Birds

Western Bluebird

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At first, I wasn’t sure what was going on. One photo would be too bright. The next one would be pitch black. The exposure was all over the place. The correct response would have been to turn off the bracketing settings from the previous photo session.

I was looking for hummingbirds again, but this western bluebird demanded my attention instead. This bird is going to be eating well.

Western Bluebird

Nikon D800, Nikkor AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 900, 300mm, 0 EV, f/5.6, 1/1,600s

Bird Hat Trick

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In children stories, the owl is always perched on a tree asking “Who?” I saw this owl during a lunch time walk. Not its first encounter with a human since its leg is already adorned with a metallic band. It looks like a burrowing owl to me.

Owl

Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 360, 300mm, f/8, 1/800s

Later, I spotted several turkey vultures hovering over air currents.

Turkey Vulture

Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 450, 300mm, f/10, 1/1,600s

Finally, a hawk to round out the lunch hour.

Hawk

Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 800, 300mm, f/10, 1/1,600s

Morning Melody

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I took the Nikon 300mm lens and TC-20E III 2x teleconverter to photograph some birds yesterday. At sunrise, I could hear the birds chirping their morning melody.

Morning Melody

Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II, ISO 450, 600mm, 0 EV, f/8, 1/1,600s

I saw a lot of hummingbirds.

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Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II, ISO 450, 600mm, 0 EV, f/8, 1/1,600s

Although it was low tide, I did see a handful of birds still around, including this American Avocet with two chicks in the background.

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Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II, ISO 1250, 600mm, 0 EV, f/8, 1/1,600s

I like how the colors of the hummingbird’s head really came out. I didn’t notice the distracting branches until I was viewing the photo on the computer. 🙁

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Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II, ISO 800, 600mm, 0 EV, f/8, 1/2,000s

Blue Crowned Pigeon at Safari West

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The 28-300mm is a convenient lens. At Safari West, I was at the 300mm end a lot, especially while in the aviary. Good for getting that close-up shot of a bird (or other animal) without having to spook them by getting too close.

I wanted a fast enough shutter speed because these birds were moving around. f/5.6 was the fastest aperture at 300mm. Auto ISO yielded ISO 6400. There’s a bit of grain in the background, but it’s all about compromises and trade-offs.

Blue Crowned Pigeon class=

Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 6400, 300mm, 0 EV, f/5.6, 1/1,000s

Flamingo at Safari West

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Flamingos are instantly recognizable from their pink plumage and their one-legged stance. Only when you look up close will you notice their piercing orange eye and the distinct shape of their beak. When the flamingos are feeding in water, their bottom bills are now on top.

Flamingo

Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 400, 300mm, 0EV, f/13, 1/800s

Anna’s Hummingbird with Nikon D800 Camera + Nikkor 28-300mm Lens

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I have never noticed hummingbirds along the Stevens Creek trail. But, after I first spotted them earlier this month, I cannot help seeing them in the same location. I cannot tell whether this is the same hummingbird or different ones. Even from photo to photo, the colors of the hummingbird differs. Sometimes, the glint of violet shows and sometimes it does not. So, I have photographed an Anna’s Hummingbird with a 70-200mm lens and 24-70mm lens.

This time, I had the all-purpose 28-300mm lens with me.

Anna's Hummingbird

Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 400, 300mm, -1 EV, f/8, 1/1,000s

This is the same hummingbird. See how the violet eye shadow appears in this photo, but not in the one above, which was taken a few seconds later?

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Anna’s Hummingbird

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I had the 24-70mm lens on the camera instead of the 70-200mm lens. Despite this, I think I ended up with a better hummingbird photo this time.

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Nikon D800, AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, ISO 100, 70 mm, f/2.8, 1/1,000s

At first, I thought it might be the same hummingbird. But, this one had a touch of violet behind its eye.

Anna’s Hummingbird

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A few days ago, I was on my lunch walk when I spotted a hummingbird in the bushes. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me. So, for the next few days, I brought my camera along, but didn’t see the hummingbird at all. Today, I spotted the hummingbird again in the same location.

I think it’s an Anna’s Hummingbird. The afternoon sun was a bit harsh today. And, the hummingbird hanging out in half shade and half sun didn’t help matters.

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Nikon D800, Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED, ISO 1000, f/8, 1/800s

I was not able to get a clean hummingbird in flight photo, but there’s always next time.

hummingbird_2250

Nikon D800, Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED, ISO 1400, f/8, 1/800s