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Under Water, Over Land
Tools & Techniques for Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife & Underwater Videography.

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Old October 24th, 2008, 01:46 AM   #1
Regular Crew
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Yaad, Galilee
Posts: 117
More bird clips

It has been a year since I linked my bird clips.
Now they are stored at ExposureRoom and I upgraded my camera to a used Canon XL2 (bought from one of the forum members).

I shoot while birding and some of the birds are scarce to extremely rare over here.
Usually I have no second opportunity with the bird I shoot and at times only a few seconds.
Exception to the rule are a few 'location birds' that I intently searched for (Purple Swamp-Hen,
Sandgrouses, Sooty Falcon).
Sandgrouses need some kind of hide to be approached. As they fly, at times, more than an hour to the drinking point, they should be approached with caution.
Although I hate birding from a car I used my car as a hide for the first time (technically very tricky).

On one event, I had a great opportunity to bird and shoot at some restricted remote location
at mount Hermon, on the northern most tip of the country, we (four birders) had two days to survey the avifauna of this arid mountain.

While there, we located a family of White Throated Robins (we assume there are no more than a handful of them in Israel) and for the first time documented the species (breeding).
Funny as it sounds this was also the first time I saw a professional videographer (all my knowledge came from this forum) we spent one day to let the birds accustomed to our presence and the second day to film .

On those two days we amazingly found that this family consisted of two adult males two fledgelings and a female.
the female was on a second brooding session (hardly seen) and one of the males was assisting her, the other male was babysitting the two fledgelings, feeding them and 'teaching' them how to fly (on the first day they couldn't fly and on the second, they flew for short distances).
This nice family was harassed by two Shrikes, which led to a few vocal chases .On one of those chases, while the babysitting male chased one of the Shrikes the fledgelings dived into their 'shelter bush', the other Shrike dived right after them to the same bush and we assume that he killed (recycled...) one of the fledgelings.

Those interested can search the video clips also by the lens I used.
Sigma 50-500, very good overall, nice range.
Canon 100-300/5.6 L sharp and no need for a common plate.
Tokina 300/2.8 the least used but the sharpest. as sharp as the others even with 1.4XTC.
Canon 500/4.5L very nice looking picture and if necessary can be used with 1.4X TC .
As I am no professional I used each one exclusively for a long period to learn its pros and cones.
Sassi Haham On ExposureRoom - Videos
Best IQ would be to download, second is HD ( larger ?!) don't go to 'Medium'.

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Old October 27th, 2008, 08:30 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 938
Loved your birds Sassi, particularly the buzzards.

I must go there and shoot for myself. Is there any low- to medium priced accommodation within 10 miles of the raptor migration routes in your buzzard clips? Where in Israel might one be likely to video raptors other than on migration e.g. nesting, roosting, hunting or just cruising around?

Thanks for the joy of watching the birds in the air as well as on the ground.
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Old November 4th, 2008, 08:17 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 3,048

I went to your page and very much enjoyed it!!

I liked the itemizing by the type of lens!!!

I was particularly interested in your sigma 50 to 500.

I wish I could tell if you were actually zoomed in the entire focal length on your zoom lenses!!

I prefer zoom lenses for cropping reasons (here in the prairies adjusting your distance to match a lens is not always an option!!) and a lot of these newer model zooms are near prime quality!!

what an educational site!!

Of course the video footage was pretty awesome!!!

Brendan, I miss seeing some of your footage as well!!
Dale W. Guthormsen
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Old November 5th, 2008, 02:37 AM   #4
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Location: Wales
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Dale, if you like zooms and hava an XL camera the Sigma 120-300 f2.8 is an excellent lens. It certainly way-outperforms the 50-500, but of course you've less magnification.
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Old November 15th, 2008, 10:29 PM   #5
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Yaad, Galilee
Posts: 117
Brendan, you would be most welcomed here. There are low/medium price accommodation at southern Arava, and if you will come I am sure you'll enjoy your stay.
On spring (good time for Buzzards) there is also a bird festival held here, where you can meet birders from all over the world.
For sure you will get all the advice needed from me, and might be I will even join you.
As you know many species of raptors migrate here, spring and autumn , spring is better for shooting on Eilat mountains because the birds roost not far away and usually, you can catch them soaring over the mountains at late morning .
Many raptors also winter here, tens of Aquila Eagles and Harriers and thousands of Black kites.
Dale,glad you liked my footage. The Bigma is indeed a good lens, very versatile and solid, sharpness is very good up to 420mm, I tend to use the lens fully zoomed and back of a bit.
If you have more specific question please ask.
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Old November 16th, 2008, 04:45 PM   #6
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 938
Great news Sassi, thank you.

I'm googling to find out the distance from southern Arava to Eilat Mountains.
I'm also wondering ...

1. if the second half of March would be a good time to find birds roosting in that area?
2. if I should bring XL2 or would XM2 be adequate to video bird-flight (EOS 40D + 100-400 would be handy for stills, I guess)?
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Old November 17th, 2008, 08:50 AM   #7
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Location: Yaad, Galilee
Posts: 117
Brendan, definitely xl2+100-400,
Eilat is located on southern Arava so all the excitement is 30mins by car.
I am just going out for several days so excuse my short reply.
I will send you links and my phone number on a privet message.
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