Photo Snipe(r)

Although its winter it doesn't feel much like it. By the time we had got to Morrison’s to collect lunch I was sweating under my coat.  On the way down to Ham Wall Andrew let out a cry of dismay.  He had forgotten his “stock” for the PhotoSniper -just one of his MANY items of camera paraphernalia.  

He simply couldn't function without it.  So whilst he peddled back to get it I continued on.  Whilst going through the enchanted wood I encountered Andrew’s nemesis.  The Woodpecker let out an alarm call and was gone, hotly pursued by a second!

At VP1 I settled in. In the distance a dark shape was flying about.  A female Marsh Harrier was doing a bit of “soaring like a Buzzard”. Luckily she came a bit lower and a positive ID was obtained.
Moments later Andrew arrived, feeling better with all his equipment by his side.  I say all of it...
The increase in equipment meant that we couldn't carry a scope.  Something had to give I suppose...
The sun was shining and a few of the commoner birds were flying about including this swan which flew straight at us.  I managed to get to the camera before it crashed into the lens.

Aside from that a few mallards and a large flock of lapwings were flying about.

We went onto VP2 but didn't see a huge amount.  After a hot chocolate we headed back to VP1.  Discussing various camera lenses and cameras.  A Marsh harrier threatened to head closer to us but it didn't really happen in the end.

There were plenty of Snipe shooting about the place and we managed a few shots of them.

As the sun began to set the Starlings flew in.  They are not really up to full strength yet and it wasn't massively spectacular but still good to see.  A taster of things to come...

My Photosniper is almost fully adapted for use with a DSLR. Trigger working and a new quick release put in place so I can use either the Tair or Canon with it however I think I'll put it back to just for the Tair and get another camera body. But thats in the future. The trigger need a bit of fine tuning to.

But on with my contribution to the day.

Managed something a little better than a Mallard - a Widgeon

Back at VP1 we finally got some good stuff. The Snipe and Greylags being the best of the offerings




3 Greylags landing





We saw a Marsh harrier over the other side from VP1 and hurriedly got in position to intercept it just up the track. It never appeared but I did get this little chap sitting over head.

Long Tailed Tit

Greater Spotted Woodpecker

As the light faded and the birds subsided for the evening I swapped the big stuff to a nifty fifty Super Takumar from the 70's.

Opposite VP1
(Actually taken with the Photosniper and Tair 3)

Woods by VP1
(Actually taken with the Photosniper and Tair 3)

View from VP1



Starlings over Ham Wall

Sunset over Ham Wall

Like so many days that the EFRS have particularly at Ham Wall it starts out with little but when you look back there was plenty to be pleased about and never leave disappointed. It was fun using a 50mm instead of a 400mm particularly with manual focusing. Im a fan.


  1. Photosniper is very handy. But how does it fire the shutter. Surely the Sniper has a mechanical shutter release and the 70D has an elictronic release?

  2. Its complicated! The 'stock has two pins which poke up out the body when the trigger is pulled. These activate the shutter via the base of the specially modified body and the aperture ring on the lens. (The lens is 'cocked' on full aperture then released to the set aperture just before each shot.) With the Canon DSLR you don't need to 'cock' the aperture and you have to modify the trigger internally with a switch, usually from a cable remote that activates the canon. Google 'photosniper DSLR modification' its a standard mod. If you look at the pic of me you can see the cable remote strapped to the grip underneath my right hand. Its a quick mod where you just squeeze the grip to press the button with your palm. Ive now done the full mod and will be putting pics on 'Andrews DIY' soon. You going to get one?? ;¬)

  3. Here's how i made my 7d and my 100-400L work on the photosniper. The trigger is pushing into a remote control that triggers the 7d to shoot :) I do miss quick control on the camera but in general it works nice and stable. I do use the image stabilizer in the 100-400 as it helps a bit when aiming at a bird or deer. https://www.flickr.com/photos/gipukan/15878493915/

  4. Hi Rob
    I had a similar idea when I first got my Sniper but found it was too cumbersome raised so far off the Sniper stock. I've now decided to keep it separate and use a 60D purely for the Sniper and Tair 3. The other set up will be the 70D and 100-400L with the occasional swap for a Takuma f1.4 50mm for location and general shots. Nice shots on your Flickr and I do like your camo cover for your 100-400L ;¬)