Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Usual Suspects - 31 Jul 2014

Hard to believe that its the end of July, already!  I had an opportunity for a quick run down to Pt. Mouillee this afternoon, so I grabbed the bike and headed to the Roberts Rd. parking lot. A family of Common Gallinule were foraging out from the sluiceway just out from the parking lot, so I spent a few minutes digiscoping them with the Sony RX100 III, Zeiss 85T*Fl and 40X W Eyepiece, and Digidapter™.

I then headed straight to Cell 3 where I found the usual assortment of Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpipers, American White Pelicans, American Avocet, and flocks of Caspian, Forster's and Common Terns.  I did not relocate any of the Wilson's Phalaropes, Stilt Sandpipers, or Short-billled Dowitchers. Overall, shorebird numbers were down. No Baird's Sandpipers, and only a few Least Sandpipers on the mudflats.  A couple of Semipalmated Plovers were seen far away in the scope.

I heard a pair of Black-bellied Plovers and walked the mudflats toward the SW corner to get a few pics of them as they flew off to the north.  Otherwise, I spent a little bit of time next to the dike on the mudflat hoping to get some ground-level photos of shorebirds, but only a couple of Lesser Yellowlegs were accommodating. Semipalmated Sandpipers flew by in small flocks, but tended to stay farther away.

So I spent some time shooting fly-over Caspian Terns and Herring Gulls with the Nikon D300s, which I haven't used since getting the D7100 last year.  It felt good to hear 8 fps w/ the camera again, but noticed that autofocus was less reliable than with the D7100.  I missed an Osprey that flew right toward me but I could not focus on it and missed photos (grrrr).

1st cycle Herring Gull

I didn't stay long, and stopped just long enough to chat w/ John Lowry and his nephew before heading back to the car.

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