I am lucky enough to live close to nature. A choir of birds wake me up way too early every morning at this time of the year, and if I go out for a walk, I can be surrounded by trees in no time.

So yesterday evening I grabbed my camera and my long lens and went for a little walk to see if I could get some bird photos. The sun was low and would go down in an hour or so, so I hoped for some good light on the tree tops. I walked quietly through the woods, as not to scare the birds.

I didn’t think much of larger wildlife, but after a while I heard a sound some distance to the right and behind me. I turned around and saw two deer climbing a steep slope. I raised my camera to the eye and fired off a few shots, but as it was against the light I didn’t have much hope. Luckily, I had my camera set to Manual mode and I had already set a decent exposure. Therefore I knew it wouldn’t be too far off, even though I had set it for when I would have the light from behind. That’s the beauty of Manual.

As the deer climbed to the top of the slope, I saw them silhouetted against the sky, and I got this as my final shot of them:

Fugler Flateby_0041_2048

Two deer. Canon 80D with Canon EF 70-300 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM @300 mm. 1/1000 s, f/8, ISO 800

After the deer disappeared, I sat down on a rock, waiting for some birds to come by. Most of the birds around here except for magpies and crows are quite small, and my lens is only 300 mm in the long end on a crop sensor camera, so I didn’t expect to get any real close ups, as the birds are quite shy. This chaffinch is a good example of what I could expect:

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Chaffinch. Canon 80D with Canon EF 70-300 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM @300 mm. 1/1000 s, f/8, ISO 800

This is also a quite heavy crop, and my lens is not the sharpest when fully zoomed in. It is still fun to go hunting, and some times unexpected things happen.

On my way back home, I spotted this bird that was sitting in the very top of a tall spruce. It was a bit larger, but I didn’t know what it was. I’m no expert on birds. It had a beautiful song and it was catching the light very well, so I took a bunch of images of it. I also saw another little bird up there that was too small to recognize.

When I got home and looked at my images on the computer an also googled a bit, I found out that the bird in the top of the tree was a song thrush (Turdus philomelos). That was very fun, because it was the first time I had seen and identified one!

The other bird I had seen up there turned out to be a chaffinch
(Fringilla coelebs), and then to my surprise I noticed a third bird in the image. I didn’t know this one either, and it turned out to be a eurasian siskin (Carduelis spinus). Another first! I had never identified this one before either.

So a little walk around the neighborhood with a camera can give a lot of both exercise, exciting experiences and new knowledge. Do you have a fun experience from you local nature? Let me know down below!

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From left: chaffinch, song thrush and eurasian siskin. Canon 80D with Canon EF 70-300 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM @300 mm. 1/1000 s, f/8, ISO 800

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