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Thread: What is you Birding technique?

  1. #1
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    Default What is you Birding technique?

    My first official post here

    Right, question I have is, what technique(s) do you use when going out into the field for shooting? This excludes bird feeder type technique, just out there in the scrub so to speak. Are you a wonderer, looking for birds, or do you wait stationary (perhaps in a hide) and wait for birds to hopefully perch nearby?

    Why do you choose one over the other? I like to know why you think your technique works so I can get a feel for techniques and effectiveness.

    Personally, I find myself wondering around, although I probably spook birds even before I get a chance to get close enough.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.
    CC's, Reposts and Comments welcomed

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: What is you Birding technique?

    A cool question for your first "official" post.
    Personally, I am a wanderer. I like to walk so you will find me stalking birds, probably because I'm impatient. I don't really like or use hides of any kind and I like the challenge of pitting my wits against the bird to try and get close. I also get bored pretty easy (MTV generation :roll: ) so I don't even like walking the same way twice. I like to walk in circles
    Having just recently purchased a big heavy lens I have stopped walking/stalking as much and find my self looking for opportunities where I can plonk myself down and have the birds come to me. Still no hide but I am slowing down a bit Also use the car a fair bit to take images from, a sort of rolling hide I guess.

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    Default Re: What is you Birding technique?

    Quote Originally Posted by wingsonwire
    A cool question for your first "official" post.
    Thanks

    Interesting that your technique is similar, I do however walk the same track 'just in case' something is there that wasnt before...

    I am planning a trip to the west coast of Tassie to see if I can get near wedge tail eagles (and other species) and in this case I will try the sit in the hide technoque once I believe I got a good location.

    There is also a spot down here at the local lagoon that one really cant walk much as it aint that large so I also will employ some kind of camo gear, although not a hide as such (more a throw on hide).
    CC's, Reposts and Comments welcomed

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: What is you Birding technique?

    Whether i walk/stalk, lie in wait or use a bag hide depends on the species.

    Often I just opportunistically walk about & see what i can find. Sometimes when the light is really bad I just take my binoculars and watch individual birds and try to find their favourite perches. Once this is known I can determine the best angle & time of day etc to get a shot and then return on another occasion.

    If I find a bird is very wary I will try stalking concealed in a bag hide.
    Cheers,
    Geoff


    reposts welcome

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    Default Re: What is you Birding technique?

    My technique is the same no matter where I am or what species I am after. That is walk slowly, be patient and try again.

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    Default Re: What is you Birding technique?

    What a great question Carlos! Interestingly Jan, Fatih and I were discussing this last weekend (it was the first time we had met Jan). During that day we probably did a bit of everything although we didn't actually use a hide. We sat on the edge of Pitt Town Lagoon and watched Swans, we used a bit of call playback and photographed Red-browed Finches while sitting in the grass, we walked around following Satin Bowerbirds, we stopped the car suddenly when we saw a Painted Button-Quail!, we sat for ages waiting for the stupid Azure Kingfisher to come back
    Typically I'm more like Paul - i get bored easily and don't have enough time to go birding so i don't want to "waste" it sitting in a hide waiting for one bird. I am becoming slower though and a bit more focussed and already planning in my mind another jaunt to Bakers Lagoon to get more photos of the Azure
    Cheers, Dave

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    Default Re: What is you Birding technique?

    Very interesting replies, thanks all for your contributions. I agree that the speicies will most likely determine the style, but sitting in a hide is something I am yet to try although I already know that it will test my patience.

    I suppose that environment also dictates this to a certain degree. The lagoon I visit is not exactly the walkabout type, more the sit and wait as you may ave a concentration of birds in a small area. HOWEVER... this is where long lenses come in right? Without long lense, you have to get closer to the subject, hence more opportunities arise is you walk it.

    Summer is apon us, looking forward to this coming months as Tassies climate isnt the best for birding during winter months.
    CC's, Reposts and Comments welcomed

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    Default Re: What is you Birding technique?

    I'm very much the walking type. When I visit local conservation Parks etc, I will walk the trail that's there, it allows me the opportunity to see the different birds in the different habitats along the trail. If I'm walking and I see something I want to photograph, then I'll stop and spend some time stalking it and waiting for it to appear on a perch, though I don't spend too long doing it, there's a '1 hour' walking trail at one park I go to, it already takes me at least 3 hours to walk with all my stopping to take photos of birds :P
    Reposts welcome =)

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    Default Re: What is you Birding technique?

    Great topic!

    I find myself definately to be a wanderer.. for all the reason above (lack of time,boredom,no patience!). I like to make the most of my opportunities when I get a chance to go out with my camera. having said that, I will stalk a bird for several hours if I have the opportunity!
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    Default Re: What is you Birding technique?

    bought a hide a while back and don't use it much at the moment, like to poke around same trail, round in circles however you wan't to dance is fine with me.... like geoff i observe a lot, find out where there at fav perches stuff like that. length is important but getting close is just as critical, certain shooters on here have to pull back the zoom on their 100-400 so as they can fit the bird in frame....

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    Default Re: What is you Birding technique?

    I'm a wanderer, but I also don't take many pics, and I'm pretty sure my style might change if I had a few kilos extra baggage
    I'm not even patient when a bird flies into a tree. If I can't see it, I'll try to move round until I can, rather than wait for it to move to my side of the tree. Sometimes works, usually backfires, leading to the bird flying away. Worst though, is when I do decide to wait, and after a minute or two, the bird just flies off, and I'm none the wiser as to its ID. :roll:

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    Default Re: What is you Birding technique?

    I am a Walker...
    The voices in my head may not be real, but they come up with some great ideas..

    Cheers Rev.

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    I just quietly wander around the area im in, listen for bird calls, just stealth, a zig zag approach to my target dont always work
    though with small birds i usually find them on what I term a "Feeding Trail!!" , more than one species will be feeding or flying in the same direction or in close proximity to each other, usually robin, whistlers fantails ect. mostly in morning and afternoon feeds. I locate them and just quietly follow till i get the shot. some might not agree with me on this term but I ask you to obeserve this next time your out and you will see what I mean. I make sure that I dont make eye contact with them to much
    sometimes even pretend to feed myself , yes bit strange I know but has helped me to keep a bird in range longer. I love the challange of stealth and stalk more so because im limlited to a P/S camera dont have the advantage of long glass . its the hunter in me still I guess. yes I miss some shots at times but I get some also. keeps me alert to oppertunities and keep the passion alive. regards Rick
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    Great post!

    I am walker only when I have the time; most of the time I just use my car as a rolling hide and shoot from the window of the car using a beanbag (good on the back considering the 1D Mark IV and 500mm f/4 is a little on the heavy side). Like Paul, patience is not really a virtue of mine, so I get tired of sitting in the one spot waiting. If I don't get what I am after, I move on and try somewhere else. I have much respect for those who can sit in the one spot for hours waiting; the no doubt eventually get the ripper image they are waiting for, but I wouldnt have the patience for the time to try that!
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    Just like to add that there is something special about setting up your hide using a natural perch or your own selection, waiting for a certain species to arrive or maybe something else.
    Yes you may have to be patient and wait a while but when a bird comes along man the adrenaline rush is awesome

    Mike

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