Catching the Red-eye

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Eared-Grebe

This is a Breeding adult which you can easily ID by the fan of golden feathers at the “ear”. This image is from early spring where I spied it swimming in one of the ponds at the golf course where we live.

Fun fact- Grebes have lobed rather than fully webbed feet that sit at the rear of their body.

Fuji X-T3| Fujinon XF 100-400mm@400mm| PS CC 21.2.1

more to come…

Wordless Weds. Cooper’s Hawk

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Copyright © 2020 Deborah M. Zajac
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Fujinon X-T3| Fujinon 100-400mm| PS CC 21.2.1

more to come…

 

Not a Wordless Wednesday- Birds

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I have been struggling with the weight of the Nikkor 200-500mm plus my tripod for sometime-well since moving here actually. Birding here requires more walking or it seems that way to me, so I decided to go to a lighter system for birding and wildlife.

I switched from my long-loved system too. I bought a Fuji X-T3 and their 100-400mm lens. I’m gaining some on the wide end, but losing some distance which I hope I don’t feel too much since the Fuji is an APS-C cropped sensor camera.

A simplified definition of Full-Frame and cropped sensor cameras-  A Full-frame sensor has the same size dimensions of a 35mm film format. That’s long been the standard in film size. A cropped sensor is a cropped or smaller sensor size than 35mm film format.

Where you see the difference in an image is on a Full-Frame camera the area of view is wider than a cropped sensor, and the cropped sensor camera’s area of view is cropped in for a tighter view.  So, and 50mm lens on a full-frame camera’s area of view is 50mm, but on a cropped sensor camera with a 1.5x crop the area of view is about 75mm.  Wildlife and birders love APS-C or crop sensor cameras because of that added reach from the multiplier gain.  It’s from that gain I’m hoping I don’t miss the 500mm end of my heavy 200-500mm lens.  Clear as mud?  It makes my head spin sometimes!

On the weight side. I’ve shed half the weight of what I was carrying.  Nikon kit w/tripod = 11.01 pounds. Fuji kit= 4.22 pounds! Now, instead of needing the tripod to make the shot and improve my keeper rate and that added 4 pounds of weight I can leave it behind and shoot hand-held with the new kit, and be a lot quicker. That’s the plan anyway. 😀

It’s a whole new system that is going to take a while to get comfortable with after 12 years of shooting Nikon, but I am not ditching Nikon completely. I’m keeping my Full-frame cameras and several lenses as they have a place in my bag and photography needs.

I’ll stop talking, and show you an image I made with the new camera and one with my Panasonic Lumix FZ200 from a few weeks ago. FYI- When #1 Grandson heard I bought a new camera he asked for my Lumix FZ200. How cool is that! 😍

Fuji X-T3 w/Fujinon XF 100-400mm

House Finch

Panasonic Lumix FZ200 Mom and Dad American Bald Eagles.

American Bald Eagle Pair

Plus one more! iPhone 7 Plus- We’ve been painting birds for several weeks in my Watercolor class. Here’s the last one I finished.  M. Graham watercolor on Canson 140 lb. watercolor paper.

Rooster_198CC240-54E4-4CD1-9795-776A44B43BBA

 

I hope you all have a wonderful week, and the load you carry this week isn’t a heavy one!

more to come…

 

Wild Wednesday 23/52 White-tailed Kites

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

On and off for a few weeks I’ve been going to over to a nearby park to photograph and check on a young family of White-tailed Kites.  The adults have two Fledglings.  They aren’t quite ready to be on their own yet.  Mom and Dad are still hunting, and bringing in food for them.

I had hoped to see a mid-air food transfer between parent and fledgling, but that didn’t happen. Mom dropped the food in the nest on this evening.

White-tailed Kite with Prey

Myself and several friends went back the following morning bright and early.

Here’s a look at the Fledglings in the nest:

White-tailed Kite Fledglings

The Fledglings have been flying around the big fields practicing their hovering, spying prey, and diving, but I don’t know that they’ve actually caught anything on their own yet.

I went back again this past Saturday hoping to see and photograph the mid-air food transfer. It happened, but I missed it! After the oldest fledgling left the nest and it didn’t look like anything would happen following it, I set my camera back on the smaller fledgling still in the nest thinking it would follow shortly as it had before, then I heard oooh’s, and ahhh’s to my right and looked just in time to see the transfer but didn’t get my camera on it in time.  I didn’t anticipate that. 😥

Here’s one of the Fledglings in flight on my last visit June 2, 2018:

White-tailed Kite Fledgling in Flight

I fear they’ll be own their own and kicked out of the territory when I return next week.  Mom and Dad have already set up another nest across the field from this set of Fledgling’s nest, and they’re making the fledglings wait for longer periods of time between feedings.

I’ll be offline by the time this post goes live. I’m leaving the house in He-Man’s, and #1 Grandson’s capable hands while I’ll be camping in the wilderness with a group of photographers. 12 of us plus guides, and a cook are going to be tracking by foot, and horseback Wild Mustangs.  I can’t tell you how excited I am about this trip!

As I type my bags are nearly packed. I’m waffling on which wide angle lens to take, and worrying about staying within my dunnage weight limit of 40 pounds!

Wish me luck that I don’t get thrown from my horse, we find the team of Wild Mustangs, get loads of wonderful images made,  Hot Dogs don’t make an appearance on our dining menu.  Some of you know I don’t like Hot Dogs, and I don’t get so saddle sore I’m unable to ride.  I’m packing Butt Butter! ☺

I’ll catch up with you all when I get back.  Until then I hope you have a wonderful week, and stay safe!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

 

Wild Weds. 19/52 Mandarin Duck Male

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Several months ago I went birding near Sacramento, CA. to look for two exotic ducks, one was the Wood Duck which I blogged about here.  The other was the Mandarin Duck.

The week before I visited the pond there were two pair at the pond, but the morning I went there was only a lone male.  He’s gorgeous don’t you think?

Mandarin Duck Male

He sought the shade of a palm tree, but soon came out from under again, thankfully!

Mandarin Duck Male

Here are several facts about the Mandarin Duck:

The Mandarin Duck Drake is widely considered the world’s most beautiful of the ducks. It’s a native of China and Japan.  They favor small wooded ponds and avoid large bodies of water.

There are limited populations in the United States; they’re usually escapees from captivity.  China exported thousands of Mandarins, but the trade was banned in 1975.

They are wonderful fliers, able to fly through trees, with remarkable agility.

They will often perch in trees, but the female will lay her eggs (9-12 eggs) in a hole or cavity of a tree, or if a nesting box if one is available.  Once the Female has gathered her brood she takes them straight to the water!  Mandarin Ducks only pair up for a season. New pairs form again in the Fall/Autumn. ~https://www.livingwithbirds.com/tweetapedia/21-facts-on-mandarin-duck

I was thrilled there was still one there for me to see and photograph.

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm @500mm| f/8| 1/200s| ISO 800| Tripod w/Wimberley Sidekick Gimbal Head

more to come…

 

Wild Weds. 2/52 Wild Ones at Home

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

It rained this week! I’m not complaining we need it, so when He-Man and I went for a hike on Saturday we went late morning to let it dry out a bit, and get warmer. We kept to the paved streets in the nearby hills b/c I did not want to trod uphill and down in the mud on the trails.  We walked just over 2 miles and gained about 600ft in elevation.  It felt like a workout.

FWIW: If I’m hiking or stretching my legs with a hike I’d rather go uphill for a bigger pay off verses a longer, flat walk.  Since it was late morning there wasn’t any wildlife; the birds, deer, coyotes, and wild turkey were all napping I guess.  Not a bad place to be on a late Saturday morning though. 🙂

Sunday it rained all day. Like me all the wildlife was hunkered down somewhere cozy, warm, and dry.

So, it’s to my archives we go.

Here are a few wild ones that visit my backyard bushes and feeders taken last year.

hum… something Squirrely (sp?) is going on here…

Bird Feeder Raider

Yep! This one found the one feeder he/she can get in to!

Squirrel at Bird Feeder

Then there’s the fence sitters.

Morning Dove

California Towhee

The top bird is a Mourning Dove…which I’m thinking was born in the hanging basket on my patio, or their Mother.  The bottom bird is a California Towhee. I can’t tell if it’s the male of female.

 

I hope you’re all having a wonderful week and staying warm!

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

more to come…

 

W.W. 52/52 “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” Zig Ziglar

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

52 52 Yellow Rumped Warbler

52 weeks of Wordless Wednesday

52 weeks