Info

About the photographer

Welcome to Andy’s Birds. Some years ago I was introduced to the pleasures of “Twitching” whilst caravanning in Darwin in the Northern territory by a tall and distinguished gentleman who shall remain un-named at this stage.

Andy's Self Portrait

At the time I was attempting to photograph birds in the old fashion roll of Kodak Film way. As I soon found out, birds don’t just sit and pose do they? and if I was very lucky 1 photograph from an entire roll of film would be recognisable as a bird. Thus as this was far too expensive I decided to just tick each bird sighting off in my “Simpson & Day” “Field Guide to the Birds of Australia” and also “The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds”. I was even loaned for a few weeks, a very expensive Telescopic camera lens. This was perhaps the start of me getting enjoyment out of spotting different birds and soon realised that there was indeed a hobby that would require patients and dedication in the pursuit of a good photograph of our feathered friends. When Digital Camera’s became the way to go, I then again began the photographic part of bird watching and from then the “Twitching” really started off in earnest.

My 1st camera was a Sony “Cyber shot” 12x Zoom lens and I captured some good shots. These days I use a EOS 1000D Canon with twin lens, however the 250mm lens is virtually a permanent fixture to the body of the camera. 

Now as you perhaps go through my bird categories, you will no doubt  come across a few not so clear or slightly out of focus shots which I am not happy to have actually placed them on this site, but hey, I have spotted that bird and my aim is to get a much better shot as I go about twitching hobby and in which case I shall replace those not so recognisable shots with hopefully better shots.

As my site is developed more, I hope to have more details of my Twitching Pursuits to add to the site. Enjoy and checkout the site and please feel free to contact me should you come across a wrongly names bird or other   creatures that I may have placed in andysbirds.

Camera Equipment

Initially I attempted to photograph our feathered friends using a Nikon SLR film camera. This was a hard lesson to learn as most if not all, were blurred shots of birds flying off. Naturally this was expensive and failed to get me hooked on taking good shots. Then busting on to the scene was the Digital Camera and now the game was on.  I 1st bought a Sony x12 zoom camera  which had me at least managing to achieve some great close up shots. Most of my photographs taken prior to mid 2009 were with this camera.

EOS 1000DThen it was up a notch to my present camera which is a Canon EOS 1000D twin lens.

 . EF-S 18-55mm Lens which has Image Stabilizer in-built. My main Lens is the EF-S 55-250mm Canon Zoom Lens. This also has the Image Stabilizer function which I tend to use most of the time. I have the camera set at ISO 200 and 1/125 and F5.6 and have the camera set on Automatic.   Now stay tuned as very soon I shall be getting myself a Sigma 500mm Lens. .

Sigma Lens 150-500mm f/5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM

Well 18-Jan-2012 I decided to dig deep in to my pockets and handed over the money for this Sigma lens. I read up on all the reviews and thought that for the money this was perhaps my best option to get those "Just out of reach" bird shots.

I have to say that at this early stage I’m rapt at some of the shots that I have taken to-date. However I did learn that this lens is no light weight and after walking many kilometres with the camera and lens around my neck that this lens required a plan to make carrying it easier.

 

How's it Handle?
The 150-500mm is a quite manageable lens for getting to 500mm. I use the carrying case that came with the lens as it has its own shoulder strap that allows extra support.

The many reports say that it can be “Hand held” and I have taken many shots like this, but due to the lens weight I find that using my Mono leg camera stand I am able to get a almost perfect shots.

The removable tripod mounts is easy to tighten down into a very solid platform. 

Camera Acquisition as early 2013  

 

My new Canon 600d looks promising and has many features that my loyal 1000d camera had.

 

Image result for canon 600dImage result for canon 600d

The new Features:-

  • 18 megpixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • DIGIC 4 processor with ISO 100-6400 (Expansion to 12800)
  • Fully aticulated 7.7cm (3.0") 3.2 Clear View LCD with 1,040k dots
  • Fukk HD movie recording with manual control and selectable frame rates
  • Digital zoom in movie mode (3x - 10x)
  • New "Scene Intelligent Auto" exposure mode (replacing full auto)
  • Basic+ and Creative Filters
  • Intergrated wireless flash control
  • Video Snapshot mode for the creation of multi-take movies
From my early practice shots this camera hopefully will get me clearer and more detailed shots of our feathered friends.

The Next Step Up. Canon 7D mark ii has arrived.


One of the annoying aspects of this "Twitching" hobby, is that you are never content with the camera that have at your disposal to take that perfect picture of a bird in-flight or even a still shot of a bird minding it's own business whilst whistling on a tree branch.

Well that is all about to change as my latest aquisition "The Canon 7D mark ii". From all the reviews this 7D will keep me happy for awhile. The specs and the ability of this camera are outstanding. Good old Youtube has plenty of comparisons against more expensive camera's.

 
 
 
EOS 7D Mark II
 

20MP Dual-Pixel AF CMOS Sensor

10 fps continuous shooting with autofocus

65 all cross-type autofocus sensor

150,000 RGB + IR pixel metering sensor

Dual Digic 6 processors

Enhanced environmental sealing

Compact Flash (UDMA) and SD (UHS-I) slots

USB 3.0

Built-in GPS

Larger-capacity LP-E6N battery

Shutter speeds up to 1/8000th seconds

Shutter rated to 200,000 cycles (vs 150,000 on 7D)

 

Stay Tuned

 
 

 

 

 

 

Other Favourite Birding Links

http://www.bushpea.com

http://www.eremaea.com 

http://kayparkinbirding.blogspot.com

http://www.gluepot.org

http://birdtourssa.com

https://www.facebook.com/Gluepot-Reserve-160844784031767/

Follow my Phantom 3 Drone videos.

You-Tube  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJcz1ehDIJSyzT5IwXBjw3A?view_as=subscriber