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Birding and Bird Photography

Discussion in 'Sports, Hobbies & Interests' started by 92shawman, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. Feb 11, 2014 at 4:06 PM
    #341
    Cold Iron

    Cold Iron Well-Known Member

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    Great pictures Kevin! I also really like the hawk on the log. Finally figured out my unknown raptor is a sharp shinned hawk :) And thanks for the video of 007 Ben. Crows are a real problem downtown here and they are really struggling to find a way to keep them out. They are too smart for most methods and learn quickly.

    Hmmm.... I'm leaving at 3 AM to go 6 hours straight North for the rest of the week. It was -30 F this morning in Ely what was I thinking, I should have planned to get on I-35 and go straight South! Everyone around me is headed to Mexico and other warm spots and I usually do too but each year it is harder to come back to the cold after I do. But maybe next year....
     
  2. Feb 11, 2014 at 5:40 PM
    #342
    92shawman

    92shawman [OP] LensCap

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    That's crazy, Ben! Crows are so freakin' smart, it's too bad they're also super annoying...
    I saw a segment of "The Life of Birds" featuring New Caledonian Crows foraging. They eat grubs out of dead fallen trees, but the grubs are too far down in holes so they stick sticks into the holes to get the grubs. Instead of impaling them, though, the crows poke at the grub until the grub bites the stick and then the crow can pull the grub out. Crazy!!

    And nice ID, Cold Iron. I couldn't tell what it was from that photo. :eek:
    I think I may have seen a sharpie on Sunday out at the refuge, but I'm not 100% sure...coulda been a cooper's.
     
  3. Feb 16, 2014 at 2:10 PM
    #343
    Magpie

    Magpie Member

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    So many incredible photos posted while I've been writing reports ad nauseum. This coming week is Preserve Survey Week! I'm going to try using the Nikon D5000 (husband's). That was the camera with the focus problem from the painted redstart photos. I've reset all of the settings to factory (husband was playing with it a bit) and now I'm testing on the backyard - looks better now. Sounds like shutter priority is the way to go and use as fast as you can but still keep a good F stop. I want to look for a 400 mm lens. Have any of you tried the Sigma, vivitar etc lenses? The Nikkor 400 is so $$$. I need handheld option b/c I'm going for little birds (gnatcatcher and warblers) and am hiking a lot so I dont want to go with tripod mount.
     
  4. Feb 16, 2014 at 2:12 PM
    #344
    OZ-T

    OZ-T Did you get your precious photos ?

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    Anybody else participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend ?
     
  5. Feb 16, 2014 at 2:21 PM
    #345
    Magpie

    Magpie Member

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    YES!!
    I'm also recording everything in the yard for the year. This drought is a bugger for the birds as well. Definitely missing some species already.
     
  6. Feb 16, 2014 at 2:25 PM
    #346
    m3bassman

    m3bassman Professional Web Wheeler

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    Have you considered a monopod? i personally prefer to carry my camera with the monopod on when i have the 70-300 on it.


    I am unfamiliar with what this is.


    Nothing but high winds here. saw a couple great blue herons while shooting trap this morning but besides that, all the birds are laying low.
     
  7. Feb 16, 2014 at 2:27 PM
    #347
    OZ-T

    OZ-T Did you get your precious photos ?

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    Log in with your eBird account

    http://gbbc.birdcount.org/get-started/
     
  8. Feb 16, 2014 at 2:47 PM
    #348
    m3bassman

    m3bassman Professional Web Wheeler

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  9. Feb 16, 2014 at 6:03 PM
    #349
    Magpie

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    I have a monopod - maybe I'll trying renting a 400mm lens first and see if I can handle that plus carry my maps and stuff. There is a 28-300 Nikkor out there that isn't hideously expensive (but expensive enough) but I was hoping for the 400, having seen what you're able to do with it.
     
  10. Feb 16, 2014 at 6:11 PM
    #350
    m3bassman

    m3bassman Professional Web Wheeler

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    I am very jealous of Kevin's 400. I have had many opportunities thwarted by not having enough reach in the lens.
     
  11. Feb 16, 2014 at 6:15 PM
    #351
    medic2230

    medic2230 Ditch Doctor

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  12. Feb 17, 2014 at 1:25 PM
    #352
    Cold Iron

    Cold Iron Well-Known Member

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    I had asked a similar question back in the beginning of the thread and MTgirl replied with:

    However... After doing a lot more research the Sigma lenses can perform differently on different brands of cameras. So it would be worth checking into a Nikon forum and also reviews for the lens that your looking at IMO. Turns out the Sigma bigma is popular with many Pentax users and works well. But there are other factors involved, in the North in the winter the 150-500 at F6.3 makes it pretty much useless as they require a fair amount of light. And have no Weather Resistance so that rules them out for half the year for me. Given your location neither one may be an issue for you. Older manual lenses as mentioned isn't a bad idea although many argue that the optics have gotten so much better over the last 10-15 years that it isn't worth it. Not sure I buy that one though. Manual focus will make BIF a challenge... Then again I find even AF can be tricky with birds and other wildlife in heavy vegetation. Took 29 pictures a couple of days ago of a snowshoe hare in deep cover and only had 4 keepers. I'm learning in tight spots to get as close as I can with AF and then slightly tweak the final focus, a couple of inches of focus either way makes a big difference in the final shot. When it is -28 F like it was yesterday morning when I took this shot just breathing on the back of the camera covers it in ice so I do a lot of shooting "blind" but sometimes it pays off

    [​IMG]

    Not sure how well the Nikon lenses work with a teleconventer but that may be another option. The Pentax 1.4X TC was on the roadmap when I purchased mine and will be released next month. It is Weather Resistant which is important for the environments I live in and expose it to so looking forward to adding it to my 300mm F4 which will make it 420mm F5.6. In a couple of years if this is something I am still into, and willing to bet that I am, will pick up a Canon and L series lenses. Although the lower priced L lenses are not all WR, and once they are the price brings new meaning to the phrase sticker shock.
     
  13. Feb 17, 2014 at 1:52 PM
    #353
    92shawman

    92shawman [OP] LensCap

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    Got three new species for this year today! Canvasback, Ruddy duck, and Lesser scaup. I was just out searching for Eurasian Collared-Doves for a project and came across a pond with a surprisingly diverse amount of waterfowl given its size and isolation. It was the wrong time of day for the doves, so I never really saw any, but I saw a Lesser Scaup, Ruddy Ducks, Canvasbacks, lots of Canada Geese, Coots, Buffleheads, a few Mallards, a Cinnamon Teal, and about 100 gulls. Lots of sparrows in the bull rush and trees in the tributaries, too. The Canada geese were doing some serious courtship, lots of inciting and there was a big fight between two pairs. I wish my shutter speed was higher for that, but we'll see what I got. Going through pictures now!
    Edit: just spotted a green-winged teal in one of my photos. He was sleepin' over at the far end of the pond, which is probably why I didn't see him with the binos.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
  14. Feb 17, 2014 at 7:32 PM
    #354
    92shawman

    92shawman [OP] LensCap

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    Pics from today:

    [​IMG]
    Mourning Dove by 92shawman, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    American Coot by 92shawman, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Canada Geese by 92shawman, on Flickr

    Fight Fight Fight!
    [​IMG]
    Canada Geese by 92shawman, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Canada Goose by 92shawman, on Flickr

    I'm bummed the guy being chased was out of the frame for this photo
    [​IMG]
    Canada Goose by 92shawman, on Flickr

    First time seeing these guys!
    [​IMG]
    Canvasbacks by 92shawman, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Canada Goose by 92shawman, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Canada Goose by 92shawman, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Ruddy Duck by 92shawman, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Black Phoebe by 92shawman, on Flickr

    I seem to have really good luck with these sparrows:
    [​IMG]
    Lincoln's Sparrow by 92shawman, on Flickr

    :p
    [​IMG]
    Bufflehead by 92shawman, on Flickr

    Cool find for the day:
    [​IMG]
    Lesser Scaup by 92shawman, on Flickr
     
  15. Feb 17, 2014 at 7:40 PM
    #355
    worthywads

    worthywads Well-Known Member

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    Not a birdwatcher but I did manage to snap a shot of this Stellar's Jay while snowshoeing in Rocky Mt. National Park Saturday.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Feb 17, 2014 at 7:48 PM
    #356
    m3bassman

    m3bassman Professional Web Wheeler

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    A bit of color on his head too! Nice!
    [​IMG]
    arent they loud? haha found them this year and boy were they noisy!
     
  17. Feb 17, 2014 at 8:11 PM
    #357
    92shawman

    92shawman [OP] LensCap

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    Yeah! And that image is cropped in quite a bit from the original photo. I'm amazed at how well it came out considering that. Thanks!

    Yeah Steller's Jays are quite noisy, especially in groups. Same with Western Scrub Jays and most other corvids. Everyone knows the scrub-jays on campus because they're so damn annoying
     
  18. Feb 17, 2014 at 10:32 PM
    #358
    ian408

    ian408 Well-Known Member

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    Jays are pretty smart too. Or at least it seems like it in camp :D

    Nice Canada Goose Heavy landing...you got that moment that marks the transition between flight and settling in the water. Love that.
     
  19. Feb 18, 2014 at 5:43 AM
    #359
    Cold Iron

    Cold Iron Well-Known Member

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    Wow great shots Kevin!

    That landing is my favorite in the bunch although it is hard to pick just one, It looks like the tail is used as a rudder and drag brake never have noticed that before.

    Jealous of the different Jays you all have from the Rockies and West. Always called the Grey Jay camp robbers and even had one fly in and steal a piece of silverware laying out about 5 feet from me years ago. Nothing is safe from them. On the Canadian border last week had a few camp robbers around but mainly blue jays. Only one day out of the week that it didn't snow and had blue skies.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Feb 19, 2014 at 5:49 AM
    #360
    craigb

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