescript to say the least.

After installing the software I went back to the original RAW file and saved 3 JPEG images from it after changing just the exposure.

Darkened

With this one I darkened the RAW image several f stops and then saved as a JPEG. The sky looks reasonable but everything else is too dark.

As is

This one is saved as a JPEG from the RAW file with next to no adjustments.

Brightened

This one is after brightening the RAW file and saving the resultant JPEG. You can now see a bit of detail on the scoreboard.

HDRd

And the last one is processed through the HDR software accepting the default settings.

I then went through each image and changed the size to 1200×757 and saved at 95% quality. I think the processed one looks quite good. It doesn’t glare at you and was very easy to do. If I was serious about it I should have taken 3 or 5 photos of the scene at different exposures and then worked with loss-less image file formats throughout until the final save as JPEG, but as I said, this was a quick trial and I am quite pleased with the result.