More Wildlife in Prague

I finally had free day after very long time and I decided it’s time to go shooting some wildlife again. And by shooting I mean, of course, taking photos. As this was quite rare photo session for me, I borrowed amazing Nikon 200-500mm lens.

In the morning, I met with my friend and we went to a very nice area in Prague. This area is known for presence of a rare bird – the common kingfisher. And that was our goal for today. Take photos of this elusive bird.

At first, there was a pond with ducks and a rodent. It was a coypu. But this animal does not belong to our nature.

Coypu (Myocastor coypu)

(Shutter Speed: 1/500 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 500.0, ISO 800)

Eurasian jay (Garrulus glandarius)

(Shutter Speed: 1/125 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 500.0, ISO 800)

Yes, I had borrowed a 500mm telelens to take photo of…

… an escargot (Helix pomatia)

(Shutter Speed: 1/500 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 500.0, ISO 800)

Sometime around noon, my friend heard the kingfisher and the chase began. We sit down and waited if it would appear again. Then we played a recording of its voice to lure him to us. Finally, we got lucky. The kingfisher sat down on a nearby branch.

Common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

(Shutter Speed: 1/200 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 500.0, ISO 800)

Common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

(Shutter Speed: 1/250 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 500.0, ISO 800)

Common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

(Shutter Speed: 1/320 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 480.0, ISO 800)

Great tit (Parus major)

(Shutter Speed: 1/800 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 500.0, ISO 800)

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

(Shutter Speed: 1/320 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 500.0, ISO 800)

The gulls were great objects for practising taking photos of birds in flight.

Gull

(Shutter Speed: 1/2500 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 440.0, ISO 800)

This one caught a fish but unfortunately had to fly away with it unless he wanted to share it.

(Shutter Speed: 1/640 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 500.0, ISO 800)

And there was another hungry gull that wanted his share of tasty fish.

(Shutter Speed: 1/640 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 500.0, ISO 800)

Grey heron (Ardea cinerea)

(Shutter Speed: 1/6400 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 500.0, ISO 800)

Grey heron (Ardea cinerea)

(Shutter Speed: 1/400 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 500.0, ISO 800)

European green woodpecker (Picus viridis)

(Shutter Speed: 1/400 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 380.0, ISO 800)

European green woodpecker (Picus viridis)

(Shutter Speed: 1/640 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 480.0, ISO 800)

Eurasian coot (Fulica atra)

(Shutter Speed: 1/640 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 500.0, ISO 800)

Wildlife in Prague

Last week I had a chance to join my friend on her wildlife photo hunt. We visited a recently revitalized area in Prague near stram Rokytka, artificial lake Pískovna, then chateau park Dolní Počernice and in the end we visited area near Blatovský stream in Klánovice. As I own only 80-200mm telelens, which is awfully short for the real wildlife, I tried using 2x teleconvertor. This setup worked for me fine for zoo “wildlife”. Well, I was quite disappointed with the results now. The photos were very soft and the details not clear. So I put it away and took photos only with the lens. I also took this opportunity to try out auto-iso setting.

I know these photos are far from perfect but I was quite happy how they turned out, given the gear I had.

(I will also fill in the missing species names later)

Eurasian coot (Fulica atra)

(Shutter Speed: 1/640 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 400.0, ISO 200)

Eurasian coot (Fulica atra)

(Shutter Speed: 1/800 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 270.0, ISO 200)

Eurasian coot (Fulica atra)

(Shutter Speed: 1/320 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 400.0, ISO 200)

Common reed bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)

(Shutter Speed: 1/1000 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 400.0, ISO 450)

Common reed bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)

(Shutter Speed: 1/1000 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 400.0, ISO 400)

Common reed bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus). This photo is almost 100% crop of the original file.

(Shutter Speed: 1/1000 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 400.0, ISO 450)

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

(Shutter Speed: 1/1000 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 400.0, ISO 360)

Common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

(Shutter Speed: 1/1000 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 400.0, ISO 720)

Great tit (Parus major)

(Shutter Speed: 1/1000 seconds, Aperture: F/4.5, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 200)

Grey heron (Ardea cinerea)

(Shutter Speed: 1/1000 seconds, Aperture: F/4.0, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 200)

Common wood pigeon (Columba palumbus)

(Shutter Speed: 1/1000 seconds, Aperture: F/8.0, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 200)


(Shutter Speed: 1/1000 seconds, Aperture: F/4.5, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 200)

Great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

(Shutter Speed: 1/1600 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 200)

Great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

(Shutter Speed: 1/800 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 200)

White wagtail (Motacilla alba)

(Shutter Speed: 1/1250 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 200)

Eurasian jay (Garrulus glandarius)

(Shutter Speed: 1/800 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 200)

Mallard ducklings(Anas platyrhynchos)

(Shutter Speed: 1/500 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 200)

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

(Shutter Speed: 1/640 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 200)

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

(Shutter Speed: 1/400 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 200)

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

(Shutter Speed: 1/800 seconds, Aperture: F/2.8, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 200)

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

(Shutter Speed: 1/1250 seconds, Aperture: F/2.8, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 200)

Airbus A380 taking of on its flight to Dubai

(Shutter Speed: 1/8000 seconds, Aperture: F/2.8, Focal Length: 80.0, ISO 200)

And now, for comparison, several photos with 150-600mm Sigma telelens. My friend was so kind to lend her camera with that lens to me several times so I could try it out.


(Shutter Speed: 1/2000 seconds, Aperture: F/6.3, Focal Length: 600.0, ISO 800)

Great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

(Shutter Speed: 1/500 seconds, Aperture: F/8.0, Focal Length: 600.0, ISO 800)

Great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

(Shutter Speed: 1/3200 seconds, Aperture: F/8.0, Focal Length: 600.0, ISO 800)

Great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

(Shutter Speed: 1/1000 seconds, Aperture: F/8.0, Focal Length: 600.0, ISO 800)


(Shutter Speed: 1/3200 seconds, Aperture: F/8.0, Focal Length: 600.0, ISO 800)

Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus)

(Shutter Speed: 1/3200 seconds, Aperture: F/8.0, Focal Length: 600.0, ISO 800)

Prague Wildlife

During last year I took to geocaching and I also realized that photography and geocaching are two activities that can be easily combined and matched together. Taking photos can be a great disguise or excuse to get close to the cache. Geocaching helps me discover new amazing places. And that’s how found that there are kingfishers in Prague in an area where I would never expect them.

Even though its name is common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis in latin), this bird is all but common in the Czech Republic. Here it is very rare and stricly protected species and therefore I was really suprised I saw it in recently revitalized area in Prague near industrial parts of the city.

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(Shutter Speed: 1/1250 seconds, Aperture: F/3.2, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 400)

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(Shutter Speed: 1/1250 seconds, Aperture: F/3.2, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 400)

Catch me if you can…
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(Shutter Speed: 1/1250 seconds, Aperture: F/3.2, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 400)

On the other side, grey heron (Ardea cinerea) is very common in Europe. In the Czech Republic, this species is also protected, but not as strictly as the kingfisher, due to the fact that it was being hunted in the past.

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(Shutter Speed: 1/500 seconds, Aperture: F/3.2, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 400)

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(Shutter Speed: 1/1250 seconds, Aperture: F/3.2, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 400)

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(Shutter Speed: 1/5000 seconds, Aperture: F/3.2, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 400)

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(Shutter Speed: 1/5000 seconds, Aperture: F/3.2, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 400)

And finally, the eurasian teal (Anas crecca), also called common teal.
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(Shutter Speed: 1/400 seconds, Aperture: F/2.8, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 200)

Uložit

Holidays on Madeira (part 4)

Rabaçal valley is located within the Madeira Natural Park, on the northwest of the island, where we walked along the levadas to the waterfall Risco and the 25 Fountains. A levada is an irrigation channel or aqueduct on the island of Madeira. Hiking along these levadas was easy so I had lot of time to take some photos.

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(Shutter Speed: 1/125 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 16.0, ISO 200)

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(Shutter Speed: 1/40 seconds, Aperture: F/4.8, Focal Length: 42.0, ISO 200)

Risco Waterfall
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(Shutter Speed: 1/500 seconds, Aperture: F/11.0, Focal Length: 42.0, ISO 200)

The Madeiran chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs maderensis) is a small passerine bird in the finch family. It is a subspecies of the common chaffinch that is endemic to Madeira.

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(Shutter Speed: 1/2000 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 85.0, ISO 200)

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(Shutter Speed: 1/125 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 16.0, ISO 200)

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(Shutter Speed: 1/320 seconds, Aperture: F/9.0, Focal Length: 16.0, ISO 200)

25 Fountains – its name lives up to the number of fountains or little waterfalls around this pool.

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(Shutter Speed: 3/1 seconds, Aperture: F/29.0, Focal Length: 26.0, ISO 100)

And this is view from Cabo Girão which is the second highest cliff face in the world. The viewpoint’s floor is made of transparent material and only standing on it is quite a breathtaking experience.

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(Shutter Speed: 1/160 seconds, Aperture: F/6.3, Focal Length: 38.0, ISO 200)

Prague Zoo – Canon ZOOM

Storms from early morning are usually a bad sign for a photo event in a zoo. I was looking forward to this event but I really didn’t want to spend whole day in rain. In the end, I was pleasantly suprised when most of the day is sunny or little cloudy (with enough light coming through the clouds like from a huge light diffuser) – that’s very good weather for taking photos.

Canon ZOOM is a promo event held by Canon Czech Republic but this doesn’t mean that only Canon camera user can take part. Fortunately. Those who own Canon camera can try out new lens as well as new bodies. For the rest of us, there is a opportunity to have our photos printed on large format printers. For free. And there is also a competition – the most interesting photo of the day, taken of course in Prague Zoo. I always take part but never won anything…

And now some of the photos I took today:

The great white pelicans (Pelecanus onocrotalus).
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(Shutter Speed: 1/500 seconds, Aperture: F/2.8, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 200)

Double yawning pelican was little bit creepy.
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(Shutter Speed: 1/8000 seconds, Aperture: F/2.8, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 400)

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(Shutter Speed: 1/1600 seconds, Aperture: F/2.8, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 200)

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(Shutter Speed: 1/2000 seconds, Aperture: F/2.8, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 400)

The Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus), I just love their colourful feathers.
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(Shutter Speed: 1/200 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 400)

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(Shutter Speed: 1/320 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 125.0, ISO 400)

and the scaly-breasted Lorikeet (Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus)
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(Shutter Speed: 1/400 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 185.0, ISO 400)

The great grey owl (strix nebulosa)
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(Shutter Speed: 1/125 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 400)

The humboldt penguin (Spheniscus humboldti)
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(Shutter Speed: 1/500 seconds, Aperture: F/5.0, Focal Length: 125.0, ISO 400)

When I got home I browsed through the photos, I realized that vast majority of them shows birds. So here is photo of some sitatungas, also called marshbuck, (Tragelaphus spekii).
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(Shutter Speed: 1/400 seconds, Aperture: F/2.8, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 200)

What? The obtrusive bird got to this photo too!

OK, finally, here is a non-bird photo – the bush dog (speothos venaticus).
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(Shutter Speed: 1/60 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 120.0, ISO 400)

And that’s all for today. Next time I may post some more spring photos or I will choose to present beauties of Madeira – that’s where I am going for a holiday next week.

Late Afternoon in Prague Zoo – Part II

The weather these days is cold and sunny, only few degrees above 0 and that makes perfect conditions to go outside and take some photos. Yesterday, I went to Prague Zoo again, only about two hours before all the visitors would have to leave the zoo. And it was really cool, everything was lit with golden light, especially the exhibits on the southern hillside and there I took most of the photos. All these photos were taken when the sun was just above the horizon and therefore the colours are very warm.

Red Kite (Milvus milvus)

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(Shutter Speed: 1/4000 seconds, Aperture: F/2.8, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 400)

Flamingo

Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus), American Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber)
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(Shutter Speed: 1/800 seconds, Aperture: F/2.8, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 800)

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(Shutter Speed: 1/800 seconds, Aperture: F/2.8, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 200)

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(Shutter Speed: 1/640 seconds, Aperture: F/2.8, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 200)

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

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(Shutter Speed: 1/2500 seconds, Aperture: F/2.8, Focal Length: 135.0, ISO 400)

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(Shutter Speed: 1/2500 seconds, Aperture: F/2.8, Focal Length: 200.0, ISO 400)

You can expect last part of photos from this set tomorrow… I hope…