Thursday, 11 August 2011

Homeward Bound

Well, our two weeks down in Cornwall have passed all too quickly. With lots of packing to do and a long drive back there was no question of getting up early for a cheeky bit of birding and there are no further sightings to report.

It was a shame in a way that we'd come down at the start of August rather than the end of it when there was likely to be more interesting birds to chase but I can't really complain. At the beginning I'd said that chasing passage waders and sea-watching were likely to be the main activities and so it has proved. I was pleased to have caught up with the Drift wood sandpiper and the black kite was a wonderful bonus. I also found myself enjoying the sea-watching more and more and can't wait to return and do some more. I was really lucky to have jammed in on the one good Cory's day that there was and it was great to see more of these elusive large shearwaters. I even managed six new Cornish ticks during the two weeks.

I also wanted to make some initial comments on the new Canon SX30IS after a couple of weeks of using it. My initial response is that I'm very pleased with it. The super zoom is pretty amazing, in fact I did a test with my brother in law who had a 300mm lens on - we both zoomed in fully on the Pendeen lighthouse and then compared image sizes: mine was twice as large. Does that mean that the effective lens length is therefore 600mm (I'm not sure if that's how it works)? Anyway, for my purposes it's great because it's so light that you don't even notice carrying it around at all and even at full zoom there is no noticeable distortion. The only downsides to the camera are:
  1. it's crap at macro shots (well what do you expect with a superzoom camera) and I use the old TZ7 instead for macro work
  2. It's very slow between shots with a delay of between 1 and 2 seconds so you can't rattle off a burts of shots quickly. However if you need to take a lot of shots then you can always shoot some zoomed in HD video and do a grab.
All in all, it suits my purposes admirably and I'm very pleased with it. The rate at which new superzoom cameras are improving is pretty amazing so I dare say in due course one will be able to get a super image-stabilised zoom and the ability to shoot rapidly all in the same camera.

In terms of coming back down to Cornwall there is still lots of wood work to paint so "regrettably" I'll have to come back down again in a few weeks time. I get a sense somehow that there will in particular be a lot of work that will be required in October ;-)

I leave you with another photo of that most iconic of Cornish birds, the chough

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