Hawfinch bonanza

April 11, 2018

At the end of last year I had some good luck with Hawfinches in the garden (see blog post from December 2017). But shortly after their visits became less regular and with spring upon us I thought that my chance to improve upon the shots already bagged was unlikely. But noooooooo!!! Just at the end of March more opportunities presented themselves. I now have 5 (!!!) coming to the garden, including a couple of gorgeous bright individuals.

So it was back under the Lenscoat hide! And what a treat I received.

Hawfinch, Mies, SwitzerlandHawfinch, Mies, Switzerland

These images really show off an unusual feature of their plumage - the ends of the glossy blue-black secondaries (I think, although it could be inner primaries?) are bizarrely shaped. Despite searching the web I couldn't find any definitive explanation for the curious shape, although some literature suggests they may have some significance in courtship.

Hawfinch, Mies, SwitzerlandHawfinch, Mies, Switzerland

Hawfinch, Mies, SwitzerlandHawfinch, Mies, Switzerland

Shooting data: all images taken with Canon 1DX Mkii with 600mm ISII and 1.4 extender.  Aperture f/7.1 or f/8 and a shutter speed of around 1600. ISO either 1250 or 1600.

Post processing: raw conversion to TIFF using DPP, then PS with MacPhun/Intensify for fine detail and finally selective sharpening with Nik Output sharpener applied around the eye, feather edges where the colour changes (mostly on the head and neck/nape), bill edge and legs.

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