Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon

My First 1000 Millimeter Shots: Park Creatures – 6 Oct. 2013

My home wildlife refuge is closed for the foreseeable future so I had to get creative to try out my new Canon 2x III extender with the 500mm lens.  My f4 lens becomes an f8 lens with the 2x attached and the center AF point works great.  My targets were “sitting ducks,” literally.  I drove to a Portland park called Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden.  It’s a massive garden with lush greenery, plants, trees and winding trails, both paved and graveled, running through it.  And on a Sunday, I knew it would be full of people–including kids–that would not let me experience that solitude that I love so much when photographing birds.  I guess that’s life in the city.

I discovered a long wooden walkway that was built over some water that had semi-tame ducks and geese and afforded me a great view of one end of this inlet.  (Many other people found this walkway, too!)  The sun was pretty much behind me.  I had my lens/camera on a monopod and leaned it up against the wooden railing.  I also had terrible thoughts of my lens falling into the water below although I knew that I had it securely locked to the monopod ball head.

The water was home to Wood Ducks, Mallards, Canada Geese, American Coots and an assortment of hybrid birds.  I was kind of hoping to spot a Green Heron but not today.   The sun was out and very bright making it a little difficult on the exposure end of things.  And when people walked by me, the wooden structure I was standing on would bounce and shake.   One young boy walked by with his Mom and asked her if he could try out my lens.  Luckily, she was able to convince him that wouldn’t be a good idea.   🙂

Anyway, the first shot is of a quite pretty preening duck hybrid or goose hybrid.  I’m estimating the range of these shots to be between 80 – 140 feet.  For my first time out with this lens combo, I’m pretty happy with the kind of detail it can capture, and on a shaky monopod no less.  All shots using AF, Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1250, f8, ISO 1250, 1000mm (500 + 2x III).

 [Be sure to click once on these thumbnails so you can view a larger version of the image.   The thumbnails cannot show the detail or lack thereof.  Thanks!]

_X5A2941-Edit20131006RNWR  hybrid park duck


A Wood Duck just prior to taking flight.

_X5A2966-Edit20131006RhodyGarden  Wood Duck


Close up of a Cackling Goose

_X5A2842-Edit20131006RhodyGarden   Cackling Goose


I think this is a female Mallard but it could be anything.   🙂

_X5A2767-Edit20131006RhodyGarden  Mallard


Another Wood Duck not quite as sharp as the one above.

_X5A2825-Edit20131006RhodyGarden  Wood Duck



Thanks for checking these shots out!  Take care until next time!

This entry was posted on Monday, October 7th, 2013 at 1:18 am and is filed under The Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “My First 1000 Millimeter Shots: Park Creatures – 6 Oct. 2013”

  1. Sue says:

    I am such a dummy….I didn’t know geese and ducks intermarried.. The things I learn! The shots, of course, are wonderful. I was thinking about going to Crystal Springs also…but don’t know if I can talk my hubs into driving us over there as we live in Vancouver. We were there when it was in bloom.

    • Dennis says:

      Ha! Sue, maybe I didn’t express myself accurately in my write up! I meant to say that the bird was probably either a goose hybrid or a duck hybrid–not necessarily a mixture of the two. But who knows for sure! 🙂 Maybe we need an expert to weigh in. I may edit my writing to make it more understandable. Thanks for the nice comment! Oh, and you’re not a dummy!

  2. gary says:

    Excellent results Scott. The photos look great on my kindle.

  3. Arman Werth says:

    Nice shots Dennis! I used to spend a lot of time at this garden. The best place I found to go looking for the green herons was in the farthest part of the park from the entry gate. If you cross the bridge and follow the path to the right all the way around into the back, there is usually way less people back there and a small shallow body of water that the herons like to hunt in. Another spot they like to hang out at is just before that area where there is an open grassy area to your left and a snag in the water to your right and another one with lots of branches a little further down the path. I used to see them on that snag on days when there were not many people. Hope this info helps!

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