Semipalmated Sandpipers In Flight

We went to Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware to see what we could find for photo subjects. Usually you can find some close birds, but most of the pools were dried up so that limited quite a few spots to photograph.  Also landscapes are nice here, with nice cloud formations to add interest. It is a large NWR and usually most photo subjects there are quite far in the distance, so you need long lenses. But sometimes they cooperate and you find some closeup subjects. Especially when the pools have water. It is fun to see what you can find. This post features flying Semipalmated Sandpipers

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Semipalmated Sandpipers In Flight at Shearness Pool @ 600mm

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Semipalmated Sandpipers In Flight at Shearness Pool @ 600mm

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Semipalmated Sandpipers In Flight at Shearness Pool @ 600mm

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Semipalmated Sandpipers Foraging

 

Black Skimmer Panoramas

It is a challenge to photograph flying birds for a panorama. After some practice the success rate goes up (hopefully). Basically you shoot a burst of images as you try to cover the area of birds flying you want. Also panning as you shoot, going in the direction they are flying. I found that shooting with a wide angle lens for a large group of birds flying does not give you as much detail as shooting them with a telephoto lens for a panorama. A pretty high shutter speed is also helpful. You might have a few touch-up areas or overlaps to fix once you assemble the base Panorama.

Blk_Skimmers_ v3 Brig 5 17_43G2105The panoramas below are a group of Black Skimmers on or close to the shoreline. This is a little easier because most of them are not moving, but again you might need a few touch-ups here or there.

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Black Skimmers, 4 images, 400mm f/4 DO lens

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Black Skimmer Panorama, 7 images @ 400mm & 1.4X Teleconverter

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Black Skimmer Panorama, Early Morning, Bad Light, 2 images @ 400mm w/ 1.4X Teleconverter

Great Egret Fly By

I was at the Celery Farm Natural Area in Allendale NJ in May and saw three Great Egrets roosting in a tree in the distance. I took a few shots, some looked like they were in breeding plumage. Suddenly they took off, one by one and flew off through the trees. One circled round and flew right in front of where we were. I only had the chance to get off a few quick shots as it flew over, but I thought the texture of the white feathers from underneath the Egret was interesting. Then one of the others flew by from the other direction.

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Great Egret Fly By Canon 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens, Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, f/5.6, 1/2500 sec, ISO 400

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Great Egret Roosting Showing Breeding Plumage. Canon 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens, Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, f/5.6, 1/2000 sec, -0.33 exposure compensation, ISO 400. Sometime when I see a subject through the trees, but branches are in the way, I shoot with the lens wide open and focus past the branches that are in the way. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. Here it worked.

 

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Great Egret Roosting Canon 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens, Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, f/9, 1/1000 sec, -0.33 exposure compensation, ISO 400

BIF – Anhinga

Another from the Birds in Flight Series. This time a female Anhinga. They are quite fast flyers so I was only able to get a few shots this time as she flew by.

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Cormorant Fly By
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800mm DG APO f/5.6 @ 560mm, f/11. 1/500 sec, + 1 exposure compensation, ISO 400

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Cormorant Fly By
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800mm DG APO f/5.6 @ 560mm, f/11. 1/500 sec, + 1 exposure compensation, ISO 400

BIF – Brown Pelicans

Birds In Flight – A Brown Pelican Low Altitude Fly By this time. I was watching this Brown Pelican making a lap farther out then he circled in and flew in front of us. I was able to get a small burst as it flew by. Usually I like them with the sky as a background, but it is interesting looking at the wing positions, and wing patterns as they are flying by.

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Brown Pelican Low FlyBy
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800mm DG APO f/5.6 lens @ 687mm, f/8, 1/250 sec, + 0.33 exposure compensation, ISO 640

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Brown Pelican Low FlyBy
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800mm DG APO f/5.6 lens @ 687mm, f/8, 1/200 sec, + 0.33 exposure compensation, ISO 640

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Brown Pelican Low FlyBy
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800mm DG APO f/5.6 lens @ 687mm, f/8, 1/200 sec, + 0.33 exposure compensation, ISO 640

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Brown Pelican Low FlyBy
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800mm DG APO f/5.6 lens @ 687mm, f/8, 1/250 sec, + 0.33 exposure compensation, ISO 640

BIF – White Ibis

One more Bird In Flight for this series. Here are some White Ibises flying in to our location. Here I was using a 300-800mm Sigma DG APO Zoom on a heavy duty Gitzo tripod and Wimberly Gimbal head.  This gives me the option of zooming to 300mm to help find my subject then zoom in for my shots. This is a tremendous help in getting the shot. Going to 300mm you have a much wider view to find, frame and zoom in to your subject. If you ever tried to find a fast moving bird flying at 800mm you know what I am saying. The Sigma 300-800mm zoom is about 13 lbs, with the camera, gimbal head and heavy Carbon Fiber Gitzo tripod I am over 25 lbs, so you tend to get set up in a location and wait and see what comes to you or what crosses your path. It is also handy when your subjects get close you can  zoom down to continue to photograph them. It seems like there is this unwritten law that whatever lens you have, you need something longer or shorter, so this is my best alternative so far. I usually also have my 400mm with me for faster moving subjects or if I wander away from my tripod setup.

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White Ibis Coming In – Wings Down
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800 DG APO f/5.6 zoom, f/8, 1/1000 sec, -0.33 exposure compensation, ISO 640

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White Ibis Coming In – Wings Up
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800 DG APO f/5.6 zoom, f/8, 1/1000 sec, -0.33 exposure compensation, ISO 640

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White Ibis Coming In – Being Followed
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800 DG APO f/5.6 zoom, f/8, 1/1000 sec, -0.33 exposure compensation, ISO 640

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White Ibis Coming In – Front of the Flock
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800 DG APO f/5.6 zoom, f/8, 1/1000 sec, -0.33 exposure compensation, ISO 640

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White Ibis Coming In – Pulling Ahead
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800 DG APO f/5.6 zoom, f/8, 1/1000 sec, -0.33 exposure compensation, ISO 640

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White Ibis Coming In – Wings Up
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800 DG APO f/5.6 zoom, f/8, 1/1000 sec, -0.33 exposure compensation, ISO 640

Brown Pelicans in Flight

Brown Pelicans seem so bulky and slow, but are quite agile and are amazing flyers, especially for such a large bird. They fly a little slower so they are easier to track, until they go in a dive to get their meal. You can get great textures with the variations in the dark feathers and their colorful head. They are fun to watch as they are very animated and seem almost clown like. You often see them flying fairly low over the water and suddenly they nose dive into the water to shock their prey. It is more spectacular to see them dive from a greater height and they make quite a splash.

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Low Fly By
Canon EOS 1D Mk IV, Canon 400 mm DO f/4, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, f/7.1, 1/1250 sec, ISO 1250, +0.33 exposure compensation

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Low Fly By
Canon EOS 1D Mk IV, Canon 400 mm DO f/4, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, f/7.1, 1/1600 sec, ISO 1250, +0.33 exposure compensation

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Looking for a Meal
Canon EOS 1D Mk IV, Canon 400 mm DO f/4, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, f/7.1, 1/1250 sec, ISO 3200, +0.33 exposure compensation

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Finding a Meal – Splashdown
Canon EOS 1D Mk IV, Canon 400 mm DO f/4, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, f/7.1, 1/3200 sec, ISO 1250, +0.33 exposure compensation

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Wingbeats
Canon EOS 1D Mk IV, Canon 400 mm DO f/4, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, f/11, 1/800 sec, ISO 400, +0.33 exposure compensation

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Wingbeats
Canon EOS 1D Mk IV, Canon 400 mm DO f/4, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, f/11, 1/800 sec, ISO 400, +0.33 exposure compensation

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Wingbeats
Canon EOS 1D Mk IV, Canon 400 mm DO f/4, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, f/11, 1/800 sec, ISO 400, +0.33 exposure compensation

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Checking us out
Canon EOS 1D Mk IV, Canon 400 mm DO f/4, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, f/11, 1/800 sec, ISO 400, +0.33 exposure compensation
Opened up shadow detail in Adobe Camera Raw

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Moving On
Canon EOS 1D Mk IV, Canon 400 mm DO f/4, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, f/11, 1/800 sec, ISO 400, +0.33 exposure compensation,
Opened up shadow detail in Adobe Camera Raw

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