Tag Archives: wildlife

Common Blue Damselfly | Flickr – Photo Sharing!

I don’t do much wildlife photography, let alone macro stuff in the field. However, while photographing various species of heather, calluna, erica and daboecia, I was taken by the antics of several damsel flies. Some were hunting, but one couple were busy working on the next generation.
I was using my Sigma 28–300mm ƒ3.5–5.6 on the Canon EOS 7D for the plant work, and had been pleasantly surprised at the macro capabilities. When my colleague pointed out the damsel fly pair, I was initially sceptical I would get anything worthwhile. I was, after all, working handheld, and I wasn’t really convinced the lens would give me good results on something so small.
I perched on a small stool, rested my arms on my knees, and zoomed right out to 300mm. The camera was set at ISO400, and I’d been working in Aperture Priority mode. The insects were quite small in the frame, and the AF couldn’t quite latch on to them. I should point out I’ve adopted the back-button focus system now, leaving the shutter button for exposure reading and capturing the shot. Once the AF locked on, I took my thumb away from the button and kept shooting.
The shot above was 1/500th at ƒ/11, and I seem to have dialled in a negative third of a stop. Aside from some mild detail and contrast enhancement on import in Aperture, and a crop to home in on the critters, this shot is the best of the bunch. I am amazed at the crisp detail in the wings. Such a relatively cheap lens, and it still surprises me.

Control landowners, not badgers – that’s the real answer to bovine TB | George Monbiot | Comment is free | The Guardian

As Bourne points out, the two governments are ignoring not only the science but also the history of bovine TB control. In the 1960s the disease was almost eliminated through rigorous testing of cattle herds and strict quarantine. It was when these measures were relaxed, at the behest of the industry, that the disease began to spread. Tests with a low sensitivity, which were designed to detect TB in a herd, are now misused to clear individual animals. The quarantine period has shrunk from one year to 120 days. (The safe period, Bourne says, should be two years, as the successful Australian programme shows.) The infections springing up far from the hot zone are caused not by badgers but by cattle movements.

[My emphasis.]

I am actually at a loss for words. Please read the whole story on that link.

I also posted a link to another badger story a while ago.