Birds of Edmonds, WA. 2020

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Terry O

Well-Known Member
I would be at a total loss with so many possible combinations. With my simple mind one camera and a couple of lens combinations is about all I can handle 🤪
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
The hummer was back Monday afternoon (6-8-2020). It made a pass at the feeder but did not stay.

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Back at my neighbor's flowers. Note the pollen on its bill.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
The female pileated woodpecker returned later that afternoon to do some serious pounding on one of the habitat trees.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Saturday afternoon (6-13-2020) proved to be a very poor time to try to take photos from the back deck as it began to rain every time I even began to think about setting up the equipment. All I got was a few shots of a pair of house finches at the feeder between showers.

f/10

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I had to switch to f/16 to get both birds in focus.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
It was overcast which made for less than ideal ISO settings, but the light was very even with no shadows.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
The Blues Brothers do not visit me like they used to once I quit leaving peanuts for them on the back deck. Tuesday afternoon (6-16-2020) I did catch an adult and juvie at my feeders.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Wednesday afternoon (6-17-2020) I practiced birds in flight shots from my back deck using the 1DxII + 100-400L II telephoto zoom.

Peregrine falcon. I saw two soaring in the distance, but only one flew past my house.

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Violet-green swallows. One caught a bug and scratched its face in flight.

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Tom Z

Member
Capturing in flight is difficult, but you did well. I may go down to the road bridges over the creek where lots of swallows nest and practice too. Thanks Bill.
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Capturing in flight is difficult, but you did well. I may go down to the road bridges over the creek where lots of swallows nest and practice too. Thanks Bill.

I have been using the 1DxII + 100-400L II telephoto zoom for flight shots. I may experiment with the 7DII, which has the better 65 point auto focus system, when the sun is out and I am not worried about high ISO settings.

I try to find a swallow to track, then shoot rapid fire bursts as it flies across the view finder. The downside is that I have a lot of photos to review (and delete) in the hope of finding a single good one to post up.

A bridge over a creek should be a good place to photograph swallows as you will have many different angles to try. I once photographed swallows from a fishing pier on a lake and got eye level shots as they passed beside and beneath me.
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Friday afternoon (6-19-2020) shots from the back deck. It was overcast, warm, and humid for the Puget Sound Region. I would not be surprised if we have thunderstorms tonight.

A male flicker was looking for insects in my neighbors' back yard. A female was checking out my empty suet feeders, so a trip to the bird feed store is in order.

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One of the Blues Brothers was visiting my sunflower seed feeders.

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House finches, absent for much of the year, have made a comeback to my feeders. I think a nest has fledged nearby.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Back deck photos from Wednesday afternoon (6-24-2020).

For RickyRed. The first seven photos were taken in .jpeg with my 7DII + 100-400L II telephoto zoom using the 65 pt. auto focus setting. They were all taken at 1/1000 @ f/5.6 using auto ISO. I have posted the ISO setting above each photo so you can virtually "shop" that camera and lens combination.

A male house finch in my next door neighbor's tree.

ISO = 400
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Resident Anna's hummer in my next door neighbor's flowers.

ISO = 800
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ISO = 800
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A dark-eyed junco is building a nest in my next door neighbor's shrubs.

ISO = 400
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ISO = 1250
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Continued.

Closeup of a male dark-eyed junco on my next door neighbor's roof. It is easy for me to get blase about juncos as they have been this year's primary backyard avian resident, but the males are very pretty.

ISO = 1000
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Violet green swallow.

ISO = 160
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Back to the 5DIII + 600L telephoto + 1.4x teleconverter.

Spotted towhee.

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House finch.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
The birders in the audience are excused and may leave at this time. Thank you for your attendance and please come again.

Photo Techno Geek Speak.
Bearing in mind that I shoot .jpeg, I feel the 7DII + 100-400L telephoto zoom gives very good results as long the ISO settings are kept below 1000. The sensor of the 7DII has a crop factor of 1.7x, which gives the 100-400L II telephoto zoom an effective maximum "reach" of 680mm. This is good for photographing stationary objects, but it can be difficult to pick up and follow birds that are flying fairly close to the camera.

Terry and I have had several "discussions" as to whether you are better off with the added reach of the 7DII or just closer cropping of a camera with a full frame sensor like the 5D or 1Dx series.

The 7DII has Canon's advanced 65 point auto focus system. For me, I am not sure if the 65 point setting is any more effective for photographing birds in flight than the five point "cross hair" setting that I normally use. While the 65 point setting may be better in theory, I have been using the "cross hair" setting for so long that I am fairly good at picking up birds in flight with it.

The above are my opinions. Further discussion is welcome.
 
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Back deck photos from Wednesday afternoon (6-24-2020).

For RickyRed. The first seven photos were taken in .jpeg with my 7DII + 100-400L II telephoto zoom using the 65 pt. auto focus setting. They were all taken at 1/1000 @ f/5.6 using auto ISO. I have posted the ISO setting above each photo so you can virtually "shop" that camera and lens combination.

A male house finch in my next door neighbor's tree.

ISO = 400
View attachment 48542

Resident Anna's hummer in my next door neighbor's flowers.

ISO = 800
View attachment 48543

ISO = 800
View attachment 48544

A dark-eyed junco is building a nest in my next door neighbor's shrubs.

ISO = 400
View attachment 48545

ISO = 1250
View attachment 48546
Thanks for the info. I keep shutter speed between 1/800 and 1/1000 and F6.3 and f8 and float the ISO. Some times I will under expose by a stop to keep the ISO from getting to high. The 5D!V can go about a stop higher in ISO. This was my first winter season in the Skagit using the 5D and it has been a challenge. Not a whole lot of light to work with. the 100-400 has a stop of light over the Tamron and I think it makes a big difference using the 7DII in low light BIFS. Also the 7D much better AF in low light than the 5D, in tracking birds in flight. Enjoy the rest of Summer. R.J
 
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