Personal website or 500px.com gallery?

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I have been undecided for a while whether to have an personal website for my bird images or keeping my recent bird gallery hosted by 500px.com. Both has advantages and disadvantages. I would be happy to have a self designed, beautifully looking website where I could pack all my birding and bird photography related stuff in. On the other hand 500px offers almost everything I  would need except custom design of my gallery.

Designing an own webpage could be time consuming and rather expensive at the end of the day but could also be way more attractive. I have already made some design ideas but as I have no idea of the programming these remained ideas. Apart of the design I would like to make my site interesting and filled by bird related content. Those ideas cannot be integrated to my current 500px gallery so a combined solution is probably a best way.

I would probably make a website with all those features I wanted to add while using my 500px gallery linked from my website. The scoring and the Like feature is nice at 500px so I would not spend much money for programming that. Image resolution is acceptable as it doesn’t over compress my images. Adding some nice features I haven’t yet been found elsewhere is also a challenging but beneficial task.

So far the gallery is running with old images for the time being. As the date of my return as a bird photographer is closer than ever I can add new images with the new gear using new processing technics. Starting the ‘second half’ of my bird photography should be the turning point of making an own bird image gallery.

 

Caldecotte Lake bird galore

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As we found some time to play we visited the southern Caldecotte Lake in Milton Keynes to feed the ducks, geese and gulls. That is always a fun for a little girl. In the morning Andi and me was watching the record number of Greater Scaup. Two males and 6 female-like bird was present at the western bank of the south lake. It was the 72nd species for this year when it comes to the seen species only (I heard a Tawny Owl calling next to the Freeman Pre-School last night at 1AM).

In the late afternoon birding was not the main target but to have some close encounters for Kea with the geese and gulls. It was fun and birds obviously enjoyed it as well. Some immature Mew Gulls, European Herring Gulls and Lesser Black-backed Gulls came rather close allowing nice views.

Some images of the galore was taken by an iPhone 4s:

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Azure Dollarbird, a Halmahera endemic

Azure Dollarbird (Eurystomus azureus) by György Szimuly (SzimiStyle)) on 500px.com
Azure Dollarbird (Eurystomus azureus) by György Szimuly

One of the most sought after species of our 2006 Indonesian birding trip was the Azure Dollarbird (or Purple Dollarbird). Halmahera is one the last homes of this endemic bird with restricted range. This image, which I have recently posted to my 500px.com bird gallery, was taken in one of the side trails of the ‘Standardwing trail’ off Foli. At km 3.5 we dropped off the tiny motorbikes and tried to find this elusive bird with our local guides. While writing I absorbedly ‘hear’ all the voices of the most characteristic birds including Ivory-breasted Pitta. Along the trail Dusky Friarbird was seen. At one of the clearings we found 2+3 Purple Dollarbirds. Two were nicely perching on a tall tree allowing brilliant views through the spotting scope as they were close enough to see every detail. The image I could take was enough for a record shot of this beautiful roller. Tour participants: Tamás Zalai (Hungary), Péter Borbáth (Hungary).

Azure Dollarbird on its perching tree next to Foli, Halmahera, Indonesia.

Azure Dollarbird on its perching tree next to Foli, Halmahera, Indonesia.

Birding at the RSPB Lodge

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This afternoon I picked up the family to visit the RSPB Shop at the Lodge in Sandy. The weather offered a nice winter feeling as it was continuously snowing. RSPB Management blamed the severe weather for the closure of the Shop but the forest and the activity around the feeders was just very nice. The silent snowing didn’t seem to be that severe but things are working differently in Britain than in the rest of the Europe… as usual.

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I have got two new birds to the year list. At the headquarter two Coal Tits visited the feeder with European Blue Tits and a Great Tit. Also the giant cedrus provided shelter to many songbirds including at least 3 Coal Tits. At the Shop lots of European Blue Tits, Great Tits, Common Blackbirds, Redwings, 3 Fieldfares, Long-tailed Tits, European Robins, Eurasian Nuthatch, Common Chaffinches, European Goldfinches, Eurasian Greenfinches and a single Great Spotted Woodpecker were seen.

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On the way back home at the junction of the Bedford Road and the road to Hatch 14 Grey Partridges (grid: TL 154 488), 550 Common Wood Pigeons and 200 Redwings (grid: TL 154 487) were feeding on the snowy agricultural land. A bit further towards Bedford 4 Northern Lapwings (grid: TL 151 489) perched on the snowy grassland.

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Year list is at 70.