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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Nikon P900/A Cold Blast

Dec15/16 Blackie Spit Park, Crescent Beach BC Canada.

A week ago an icy arctic outflow blanketed British Columbia's Lower Mainland. Normally winters here are wet and warm. I can't tell you how many time I have tried to explain to my relatives that Vancouver's weather is something akin to Devon and Cornwall rather than the Shetland or Orkney Islands. As I write this, the snow has finally melted and we are enjoying a balmy 8c, not quite t-shirt weather but an improvement.

Visitor signage. 



Size comparison. A western sandpiper (left) and two dunlin feed on the beach at Blackie Spit.

Anyway to cut a long story short, it was bloody freezing! It was Minus -5c and down to -10c at nights but even with frigid temperatures the male Anna's hummingbird that frequents our feeder survived. The upside was that we had sunny days and cobalt blue skies, Great for birding and beachcombing
Dunlin.
With that in mind I decided to leave my DSLR at home and shoot some video with my Nikon P900 and if possible snag a few stills for the blog. I used a Manfrotto BeFree Live video tripod for both video and stills.


There has been an increase in the numbers of black oystercatchers at the spit with at least five on the day I visited. The spit is also a good place see Eurasian wigeon, marbled goodwill and long-billed curlew. The past few months have also produced a Lapland longspur, five snow buntings and a northern shrike. There is an informal bird walk every Thursday starting at 1pm. Headed by Gareth Pugh, the group meets at the small pier just south of the spit and across from the main parking lot.
Black Oystercatcher


My most read blogs are about the Nikon P900, a popular bridge camera with a 24-2000 optical zoom. It also has a digital zoom from 2000mm-8000mm which isn't of much use except for extreme scoping. I use the camera instead of a scope to ID birds. As you can see it takes a decent picture for the blog or up to 8x10 but it doesn't replace a proper DSLR. I does however make a perfect camera for those not interested in making huge enlargements or photographing birds in flight etc.
If I were a birder and just looking to record birds to study later this type of bridge camera is perfect. That said, the P900 also shoots 1080p video ideal for You Tube but less ideal for large room presentations. Recently I showed a four minute presentation about Brydon Lagoon. no one mentioned anything about the quality but I could see that 4K is going to have to be my route as I venture more and more into video. Only time will tell.
  

"Its never too late to start birding"
John Gordon
Langley/Cloverdale 
BC Canada

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