Show your Bird Portraits

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,088
1,025
Alberta, Canada
Jack
How's Costa Rica?
Alan
Well, I am back;exhausted from walking up and down mountainsides in burning sun. Fortunately we only spent 3 days on the west coast where the heat is simple too much for us even though the photo opportunities are there. I'm just not built for that and we are not ones for laying around. Starting to sift through photos.

The mountain roads in the back country are bad ... no worse than bad; it's not unusual to encounter a rock at any time that you could not begin to pick up with one hand or to encounter a mix of pavement pieces with 10" deep holes or protruding rock slabs that rock you from side to side. Roads are seldom gravel; they're crushed rock ... of any size and not graded - they wouldn't grade if you tried. The drivers are on your tail no matter how fast you go and large trucks are on roads that are essentially one lane (guess who backs up). Switchbacks are crazy sharp and everyone passes even when they can't judge the safety, especially the motorcycles that weave and fly through the space between vehicles at high speed (a taxi driver commented on the number of fatalities). So called main highways have cars parked anywhere and in any manner and old wagons will be chugging along at 5 mph with a line of impatient drivers behind, not to mention the cows on the road. One road, the Daihatsu 4 wheel drive would only go about 2 mph with my foot to the floor, it was that steep (I was sure it wouldn't make it at all). Oh, and no one slows for school zones unless there is a speed bump (sometimes unmarked!!) Speeds posted are the maximum you can go without practically sliding right off on the corners and it's left hand, right hand, continuously as you fly though them wondering what obstacle awaits you. 70 km - no sweat - until 3 hours later you arrive at your destination. :whistle:

Now lets see, what else can I say about Costa Rica ... we survived!:)

Jack
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,088
1,025
Alberta, Canada
Step two, run through the shots on CR bird thread and acknowledge all the fantastic photos.

Now that I've done that, I'm hesitant to post my inferior shots. When one shoots close to home or has all the time in the world, it's a distinct advantage. I got Quetzal shots but the circumstance was far from ideal and I came away with poor focus and very high ISO, not to mention they are clips from a .MOV. The composition is amazing but alas.:( Should I post such shots anyway?? Here is a sample.

My thought is to simply keep them as a slo mo movie where there is less concentration on detail. First chance totally rushed and not anticipating doing a movie (30fps 4k). Second chance slightly better with improved settings and 4k 60 but terrible light). 800mm with ISO 12500 - so sad!!

Overall, Costa Rican birds tend to flit into the shadows of trees and are challenging. Many of my shots are above ISO 6400 and require cropping!:( My daughter shot the R with the 70-200 2.8 X1.4 and did very well.

I'd have liked to have dropped back to X1.4 with the 400 DO II but was stuck with X2 and it was an impediment, although occasionally a plus. I've now had enough experience with the 1DX2 and 400 DO II to realize what could be better but when I consider the options all have their downside. 14 fps often gives that brief second pose that is better. If there were a 500 as hand-holdable as the 400 DO and as light that would be my preference. 400 alone performs super but is not long enough and I think 500 X1.4 would be great. Of course I don't have 30 MP which would factor in, but as I said high ISO is a factor in about half of my shots.

So, for anyone that is interested those are my thoughts on my gear.

So, in summary I'm both thrilled and quite disappointed with my efforts on this probably once only trip. As I go through them I'll post the better ones (reluctantly). Costa Rica birds are indeed amazing.
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Jack
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,452
2,608
Well, I am back; .......
Now lets see, what else can I say about Costa Rica ... we survived!:)

Jack
Great to see you back! (Especially alive.) Never underestimate the usefulness of the 100-400mm II zoom. If you can take only one telephoto, then it is more useful than the 400mm prime - or better still have the wife take the zoom and you the prime!
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,088
1,025
Alberta, Canada
Great to see you back! (Especially alive.) Never underestimate the usefulness of the 100-400mm II zoom. If you can take only one telephoto, then it is more useful than the 400mm prime - or better still have the wife take the zoom and you the prime!
Alan, you recall the situation, with my daughter manning the R and using what I could offer - the 70-200 2.8 II. It was great with X1.4, poor with 2X, so I stayed with the 400 X2 and let her have the X1.4. I have discussed with her about getting the 100 - 400 but all she could afford at this time was the R.

One major complaint about the 400 DO is its lack of close focus. If only Canon would build a long tele with a macro function.

As it turned out I didn't even use the R to see what I thought of it other than when I purchased it, but from what she was getting and how it performed, I was impressed. It's a very nice camera. I haven't seen her photos on computer since we're in different cities and it takes time to sort so many redundant photos. I'll have a better assessment in due course.

I'd be posting but I need time to ID the birds but here are a couple hummers. San Gerardo de Dota is an amazing valley in the high mountains.

White-throated Mountain-gem Hummingbird

Jack

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Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,088
1,025
Alberta, Canada
Scarcely a bird to be seen here at home but while we were away it seems a pair of geese decided this was a wonderful deserted place and chose the top of a playhouse for their nest. I climb up an attached slide ladder and have a birds eye view. One is on the nest the other enjoying the good life. Funny, this is the first pair I've seen that seem to always have their necks stretched out flat to the ground when resting.

Jack

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Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,088
1,025
Alberta, Canada
Great shots Jack and Cog. I have been preoccupied the last few weeks and haven't taken many photos. I did manage to get a House Sparrow. ;)
View attachment 183943
That's a fine male specimen of a bird I rather dislike - very nice. I'd even be happy to see one of those guys here; it's desolate. Not a Downy nor a Chickadee nor ... simply nothing at my feeders and just my two geese for entertainment. Please send some birds my way!;)

Jack
 

AaronT

EOS 80D
Jan 5, 2013
154
221
That's a fine male specimen of a bird I rather dislike - very nice. I'd even be happy to see one of those guys here; it's desolate. Not a Downy nor a Chickadee nor ... simply nothing at my feeders and just my two geese for entertainment. Please send some birds my way!;)

Jack
Not sure what area you live in out in Alberta, but in LaSalle, Ontario, next to Windsor, we have a good variety in our area. My wife keeps a journal some days on what we see on our property. On April 17th we saw a Junco, Wild Turkeys, Gold Finch, Fn Starling (my wife's words), Cardinal, Large Nut Hatch, Red Wing Black Bird, Robin, Grackle, Sparrow, Fn Goose, Mallard, Red Bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, and Small Nut Hatch. Most were at our bird feeders and nut feeders. The goose and mallards were on our second lot (our meadow) behind our house. The spring rains form several small, shallow ponds that dry up by June. And our meadow borders a Natural Habitat Area.