The recent torrential rain has ended summer and attracted a Little Egret. The Little Egret could be seen wading around the field pulling up worms for breakfast. The Little Egret was large, so we thought we were lucky and had a Great Egret. Alas, beak, legs and feet show it to be a Little Egret, a far more common variety.
Life can be tough. This year we have seen masses of Goldfinch, at the same time there have been Magpies, Sparrowhawks and Kestrels, all feeding on the smaller birds. Most days there are piles of feathers around the garden and field where some bird has met its maker. While this Kestrel was feeding, the Goldfinch were still at their Niger seed.
Cloudless evening on Monday so I attempted to photograph NEOWISE. The problem I had was with my knowledge of the camera. I didn’t know where infinity was on the lens scale. Should it be hard up against the stop, on the infinity mark or some other position? Does it change with different zoom? During daylight this morning I discovered it was significantly different, more on the 300-meter distance, and does change with focal lengths. It is difficult to focus through the viewfinder when there is just black. No help from the moon to act as a focusing aid, because it was a new moon. So alas my pictures could be sharper. Possibly I should have tried focusing on the planets of Jupiter and Saturn which were very bright, close together and towards the South East.
The first photograph, where you can see the trees, was taken on my mobile phone. With a little imagination, you can see the comet trail point directly upwards. The second photograph was taken with the DSLR, zoomed and cropped to the comet.
The tail of the comet was just visible with the naked eye, but only if you knew where to look and had spotted it with binoculars. I was looking after 11 pm. Any earlier and the sky was too bright, leave it later and I believe the comet was nearer the horizon. When we saw the comet, it was towards the North West, halfway between the horizon and star called Dubhe in The Plough constellation. Dubhe is one of two pointer stars used to locate Polaris.
R and I had made a previous attempt by getting up at 3.30 in the morning, alas it was cloudy on the horizon, we looked in the wrong direction, and it was getting very bright at that time of the morning. Excellent view of Venus, it is now viewable in the morning.
By chance we saw the International Space Station fly over us on Sunday night. On the Monday and Tuesday I took to taking photographs of it. The first ones taken on Monday were short 30 second exposures. The last photograph taken on Tuesday at 23.45 was for the full duration of the visible portion of the flight. Unfortunately camera was not pointing quite the correct way, so we don’t see it fade out.