In my previous posting (May 1), I went out to my local refuge and shot the 1.4x II extender attached to my Canon 400mm f5.6L lens. Today I took off the extender and used the bare 400mm f5.6L lens, which is my typical set up. I’ll give the 1.4x III a try next time.
It was another unseasonably sunny day in the Pacific Northwest. There was lots of springtime wildlife activity at Ridgefield including a four-legged surprise.
Here’s a series of shots of an American Bittern. It didn’t catch anything while I was watching it but it did rough up its feathers for me. (7:03 a.m.) ISO 3200
This is the time of year Marsh Wrens perch on cattails and sing away. In the second shot it looks like he is ducking! (7:50) ISO 3200
Here’s a different Marsh Wren that got a hold of some nesting materials. (7:53) ISO 2000
He wasn’t happy about dropping the material.
So he got some more!
A Great Blue Heron takes flight. (7:59) ISO 2000
This Green-winged Teal was searching for food in the shallow muck. (8:22) ISO 2000
This was my first time to the refuge since the Great Horned Owl owlets had fledged. Here’s the proud mother although she was far away and the photo is not very good quality. (8:32) ISO 2000
This is Yellow-headed Blackbird season and this fellow posed for me. (8:52) ISO 2000
When I came across this Pied-billed Grebe, he was about ready to fall asleep and hardly moved a muscle. (8:55) ISO 2000
It wasn’t long before he broke into song though! (8:56) ISO 2000
Here’s a video of the grebe calling out.
This is the same Yellow-headed Blackbird as shown above. He was very photogenic! (9:25) ISO 2000
Not my best shot of this bird, but it’s been a while since I have had an opportunity to get a photo of the Brown Creeper. So I’ll take almost anything at this point! (9:36) ISO 1600
Here is a FAR AWAY shot (heavy crop) of one of the two Great Horned Owl owlets. Unfortunately, this one, I believe, is the only surviving one. No one I have talked to has seen the second one since a few days after fledging. It’s likely a predator got to it. (9:53) ISO 1600
There are a gazillion Tree Swallows flying around the refuge at this time of year. This is one of them. (9:57) ISO 1600
My surprise of the day was when I spotted this Mink in the road. He was working the right-side brush and would dart out into the road every once in a while. (At this point, I was out of my truck and on foot). At one point he chased a rabbit out of the grass only five feet in front of me. The rabbit ran by me, running for his life, but when the mink exited the grass after the rabbit, it saw me and came to a screeching halt. It headed back into the grass as fast as it came out. (10:08) ISO 1600
Here’s another Marsh Wren. Can’t resist taking their picture when they pose like this. (10:27) ISO 1600
I had stopped my truck and was shooting something else out the passenger side window when I noticed this fellow jump up on a cable out to my left. He then jumped onto a nearby post. I think these are the ‘easiest’ shots I’ve ever had of the Common Yellowthroat. (10:32) ISO 1600
Later, I was treated to a show by a couple of mature Bald Eagles. They appeared to be hunting ducks or coots as they swooped down near the ground. But both came up with nesting materials–not food. (10:39) ISO 1600
Here are a pair of Wood Ducks. The female was taking it easy resting on a log while the male was keeping a close watch on his girl. (10:59) ISO 1600
The male Wood Duck. (11:00) ISO 1600
I have no idea what kind of flower this is but I thought it looked nice against the water backdrop. (11:22) ISO 1000
A Bald Eagle flies high above me. (11:26) ISO 800
Another easy bird to photograph is the Savannah Sparrow. They are all over the place and relatively happy about letting me take their picture. (11:34) ISO 800
I stopped at a spot where there were 5 or 6 Canada Geese out in the water with their chicks swimming along with them. They were taking turns exhibiting a behavior where an adult would paddle about 50 feet away from its mate, then turn around facing the mate and “running” as fast as it could toward the other bird. Maybe they were showing off in front of the kids?? I’m not sure but they all took a turn at it. (11:43) ISO 800
I happened upon a European Starling nest very close to the road. In the first two shots you can see a third small beak near the bottom of the tree cavity. I’m afraid that little one was not getting his share of the food. (12:19 p.m.) ISO 1000
Here’s a video. Mom is shown at the beginning and the rest of the video is the chicks. This shows the third little chick better than the photos but I don’t have a good feeling about its chances.
And yet another look at the photogenic Marsh Wren. (1:08) ISO 1250
I got ready to leave the refuge for the day and drove across the access bridge. I was almost to the end of the bridge when I looked at the shore of the river below and noticed a River Otter. I drove to the end of the bridge and parked. Heading back to the bridge on foot, I caught the otter just below me as it was about to swim underneath the bridge. Not a great shot but an interesting vantage point. (1:28) ISO 1000
That brings this day’s shooting to a close. Next time I’ll tell you and show you how I did with my new 1.4x III extender attached to the 400 f5.6L lens. Is it worth double the cost of the II model? Thanks for stopping by!