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.
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.
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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