Frampton - Brent Geese & Wigeon
Those of you that read my blog frequently will know that I am really pleased with my new Sigma 150-600 Sport lens. It takes sharp images, and the extra reach is fantastic. But it is a heavy lens. Up until recently I have carried it on my Manfrotto monopod, using a Lensmaster Gimbal head. And that works well, but has one major drawback - you can't just let go like you can when using a tripod!! And the lens is far too heavy to carry round on my 4kg uniloc 1600 major. So before Christmas I decided to take advantage of Black Friday deals, and I became the proud owner of a Manfrotto CX055 carbon fibre tripod.
My first opportunity to try out the new tripod came with a morning visit to Frampton Marsh. I was keen to see how much the carbon fibre made a difference, and Frampton provided the ideal opportunity as you have to walk some distance from one hide to the next. I arrived not long after first light on a beautifully clear morning. I had never really been to Frampton at this time of year before and was keen to see how many birds were around.
In terms of photography, the East Hide, at the far end of the reserve is best first thing in the morning. As I headed round there, it became clear that I would cross the general flight path that flocks of Brent Geese were taking over the reserve, landing in a field nearby. I positioned myself at various points, with the camera set to AI servo, and tried a few flight shots.
Using the Sigma lens on a Gimbal head and tripod really did help - but I think I still need a lot of practice!! I managed just one half decent shot of an individual brent goose as it flew overhead.
And it wasn't just Brent Geese flying over and around the reserve. I also managed to grab some shot of Wigeon as they flew over the reserve path.
Once I got to the East hide I was also able to take this portrait on an individual bird in the early morning light.
But it was the other birds, right in front on the hide, that I was really pleased to see....