Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Fawns Arrive

First Fawn of 2011-May 18th Canon 7D-500mm
 Last year I saw the first fawn of the season on May 18th, but I had not seen one this year as of Monday evening. Most of the does in the herd that I see almost daily give birth in early to mid-June with the majority being born within a few days of June 10th.  I noticed  sometime last week that one of the does that did have a distended abdomen, now had sunken flanks so I was expecting to see a fawn soon.  As it was growing late on Monday evening, I saw a tiny fawn walking with shaky steps from an area of tall grasses across a mowed area to the edge of the woods where it vanished.

In a few minutes a young doe approached and circled around looking at the edge of the woods with interest.  When she moved on, I cautiously approached with the T3i and video tripod.  There was the fawn--hidden in the weeds and grass at the edge of the woods.  After filming it, I took several still photos with that camera and the 100-400mm lens, before going back to my stand and getting the 7D and 500mm lens. 

First Fawn 2012: May 28th: Canon 7D 500mm
I saw a fawn in the meadow again last evening, but it was dark and spitting rain, so I only took video.  I will post a clip or so of this in the future as it was amazing to watch the interaction between the fawn and some of the yearling bucks.

This morning found me at the meadow again at dawn, I soon  saw a fawn nursing from a doe at the edge of the woods, but the grass was tall and I didn't get any photographs.  In about an hour I saw a fawn crossing the food plot, but it was too far for good photographs.

At 8:00 I saw a fawn emerge from the tall grass in another sector of the meadow.  This was close enough for good video and I filmed it for awhile and then began to work a bit closer with the 500mm and the 7D.  Just as I got to an acceptable range, the fawn dropped down at the border between a strip of grass and a food plot of oats, Essex dwarf rape, and clover. It was now to close for the 500mm so I carefully worked into position with the T3i and 100-400mm lens and filmed it from several angles, before getting into a head on position.  After I had enough footage, I switched to shooting stills and alternated between the 7D and T3i bodies. 

Young Fawn: Canon T3i 100-400mm at 135mm ISO 160
Many claim the 60D, 7D, and T3i have the same sensor, but this is not the case.  They all have the same mega-pixel rating, but there are differences and this has been confirmed by Chris Hurd who runs the premiere video discussion community on the internet today-- DV Info Net.  I have found the T3i to actually be a better video camera than the 7D, but the 7D beats  the T3i hands down for still photography.  This is mostly because it handles digital noise better, but even it is not that great at ISOs above 640. I recently installed a firmware hack called  Magic Lantern on the T3i in an attempt to improve its' video capabilities, and in my opinion it has improved the video functions of the camera immensley, but it also seems to have the added benefit of giving a smoother, more pleasing still picture as well.

What is "Magic Lantern", many will ask.  That is definitely a subject for another time, but suffice it to say it is not for the casual user nor the faint of heart.

Originally posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill


PaWingers said...

Great write up and awesome pics as always. You definitely caught some great momenst with the young fawn. Shouldn't be long now for the 5D to arrive.

Kritter Keeper at Farm Tails said...

awesome willard, this is my favorite post of all! :) so far haven't seen any fawns. one of the long tails arrived last night with an empty belly so a baby is around somewhere!

Ruth Hiebert said...

These pictures are fantastic.

Willard said...

5D MKIII is here. Hope to post some photos later today.

Kerri Farley said...

Sweet captures!

Altax said...

Excellent shots and wonderful pictures.

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Anonymous said...

The first picture is so cute; the mother looking back on its baby. Great picture of the fawn's eye in the second photo. How sweet the third picture is. Good work, Willard!