...and the hawk is back. Definitely confirmed as a female Northern Harrier. I even managed to grab the camera and shoot some pictures this time. And, along with the last batch of hawk photos that were shot on the film camera (which I haven't bothered to post - see below), I've managed to learn some things about nature photography. Namely:
1. A 120 mm zoom lens is not long enough, even for large-ish birds in very small back yards.
2. Do not leave the camera on 'portrait' setting while shooting small objects far away. It will auto-focus on something you don't want it to (see the crab-apple tree in the photo below? Nicely in-focus.)
3. Shooting in overcast, outdoor lighting with white balance set to 'indoor/fluorescent' results in stupidly blue-coloured photos. Colour balancing never fixes this adequately.
4. You can't focus on anything while shooting through Venetian blinds (remember what I said above about not showing you the film pics?).
5. It's hard to get things in focus while shooting rapidly with a 300 mm lens (film camera again I'm afraid).
So now you know. Apologies for the horrific quality of these. I suggest looking at the original shot, which is much, much better.
A couple of very suspicious-looking piles of feathers in the back yard make me suspect that the score is now, conservatively, hawks 2, doves 0.
In other news, apparently sports car season is not quite over yet. Either that, or nobody told the person who drove by me in a bright red Ferrari 512 Testarossa on Saturday. And my fingers hurt from putting up the Christmas lights. Just thought you'd like to know.