I was never very interested in birds……in fact, unless quite large and colorful and most often in a zoo they would go by unnoticed. Until Spring ’11 when a friend invited me on a fishing trip. Now, fishing is another story. Not only is it something I do not care for, it is also the type of activity I would just as well replace with just about anything else.

 

On this particular occasion, I was told that the St-Lawrence River in the area of Lac Saint-Pierre had risen to an unusual level and that several areas were now passable by john-boat and that wood ducks and others might be more easily approachable as well as other birds. It was decided that the fishing trip would be reorganized so as to include a sizable photo component.

 

Needless to say, I was sold and secretly elated to be able to try my new D700/28-300mm combo.

Couldn’t have picked a more perfect day!

 

Wood ducks, unless in a wildlife preserve or national park are by nature very shy, like to perch on tree limbs and preferably in the shade. This made the beginning of my very first bird safari quite disappointing as we could never get close enough for my limited lens reach to be effective.

Until we came upon the following and this made my day. Even now I have goose bumps thinking about this magic moment.

 

 

This turkey vulture couple had probably never seen people so close and the male was looking down at us about 25 feet below. I understand that one of the things they do when feeling threatened is to spit the regurgitate from the carrion they are in the process of digesting. In retrospect, I feel quite fortunate for having been able to take this shot and remain dry 🙂

 

 

Just a few minutes later we glided on to an area where Bald Eagles patrol their territory and hunt for local fish and sometimes a wounded goose or duck. On the branch sit a juvenile and an parent. Interesting to note that bald eagle females are larger than males. A few bird species are subject to this dismorphism based on sex. Here is a shot of the jevenile in flight showing the incredible plumage backlit by the sun:

 

 

And, if you think this was it for my first bird photo electroshock, keep reading: !

 

Arctic Tern.

Cormorant Rising.

Common Moorhen.

 

This half day spent in total photo bliss could not have ended on a better image than this one:

 

 

This first trip convinced me that my 28-300mm just didn’t cut it and there followed a trip to the local camera store to pick up the magnificent 70-200 f2.8 VRII coupled to a 2x TC20E III.

 

This combo rigged to the D300 would yield a reach of 600mm and to the D700 a reach of 400mm. Now the real fun begins. Unfortunately it also begins with getting used to shooting with a close to 15lb rig in your hand, most often shooting without a tripod or monopod so as to be mobile enough to track a bird in flight. Needless to say, very high speeds are necessary to assist the limited action of the VR mechanism. I usually use shutter priority at 1/1250s. Most often this means a high ISO which is not a problem with the D700 body but tends to be very noisy on the D300. You just don’t want to have to crop too much under these circumstances.

 

 

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2018

 

Flickr Explored Images

Posted by on Nov 1, 2016 in Birds | 0 comments

1. Faucon pèlerin / Peregrine Falcon / Falco peregrinus, 2. Eastern Screech-Owl / Petit-Duc MaculĂ© / Megascops asio, 3. Sanderling / Becasseau Sanderling / Calidris alba, 4. Cooper’s Hawk / Épervier de Cooper / Accipiter cooperii, 5. Double-crested cormorant / Cormoran Ă  aigrettes / Phalacrocorax auritus, 6. Insect / Insecte, 7. Double-crested cormorant / Cormoran Ă  aigrettes / Phalacrocorax auritus, 8. Green Heron / HĂ©ron vert / Butorides virescens, 9. Hooded Merganser / Harle couronnĂ© / Lophodytes cucullatus, 10. Hooded Merganser / Harle couronnĂ© / Lophodytes cucullatus, 11. Green Heron / HĂ©ron vert / Butorides virescens, 12. Green Heron / HĂ©ron vert / Butorides virescens, 13. CĂ©thosia biblis / Red Lacewing / Cethosia biblis, 14. Cooper’s Hawk / Épervier de Cooper / Accipiter cooperii, 15. Wasp on Tufted vetch, 16. Green Heron / HĂ©ron vert / Butorides virescens, 17. Green Heron / HĂ©ron vert / Butorides virescens, 18. Virginia Rail / Râle de Virginie / Rallus limicola, 19. Cooper’s Hawk / Épervier de Cooper / Accipiter cooperii, 20. Great White Egret / Grande aigrette / Ardea alba, 21. Red-tailed Hawk / Buse Ă  queue rousse /Buteo jamaicensis, 22. ÉphĂ©mère / Mayfly / Ephemera danica, 23. Faucon pèlerin / Peregrine Falcon / Falco peregrinus, 24. Faucon pèlerin / Peregrine Falcon / Falco peregrinus, 25. American Crow / Corneille d’AmĂ©rique / Corvus brachyrhynchos, 26. Where’s the bird ?, 27. Great Egret / Grande aigrette / Ardea alba, 28. Baltimore Oriole / Oriole de Baltimore / Icterus galbula, 29. Tyran tritri / Eastern Kingbird / Tyrannus tyrannus, 30. Paruline jaune / Yellow Warbler / Setophaga petechia, 31. Renard roux / Red Fox / Vulpes vulpes, 32. Jaseur borĂ©al / Bohemian Waxwing / Bombycilla garrulus, 33. Merlebleu de l’est / Eastern Bluebird / Sialia sialis, 34. Hirondelle bicolore / Tree Swallow / Tachycineta bicolor, 35. Hirondelle bicolore / Tree Swallow / Tachycineta bicolor, 36. Petite nyctale / Northern Saw-whet Owl / Aegolius acadicus, 37. Petite nyctale / Northern Saw-whet Owl / Aegolius acadicus, 38. Black-capped chickadee / MĂ©sange Ă  tĂŞte noire / Poecile atricapillus, 39. Épervier de Cooper / Cooper’s Hawk / Accipiter Cooperii, 40. Fabrication du Nid / Nest Building, 41. Mourning Dove / Tourterelle Triste / Zenaida macroura, 42. Jaseur borĂ©al / Bohemian Waxwing / Bombycylla garrulus, 43. Jaseur d’AmĂ©rique / Cedar Waxwing / Bombycilla cedrorum, 44. Dark-Eyed Junco / Junco ardoisĂ© /Junco hyemalis, 45. Porte-queue Ă©carlate / Scarlet Mormon / Rumanzovia Swallow-Tail, 46. Wild Turkey Diptych / Dindons sauvages / Meleagris gallopavo, 47. Black-capped chickadee. MĂ©sange Ă  tĂŞte noire. (Poecile atricapillus), 48. American Tree Sparrow / Bruant hudsonien / Spizella arborea, 49. Chardonneret jaune / American Goldfinch /Spinus tristis, 50. First Real Snow Fall / Première Neige, 51. Pic mineur / Downy Woodpecker / Picoides pubescens, 52. Harfang des Neiges / Snowy Owl / Bubo scandiacus / Ukpik, 53. Where am I ?, 54. Ring-billed Gull / GoĂ©land Ă  bec cerclĂ©, 55. Northern Pintail / Canard pilet, 56. Bruant chanteur / Song Sparrow, 57. Chevalier grivelĂ© / Spotted Sandpiper, 58. Chevalier grivelĂ© / Spotted Sandpiper, 59. Pluvier Kildir / Kildeer, 60. Col-vert / Mallard, 61. Faucon Ă©merillon, 62. Paruline jaune / Yellow Warbler, 63. Carouge Ă  Ă©paulettes / Red-winged Blackbird, 64. Faucon pèlerin / Peregrine Falcon, 65. Grande Aigrette / Great White Egret, 66. Trois Ă  la fois, 67. Sterne pierregarin / Common Tern, 68. Poly & le pigeon, 69. Aigrette blanche

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Posted by on Jan 15, 2015 in Best of, Macro | 0 comments

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Winter Scene V

Posted by on Jan 15, 2015 in Best of, Featured, Landscapes, Showcase | 0 comments

Winter Scene

Iles de Boucherville, Qc. December 2014.

Nikon D600; Nikkor 18-35mm ISO 200; f4.5; 1/500 secs

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Burning Match

Posted by on Jan 15, 2015 in Best of, Featured, Macro, Showcase | 0 comments

Abstract macro view of a match bursting into flame

Montreal, Qc. December 2014.

Nikon D600; Nikkor 28-300mm + 21mm extension ring; ISO 100; f11.0; 2 secs

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Merlin / Faucon Ă©merillon

Posted by on Jan 15, 2015 in Best of, Birds, Featured, Showcase | 0 comments

Composite of an unexpected visitor.

Falco colombarius

Montreal, Qc. January 2015.

Nikon 1 V3 70-300mmCx  f3.5 -5.6 @ 810mm equiv.

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Punaise

Posted by on Dec 3, 2014 in Insects | 0 comments

J’en vois tous les ans dans mon jardin vers la fin de l’Ă©tĂ©

Nikon D700, Nikkor 70-200mm + TC20E III @600mm,  f5.6, 1/1250s ISO 2000

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Buse Ă  queue rousse

Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in Birds | 0 comments

Bonjour les Locos. Bienvenue sur mon site.

Une petite page juste pour Patorca Brum qui voulait voir si la queue Ă©tait vraiment rousse…

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Flamant Rose

Posted by on Nov 10, 2014 in Wildlife | 0 comments

Bonjour les Locos. Bienvenue sur mon site.

Juste un petit post pour montrer l’avant traitement (raw) et le rĂ©sultat du post-traitement sur une photo en particulier.

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

AvApr_Flamant

The Willow and the Pond

Posted by on Nov 4, 2014 in Best of, Featured, For Sale, Landscapes | 0 comments

The fog is lifting on the pond.

Austin, Qc. September 2014.

Nikon 1 V3 10-30mm  f3.5 -5.6 @ 27mm equiv., f6.3, 1/160s ISO 400

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Supermoon

Posted by on Aug 13, 2014 in Best of, Featured, Night Photo, Scenery | 4 comments

July 11 2014, Supermoon plus one day.

 

A good opportunity to try my new toy. It’s not everyday one can shoot at an eFOV of 1,000mm.

 

Nikon N1 V3, Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 VR II + FT-1 + TC20E III @1080mm,  f5.6, 1/800s  ISO 200

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016