I’ve been trying out my new Nikon D500 which I got last week but I haven’t had much of a chance to use it until Wednesday. I love it with my 300mm lens. This combination is perfect for birds in flight photography. Moose Peterson gave me this recommendation when we were in Florida a couple of weeks ago. The D500 is much lighter than my D5, the crop factor gives the 300mm lens a 450mm reach so the birds are closer in the frame, and many of the bells and whistles on the D5 are also on the D500. The hummers were very active Wednesday afternoon, especially a female black-chinned hummer (at least I think it’s a black-chinned female) so I got in a little flight practice. The hummer was most interested in the pineapple sage which is in its full spring bloom right now. I’m finding that the auto focus really keeps me on my toes because it quickly grabs focus on anything that is closest to the viewfinder. When the hummer is flitting around the sage, it is a challenge to maintain focus on the bird.
A workshop in Mammoth Lakes brought me to the Eastern Sierra. Monday morning on the way home, we stopped at South Tufa Mono Lake. The early morning sun illuminated the interesting tufa formations.
Roseate Spoonbills have beautiful pink feathers and very odd looking faces and beaks. These two didn’t seem to get along too well at Corkscrew Swamp.
Sometimes the reflections in the water are clearer than what is being reflected. The tiny fish that this snowy egret just caught is more visible in the reflection.
When we were at Corkscrew Swamp, I noticed the snowy egrets were dragging their feet through the water as they flew across the lake. I finally inquired about it. Snowy egrets use various methods of stirring the water when they search for food, including dragging their feet across the water to agitate the surface to lure the fish upward. Fascinating.
Sanibel Island, Fort Myers, FL Sunday morning about an hour after sunrise.
One of the more animated and entertaining shorebirds to watch as it is feeding is the tri-colored heron, a bird that flaps its wings and runs, walks, and hops in pursuit of small fish and invertebrates in the shallow water.
This isn’t a typical sunrise photograph but it does show the gorgeous light on this willet as the sun was peeking over the horizon on Sanibel Island, Florida Sunday morning. The willet was bathing in the waves when we approached with our “beach panning” rigs, laying on the sand to capture this view. This beautiful light disappeared all too quickly.