12 h birding race by e-bike

December 1, 2018 was the traditional winter birding race in Lahti region, Finland. I participated first time by e-bike. Actually I raced only 8 hours because the rest of the time is completely dark in Finland in December. There was too much wind for owls so I thought it could have been waste of time shivering in the dark rural road.

The weather was nice but there was too much wind from the south. I designed my route parallelling forest edges and avoided open fields. By the Lake Vesijärvi at Lahti harbour it was not too windy because the wind was straight from south.

This year the winter has not been good for thrushes, waxwings and siskins. I saw none of them, not even the blackbird. Actually almost all the birds I saw were twitches. Only White-tailed eagle and Linnet were nice surprises. I reached 43 species which is good result in these circumstances. I had a bit of luck with the birds I tried to twitch. For example Rough-legged buzzard, Dipper and Litte grebe were very easy. But making the video at the same time did not make the day any easier. There was -5 °c and my hands were freezing continuously. I had to hurry from place to another and skip good sites.

I used Sony RX10 mark IV for the video. I had ND filter on when the sun was shining. The Sony quality is OK but you can’t compare the result to full frame sensor image. The camera is nevertheless compact, versatile and quick for these kind of hectic sessions. Joby Gorilla pod is ideal when filming yourself and you can use the bike as a tripod. I used S-log and color graded the edit afterwards. I did use wrong settings from time to time because I had to keep eye on so much other things – birds etc. 😉

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