Violet-green Swallow-Female

Copyright © Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Violet-green Swallow-FemaleWhile I was waiting for the Lazuli Bunting to return to its perch one last time several Violet-green Swallows were flying around.  I hoped since it was early in the morning they’d be less active and land on a snag. They’re so fast I doubted I’d be able to get one in flight.  Then just like that one landed! I had to move quickly to capture this image. I love the look she’s giving me here. I think she’s saying, “This is my best side.” 🙂

I like the painterly look this has. I don’t know why it came out this way…perhaps because I was shooting wide open? Who knows, but I like it.

A male Violet-green Swallow landed on another nearby snag a few minutes later. Her mate perhaps.

Violet-green Swallow-MaleIt was a great morning for birding.

More to come!

Nikon D700| AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4| Induro Tripod w/ Wimberley Sidekick mounted on a Markus Q20 ball-head


Project 52 16/52 Keeping an Eye on the Sky

Copyright © Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

P52 16 of 52 Keeping an Eye on the Sky                                                            Acorn Woodpecker-Male

Nikon D300s| AF-S Nikkor 300mm f4 lens at f/8| 1/1250s| ISO 500| Manual Priority| Matrix Metering| Hand-held

Ruffled Feathers

Via Flickr:
Copyright © 2014 Deborah M Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Another Allen’s Hummingbird image I made last week-end. He has a little smudge on his breast that I’m tempted to clone out, but I also like him the way he is in his natural environment. What would you do clone it out, or leave it?

Nikon D300s| AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4 @ f8| 1/400s| ISO 500| Manual Priority| Matrix Met| Tripod| Santa Cruz, CA| Fine weather

Prairie Falcon

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday last I had the pleasure of Dali, and Rainey’s company for a few hours of birding.

We headed south about an hour from home hoping to spot Golden Eagles. We hadn’t gone too far down a country road when I spied a falcon on top of a telephone pole. I quickly pulled over and turned off the car so we could take photos without the vibration of the engine.

None of us was positive about the bird’s ID at the time, but we were excited because we knew it was a bird  we hadn’t seen before. Here’s how it looked when I first saw it.

First look at a Prarie FalconWith both Rainey and I clicking away we spooked it and he planned to flee the scene.

Ready for Take Off!

Ready for Take-Off!Take off!

Take Off!In Flight—

Prairie Falcon In FlightI was thrilled when I uploaded the images to find I had captured the whole sequence of flight on film. Upon closer look I thought this might have been a juvenile Kestrel, but Rainey confirmed it is a Prairie Falcon. A first for the 3 of us.

We also saw two Golden Eagles, which were flying away from us too fast to capture a photo. Later we saw a Bald Eagle sitting in a tree. Dali got the POD (Picture of the Day) as he got a good image of it.  I wish I could show you, but at the time of this writing he hadn’t posted it yet.   I was too slow to get the car parked, and out so, I missed the shot. When it got spooked and took flight another Bald Eagle took off with it. We hadn’t seen that one due to tree cover.

We saw this Loggerhead Shrike sitting on a wire. We hoped it would spot something good to eat and dive for it, alas it never did.

Loggerhead ShrikeWe also saw this pretty little Savannah Sparrow—X Marks the Spot:

X Marks the SpotSavannah Sparrow: Closer Look–

Savannah Sparrow Close UpOther birds of note that we saw were: A Red-bellied Sapsucker, Yellow-billed Magpie; (see Rainey’s image here) White Crown Sparrows, Acorn Woodpeckers, and Red-tail Hawks.

It was good birding. I hope to get out there again this week-end. With luck I’ll see the Eagles again.

All photos were taken with a Nikon D300s and AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4 lens

Golden Crowned Sparrow-Winter

Via Flickr:
Copyright © 2013 Deborah M Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

I have to double-check, but I think this is my first Golden Crowned Sparrow!
So, far this has been a fantastic birding year for me, and it’s still early in the season.
If I see Eagles this winter it will be icing on the cake. 🙂

Photographing birds in Manual Focusing mode is tough. My finger is always on the focusing ring and I’m adjusting all the time since the birds are so fast and moving all the time. It’s a miracle I got this in focus at all. My friend Dali shoots with a Legacy Nikon lens the 400mm f/3.5 which is a manual focus lens and he gets the most beautiful bird and wildlife photographs. I want to be as good as that if I have to manual focus.

See his work here.

Nikon D700| Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4 @ f/5.6 + 14E II TC= 420mm| 1/400s| ISO 500| Manual Priority| Cnt Metering| Monopod


Sun salutation

Copyright © 2013 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Sun SalutationTaken last week-end while looking for Cedar Waxwings. He was a delightful pause along the journey.

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 300mm f4 @ f5.6| 1/1000s| ISO 800| Manual Priority|

In medias res

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

I’ve just returned from  Oregon. I was on a birding expedition with some friends who are also photographers. We spent a couple of days in the Klamath Basin looking  for Clark and/or Western Grebes doing their Spring mating ceremony and dance or what the Scientist call “rushing”. We were successful finding them as well as several other birds; some familiar and others new, and it was neat to see many birds I know and see only when they Winter near me in and the Pacific Flyway in their Spring Breeding plumage.

Yesterday morning I was following this male Robin around trying to take his photo when he caught up with the female and I happened to press the shutter catching them “in medias res”.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 300mm f2.8 + 20eIII TC =600mm| f8| 1/1600s| ISO1600|Manual Priority|
Tripod| American Robin