Gray Flycatcher

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I went birding on both Saturday and Sunday this past week-end hoping to find two birds I’d never seen or photographed before. I got lucky with really good looks on the first bird on my list: The Gray Flycatcher.  A “lifer” for me!

Gray Flycatcher

There were other birders there looking for the same bird which made the experience more fun and exciting. It also helped to have several pairs of eyes, and ears on the lookout.

Gray flycatcher

It’s migrating south, and this one is further west than it’s regular migration route.

Gray Flycatcher

He was pretty far away from me, and in the shadows of the trees so I boosted my ISO to keep up my shutter speed to prevent blurring, and these images are cropped.

Sunday I went back to look for the second bird on my list, but I was not successful.  I’ll have another go this week-end if I hear it’s still in the area.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| Lexar Professional Digital Film| Tripod|

Note to self- take the bug spray! I got eaten alive by mosquitoes!

More to come…


Great Egret Reflected

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Great Egret Reflected

I made this image with the rental Nikon 200-500mm VR lens the morning after I rented it.

I saw this Great Egret out in the pond within the range of the lens so I walked out to the edge of the pond to photograph it. I initially set up in landscape orientation then I zoomed out to 500mm, and only had its head and half its neck in the frame! “Oh no, that won’t do!” I thought. I switched to portrait orientation, which fit the whole Egret in the frame, but only half the reflection, and I wanted to get the reflection because it was very clear, and the blue sky and water were gorgeous on this morning.  Next I started pulling my zoom in…400mm, nope, 300mm, nope, 200mm, not quite. I had to back up to get the whole reflection in, and stay at 200mm.  This image isn’t cropped at all.  So, began my learning curve with this lens.

After that week-end I liked the lens so well I bought one,  and have been using it a lot.  I’m on the down side of the learning curve now. 🙂

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 200-500mm VR hired unit| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital film| PS CC 2015

More to come…

Anna’s Hummingbird-Female

Copyright © 2016 Deborah M. Zajac

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…

Lesser Goldfinch: Female

Copyright ©2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

This morning I went back to the reserve where I went a couple of weeks ago; where I saw my first Yellow Warbler hoping to see it again only closer, and longer. I was seeing lots of Sparrows, and Yellow Rumped Warblers, the pair California Towhee’s were present, and so too was the Blue Jay, and a Northern Flicker flew in, but he kept his back to me only giving me side looks. Stuck up bird! 🙂

40 minutes after I arrived a yellow blur caught my eye and there it was! I quickly swung my rig around and fired off 3 rapid bursts. Then the bird was gone.

My first shot caught him landing and was so blurry it was unusable, the middle shot the bird was there, and the 3rd frame…no bird in it at all. I wouldn’t know for sure if I had a keeper image or not until I saw it on my computer. Though it did look promising in playback.

I didn’t see the Yellow Warbler again, and I stayed in the area until well after 9AM when it began to get busy with runners, dog walkers, and Saturday morning strollers.

Yellow Warbler Male Winter

He’s a beauty. I’ll be heading back over there again soon hoping to see him, and that Northern Flickr again.

Nikon D700| AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4| SanDisk Extreme Pro Digital Film| CS6

More to come…

Addendum: It’s  been brought to my attention that this isn’t a Yellow Warbler after all; it’s a Lesser Goldfinch Female. Thank you !

I’ll keep trying to capture that Yellow Warbler, but I’m glad I saw and was able to make an image of this little beauty especially since she didn’t hang around long!

On the Fence

Copyright © 2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Two images from Sunday morning. I was hoping to find Varied Thrushes, but didn’t find any this time.

A Goldfinch

Goldfinch Profile

A Dark-eyed Junco

Dark eyed Junco

Nikon D300s| AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4 + AF-S Nikkor 14eII teleconverter| Hand-held| Lexar Professional 600x Speed Digital Film

More to come…