Blackbird with a thick maggot in the beak

AmselA thick, fat maggot has been washed out of the earth on the former compost heap. The male Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula) had only briefly scratched the surface with its yellow beak and had already very skillfully removed a thick maggot – probably a large beetle larva – from a dark-black layer of earth. It is astonishing how unerringly the Blackbird approaches two sites and then, after scratching no more than three times, one prey is exposed. Nevertheless, the bird is careful and only grabs the maggot by the black head at first and then quickly drops it again. After the Eurasian Blackbird has obviously convinced itself of the relative harmlessness of the prey after several procedures, the maggot is grabbed and tumbled at the head-body transition. Finally hunger outweighs fear and the maggot disappears upside down in the Thrush’s beak.

Now only the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) are interested in the feeding place. Somewhat unpleasant, the otherwise successful Eurasian Blackbird joins in from time to time and pursues the House Sparrows. Sometimes – when the Sparrows are outnumbered – the Eurasian Blackbird also have to pull out. Blackbird are what are commonly called “normal” birds. But her behavior always offers surprises and is also good for a few nice action shots. Before that, it was nice to see a furious chase of a Eurasian Blackbird to drive away a Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius) that might have come too close to the nest. The Titmice (Parus sp.) appreciated it as well.

It was a pretty fresh morning after it had finally rained in southern Brandenburg in the night. In the morning it was only around 8 °celsius degrees. Later in the sun it was warmer of course; around 16 ° C. A wood chopper is always headed for by birds because they think they still find grains there. A good opportunity to test the Canon EOS 1DX Mark III and especially its autofocus. However, the blackbird was so close that the close focus limit on the Canon EF 600mm f / 4L IS III USM was put to the test.

Luckily I had previously selected in the AF area selection mode on the 2nd register, the so-called “single-field AF” in which the AF area is limited only by a frame of an AF area, is used for focusing. Fortunately, the AF point was already centered. With the control using the new AF-On button, I would of course have been able to track the bird moving through the viewfinder more fully. But I’m still in learning mode. Especially with the format-filling Eurasian Blackbird, the new AF-On button of the EOS-1D X Mark III could prove to be important and helpful for controlling the dominant AF field. With the new AF-On button, the so-called Smart Controller, the photographer’s thumb slides smoothly the controlled AF areas. The Smart Controller works similarly to an optical mouse. Here I have to discipline myself and actually still have to train to work with the Smart Controller. But I am convinced that the AF-On button allows you to work much faster than with the dial or with the previous joystick.

I have tried the Canon EOS 1DX Mark III in daily practice for 6 weeks now. At the very beginning, I wrote in a blog about the Canon EOS 1DX Mark III and the Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) that the Canon 1DX Mark III had clearly increased in autofocus performance and noise behavior. I presented further findings in a first experience blog. So far, I can say that the Canon EOS 1DX Mark III has improved in performance compared to its predecessor (i.e. the EOS 1DX; I saved the Mark II) significantely.

The autofocus in particular has made me jam several times. It’s amazing how quickly and reliably the sharpness is held. Before – on the Canon EOS 1DX – I mainly used single-field AF. I am now happy to use the new AF point selection methods in the respective zones on the Canon EOS 1DX Mark III. With the Canon EOS 1D X, the AF point selection in a zone (was it then called AF point selection in zone (Man.)) Was not a really suitable measuring method to photograph moving objects – especially flying birds – against a structured background The autofocus lost the bird too quickly and then stuck to the background, which actually works much better for the 1DX Mark III

In order to meet the growing demand for top images of the rarer species of Palaearctic has specifically made trips to remote places. Additionally every chance is used, if a rare bird is around the homeground. This, to do everything to ensure excellent photos of the Birds of the Western Palearctic . The yield of pictures also of rare Western Palaearctic birds is very good. The picture of the blog is just an image of proof. But there are nice images of birds, that what you will find behind the tab “Picture Shop“. Just give a notice if you need a picture of a bird which is not online.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *