Wednesday, August 6, 2008


hey all, i was out yesterday and finally got some shots of Kingfisher for this year.
This shot reminds me somewhat of the most recent cover of Birder's World, similar pose.

here's one more.

black oystercatchers

Things are picking up finally, shorebirds are coming back and getting better shots of them than last year is one of my goals this year.

Oystercatchers are one of my favourite birds so i thought i'd share a few shots from last weekend.
very cool-looking bird, the yellow eye and red eye ring are so wild; they look like they are hand-drawn on!
nature never fails to amaze me Very Happy

new setup

hey all, it's been awhile since i've had new stuff to show but i was able to get out on the weekend to try out my new toy.
Having done the digiscoping thing 100% since we started birding I recently decided to start taking my bird photography to the next level and found a big lens on ebay from a seller in Seattle.
After watching the lens listed numerous times i had a rough idea what the seller was expecting price-wise and bid accordingly. As luck would have it i won the auction and after much time had passed i finally got my lens last Thursday.
It's pretty sweet - Nikkor 500mm F4 AFS-I in great condition considering it's 10 years old. I also picked up a 1.4X teleconverter. Smile
Audy has given me the D300 to use with the lens while she has gone back to the D50 for now (i wanted to get another D300 but she said NO).

So, now i know what it feels like to troop around with a big lens, it's heavy and cumbersome but once setup is wonderful to use, especially with the Jobu gimbal head.

Here are a couple of shots with the new setup, thanks for looking.

Exposure: 0.001 sec (1/1250)
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 700 mm
ISO Speed: 250
Exposure Bias: -2/3 EV

Exposure: 0.001 sec (1/1600)
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 700 mm
ISO Speed: 250
Exposure Bias: -2/3 EV

heron on black velvet

Inspired by another photographers awesome shots of a juvenile Green Heron at Ambleside i decided to go check it out after work yesterday as i had some time to kill before meeting a friend.
At first i thought i would leave empty-handed but was determined to take a few shots anyways and proceeded to setup in front of a Crow.
As luck would have it no sooner had i setup than the Crow flew off but i also noticed a small heron on a log not far from me.
i wasn't used to seeing these little guys on the side of the pond i was on but it was definitely a lot quieter than the front where the nesting activity took place earlier this year.
The sun wasn't exactly out yesterday but i had my Better Beamer flash extender and took many shots of this little heron fishing.

D300 + 500mm F4 + 1.4X teleconverter

Manning Park

Last Saturday morning (June 24th) Audy and i drove up to Manning Park to bird it up.

Having been told about a Three-toed woodpecker nest, the hope was to see it and also get some good looks at other species we couldn't readily find in the lower mainland.

We left just after 4:00am and it was an easy drive up.
Good coffee and good tunes meant we were in good spirits (well, Audy was just sleepy) when we pulled into the lodge area just off the highway (roughly 40km from the entrance of the park).
It was pretty quiet at 7am but there were early-morning sorts out and about, among them a group of obvious birders who seemed to be meeting up there before heading off somewhere.
Right after jumping out of the car we saw swallows, most of them walking around in the mud picking twigs and such for nesting material.
Barn swallows were plentiful, as were a handful of Cliff swallows.
Audy says she saw Northern Rough-winged in amongst them as well but i never saw any.

My attention was drawn instantly to the Lifer bird i saw fly by silently and i took off after it.
Clark's Nutcracker is a new one for us and i had great fun throwing a few peanuts it's way to see if i could draw it to a better perch.

Little did i know that my nut throwing actions would bring a flock of the birds in to swarm around me.
It was hard to keep from laughing since the birds would sometimes try and sneak up behind you like they were going to rob you.
At one point a crafty Lesser chipmunk snuck up and tried to pick-pocket me! It was pretty funny.
Audy came over soon after and she was able to get some great shots in close with her 80-400 VR but with the 50X eyepiece on i was at a disadvantage, and it seemed i couldn't get far enough away from the action to get a good shot.

The lodge area is also great for chipmunks and Columbian Ground squirrels

We didn't however see any Gray jays (and we were really hoping to, too) at the lodge area.

Our actual destination was the area out by Strawberry Flats trail, specifically the parking lot area.
on the drive up we passed a banner that said Bird Blitz and i remembered reading about a bird-a-thon that was going to be held at Manning but thought it had passed.
This explained the small group of birders congregated by the trailhead when we drove up.

I was told about the Three-toed woodpeckers and as i looked down the trail i could see a few people standing around looking at them.
As we walked towards the group Audy spied a woodpecker down at ground level working away at a fallen tree.
I didn't take much time to ID it i admit (since i was looking forwards to the 3-toed) but my initial impression was that it was a Hairy.
a member of the group ahead came back to see what we were looking at and i threw out that it looked like a Hairy.
Right away two of them ran off to look for themselves and i remembered again the Bird Blitz.
I felt a bit sheepish when they came back and told me that it was actually a Three-toed i had seen.
Serves me right for not taking the time to positively ID the bird.
oh well.
But wow! there they were, a pair of Three-toed Very Happy

I'd like to say they were lifers but actually we first saw (and photographed) one in July of '06, at Minnekhada.

The woodpeckers were a bit far for Audy's reach but she soon found she had more than enough to shoot at when a rambunctious pair of Gray jays showed up and basically shook us for all the peanuts we had Laughing

After all the jay fun got some looks at Western Tanager and many Pine Siskins.

We drove back and stopped off at 20 Minute lake...
and spent 26 minutes there.

Didn't get many pictures there but saw quite a few birds.
Among them; Osprey flying overhead, Belted Kingfisher flying past at speed, Olive-sided flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, American robin, and another pair of Gray jays.

As well, we got some great looks at a Yellow-rumped warbler and watched as it hawked low to the ground, (much like a flycatcher) snapping up flying insects galore.

I actually got a cleaner (less clutter) shot than Audy's but i like her's better for some reason, the pose for one thing is superior.

Well, soon after all this it started to rain and we were done for the day.

Oh, just one more shot to share if i may.
Audy finally got to see her first wild bears.
Just before she snapped this beauty (from the side of the highway, and the safety of the car) we saw a mother and two super-cute cubs ambling along by the side of the road Cool

The Waiting Area

The Waiting Area