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Hide photography episode 4-7

Common Buzzard. 1000 mm, F8, 1/80, ISO 1600.

If my last few days in the hide was a big success, the following three were a huge disappointment. With me the first two days I had Stefan Oscarsson and Daniel Stenberg. They were eager to photograph White-tailed Eagles, Ravens and Grey-headed Woodpeckers. Unfortunately there was almost no bird activity at the hide. Only smaller birds and one Eurasian Jay. The weather conditions were ideal with beautiful snow fall and a white landscape. I really can't understand where all the birds went. No crows, no nothing. The weeks after we started feeding the birds it could best be described as a circus, with birds visiting the hide from dawn to dusk, and now it was abandoned. Despite not getting many pictures it was a nice weekend with many god laughs. I took a break from photography one day and sat in the hide Tuesday the 22:nd. No pictures that day either. 

Eurasian Jay. 

My friend Gabriel wanted to visit the hide before he went back to Turku, so the 27:th we made a fourth attempt. By now I wasn't very optimistic about our chance of success, but since they promised bad weather for the rest of the week, I decided to give it a go anyway. With me and Gabriel was also my dad, who has helped me build the hide and also help bring out food to the birds. This time luck was on our side, and besides the usual suspects we also had Grey-headed Woodpecker and Common Buzzard. The Buzzard is most likely an individual living under a kilometer north-west. I've taken some photos of it this autumn, but have never gotten a chance to meet it this close. The photos I got from that day aren't fantastic in any way, but after a few days of coming home empty-handed, anything will do. Still though, I think the hide so far has been a success. Birds of prey visiting four out of seven days. Unfortunately we had poor light conditions, resulting in high ISO and slow shutter speeds. 

Having been in the hide for a few days has given me a few ideas on how to improve the "studio". Daniel and Oscar came with some good suggestions as well. I'll add some better looking branches for the smaller birds and move the food closer to the hide. For eagles the current distance is OK, but for smaller birds such as Buzzards and Hawks 30 meters is too much. I'll aim at 20 meters, which makes 500 mm on a crop sensor perfect for Buzzards and 300 mm good for Eagles. If I shoot in portrait then the 500 could be useful for close up shot on the eagles and flight shots when they fly up to the food. 

Grey-headed woodpecker. 700 mm, F5.6, 1/200, ISO1250