Wild Wednesday 4/52 White-tailed Kite

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

A friend and I went birding Saturday at two Wildlife Refuges. We reversed the order we normally do these two refuges and I’m glad we did. It was pretty birdy at Merced Wildlife National Refuge, but I’m going to share with you the last bird I photographed for the day at San Luis National Wildlife Refuge.

And, what a bird to end the day on! It’s my favorite raptor.

White-tailed Kite

It’s a medium sized raptor and likes open grasslands, and savannas.  It hovers while hunting for prey, and have big amber/red eyes. Here’s some information about their hunting behavior from allaboutbirds.com

While hunting, the White-tailed Kite characteristically hovers up to 80 feet off the ground and then drops straight down onto prey items. This ability to hold a stationary position in midair without flapping is accomplished by facing into the wind, and is so characteristic of these birds that it has come to be called kiting. White-tailed Kites also perform ritualized courtship displays in which a male offers prey to a female prior to egg laying. In an often spectacular aerial exchange, the female flies up to meet the male, turns upside-down, and grasps the prey.“`allaboutbirds.com

I think they’re the prettiest of the raptors.  If I could be a bird this is the one I’d be. 🙂

You’ll find them up and down Western to Central California, Oregon, Mexico, Central and South America.

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm@500mm| 1/640s| ISO 500| cropped| Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

 

 

 

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Wordless Wednesday 46/52 Ross’s Goose & Snow Geese

Copyright © 2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Snow Geese evening Fly-In

Wordless Wednesday 46/52 Ross's Goose and Snow Geese

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

Wordless Wednesday 39/52 American Kestrel

Copyright © 2017 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Nikon D810; Nikkor 200-500mm @500mm | hand-held| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 2017

more to come…

Wordless Wednesday 33/52 Anna’s Hummingbird

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Anna's Hummingbird

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 2017

more to come…

American Bald Eagle & Me

Copyright © 2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I was birding on Saturday June 3rd looking for an Indigo Bunting and upon my arrival to the location soaring over my head was an American Bald Eagle! That’s a big deal in Santa Clara County. Eagles have been making a comeback here for the last few years which is super exciting to birders, but there are still only a handful here.

Anyway, it flew across the pond to a grove of tall trees and perched there and looked like he/or she was settled in for a long rest.  I watched it for sometime then moved to the grassy area to photograph Western Bluebirds which I’ll be sharing soon.

Then I followed some Red-winged Blackbirds a bit then turned around to check on the Eagle and OMG! It was flying right for me!

I brought my camera up to my face in lighting speed, and fired off a burst of images following its flight path.  We made eye to camera lens contact, then it veered right and headed for the northern hills, and I lost it.  I was doing my happy dance! Isn’t that wing span somethin’?

Click on the image to see it better. WP compression isn’t working for me again. 😦  I may have to mess around with image sizes again to find something that looks good without having to click on an image.

I received my 200-500mm back from Nikon Service on Thursday, but I haven’t felt good enough to get out with it.  I hope tomorrow this bug is over being in my system so I can go out and play!

Hope you all are having a great start to your week-end!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 300mm f/4| Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 2017

more to come…

 

Project 52: Wordless Wednesday 1/52

Copyright  ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Snow Geese in Flight

Snow Geese in Flight

Snow Goose in Flight

Snow Geese in Flight

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm @500mm| Lexar Professional Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…

Anna’s Hummingbird-Female

Copyright © 2016 Deborah M. Zajac
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I hired the Nikon AF-S 200-500mm 1:5.6E ED VR lens to try out for the week-end since my old 300mm f4 AF-S ED lens is acting weird, and I’ve always wanted more reach.

I spent all day Saturday out birding using the lens, and several hours on Sunday before having to return it. I hated to part with it! I LIKE IT A LOT!

 

Anna's Hummingbird

I used it on my Nikon D300s and found the lens very quick to focus with very little hunting even in low contrast areas, and the images have lovely colors, and contrast. The VR was quite snappy and worked very well on the few images I shot hand-held. I won’t be doing that often.

The lens weighs 4.6 pounds so,  I used this lens on a tripod with my Wimberley  Arca Sidekick Ball to Gimbal Adapter, and let my rig carry the weight, or I shot from the car window using the door frame as my base on the auto-route parts of the refuges I visited.

This little Anna’s Hummingbird feeding on this succulent plant is an image I made this morning. The sky was overcast and gray, and she was in the shade.
Camera Settings: 1/320s| ISO 1000| Manual Priority| Matrix Metering| Single AF

A challenging situation that I think came out well. So, I guess you know I want this lens!

I shot just under 1000 images this week-end and have begun culling them. I’ll be sharing more images as I go through them.

More to come…