Thursday, July 2, 2015

Some Fun w/ the Nikon 1 V3 - 28-30 Jun 2015

Rose-breasted Grosbeak
The Nikon 1 V3 with the FT1 Adapter is a great little camera, especially when coupled to a Nikon 300 mm f/2.8 VRII and TC17III Teleconverter. This combination provides an effective focal length of 1370 mm. And the results are most impressive!  Resolution is sharp, and color balance is wonderful.

Baltimore Oriole

I spent some time shooting the yard birds from inside the house with the window open and the rig attached to to a Manfrotto Tripod. Best results occur when you use manual-assisted autofocus. That is, manually focus the lens until the subject is almost in focus, then use the camera to lock autofocus. At 10-20 fps its easy to get sharp images. On a Jobu Jr. tripod head the camera swivels easily in all directions for following birds moving through the yard.

Northern Cardinal

Mourning Dove

fledgling House Sparrow

Common Grackle

House Finch


Monday, June 22, 2015

Dickcissel! - 21 Jun 2015

I took a late afternoon run down to Pt. Mouillee SGA. It was already 6 pm so I decided to swing by the Antennae Farm first to see if any Dickcissels are in the area this year.  About half way along the fence a bright yellow bird popped onto the fence and I knew immediately that I had found my quarry.
I was able to get out w/ the scope and grab a few long-distance photos before it flew off. Bobolink were still courting in the area, as well as dozens of Savannah Sparrows.

I noticed that this bird was not singing, but I heard the distinctive "dik-dik-SEER-SEER!" in the distance, so I knew that there were at least 2 birds in the area.

Pt. Mouillee itself was relatively uneventful. I did see three Plegadis ibis in the Vermet Unit, but they took off as soon as I started hiking through the grass toward them. Just as well, I was COVERED in Hexagenia sp. mayflies that had just hatched in the last 24 hrs. They were everywhere, and all over me. I would spend the next half-hour just trying to shake them loose from my clothing and scope w/o squishing any of them. Luckily the winds were blowing out at Cell 3 so I could send them into the air and away from me safely.

No shorebirds in Cell 3, which was flooded. Dozens of Ring-billed Gulls, Caspian Terns, and Common Terns were roosting near the peninsula, but it was under water. I would see a pair of American White Pelicans in Cell 5 on the way out.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak! - 21 Jun 2015

This morning was the first time I'd gotten to see a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak at the feeder! I've seen the female several days in a row now, but only heard the sweet song of the male off in the woods. But today the female flew in w/ her mate in tow, and I managed to get the scope on him for a few pics before he flew off.  I would later see a juvenile grosbeak for a few moments!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Shorebirding From My Sunroom! - 20 Jun 2015

Its Saturday morning and I'm sipping coffee as I lounge in my Sunroom here at Brownton Abbey. As I gaze out the window over Brownton Wetlands I spy a Spotted Sandpiper foraging the numerous small mud puddles and ruts that comprise the empty lot next door. I'm able to open the window and scope the sandpiper from 60' away! I was worried that it may have left the area after the fields were mowed, but it appears to have taken shelter across the street in the small ponds occupied by the family of Mallards.

Later in the afternoon I was able to scope a Killdeer pair in the same area as the Spotted Sandpiper!

Not a bad effort. And no spilled coffee!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

More Yard Visitors - 19 Jun 2015

A few minutes this evening with the scope aimed on some more visitors to the feeders!

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