While birding a couple of weeks ago in the Sacramento Valley we spotted this Red-tail Hawk having lunch on a levy about 25-30ft away from us. It spotted us too. It didn’t like the way we kept staring while it was trying to eat so…
…it picked up its meal…
…and flew to a tree stump that offered a bit more privacy.
We watched it eat for a couple of minutes then slowly drove away leaving it to enjoy its meal.
The second image with the Red-tail in flight has a bit of motion blur. I was hand-holding the lens and not used to its weight and think it was me being a wobbly rather than a slight pan. The eye is pretty sharp, and the blur gives it a sense of movement I like enough to save, and share it.
I was also racked out to 500mm and I didn’t frame up the shot giving the bird enough room to fly out of the frame, so I extended the canvas a bit then added in some of the background to give the bird some room to fly out of the frame, and fix the composition. There’s a learning curve to all new lenses; getting used to the weight, and bulkiness -it’s a chubby lens, and framing with it will be what I strive to master in the coming years.
I liked the lens so much I bought one right after I returned the rental lens.
Nikon D300s| Nikkor 200-500mm VR (rental lens)| Lexar Professional Digital Film| PS CC 2015
This photograph is one I took at last month’s Pacific Flyway Festival. It’s a week-end event for birders out on Mare Island in the San Francisco Bay Area. Several hikes, and guided tours with experienced birders are offered. I went with a group of folks, and my friend Dali out to Skaggs Island for a private walk-about. It’s part of an old Navy base which is being renovated and rehabilitated to marsh land.
This Kite was perched in a tree just within range for me to get several shots of it before it flew away. I was so excited to be this close to one that didn’t fly away the moment it spotted me. They’re so skittish they perch far away from the roads, or they take flight as soon as they see me coming.
The day was overcast, and the sky was flat so I decided to turn this one into a “high Key” shot.
Nikon D700| Nikkor 80-200mm @ 200mm + 1.4x TC | f8| 1/2000 sec| ISO 800| Manual Mode| Tripod I spent part of the time shooting him in manual focus. With the TC on my Auto-Focus would hunt from time to time and I found it faster just to manually focus. I was changing from AF to MF I don’t know if this was MF or AF. Must find that in my Metadata.
Please click the photo to view it large. It looks blurry at this compressed size.
The Copper’s Hawk that I saw in my neighbor’s tree back in late Jan. was on the power lines in my back yard this evening!
I grabbed my camera and hoped he was still there. While I was viewing the playback he flew away and I missed the “in flight” shot. ARG!
I was so excited to see him, but he must be here because there is a pair of nesting Mourning Doves nearby. I suspect he’s after the chicks. I hope he comes back so I get a flight shot, but I don’t want him to get the chicks!
On the way home from Monday’s birding and photography day this Red-tail landed in a small field by the highway to catch a ground rat or something. Theresa quickly pulled over, but before the car had stopped I started shooting, and the hawk hearing the car and tires crunching the gravel took flight!
In play back I thought the motion blur made a cool impressionist piece.