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

 

Flamingo Wading

Posted by on Jun 14, 2013 in Best of, Birds, Featured, Finalists, For Sale, PhotoSolution, Zoo | 0 comments

Barcelona Zoo, May 2013.

This photo breaks all the rules of composition and is nevertheless one of my favorites.

 

Nikon 1 V1/Nikkor 10-100mm @100mm; f5.6; 1/250; ISO 400

 

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Monk Parakeet & Urban Pest (Myiopsitta monachus)

Posted by on Jun 14, 2013 in Birds, PhotoSolution | 0 comments

Barcelona, May 2013.

These cute birds are becoming a pest in many Mediterranean Cities. They are very loud and fly around like missiles. They are mostly in pairs. Intriguing when first heard and hard to spot because of their coloring.

 

Nikon 1 V1/Nikkor 10-100mm @64mm; f5.6; 1/100; ISO 400

 

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Green Parrot

Posted by on Jun 14, 2013 in Birds, For Sale, PhotoSolution, Zoo | 0 comments

Barcelona, May 2013.

One of the highlights of the Barcelona Zoo.

 

Nikon 1 V1/Nikkor 10-100mm @100mm f5.6; 1/250; ISO 125

 

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Blue Parrot

Posted by on Jun 14, 2013 in Best of, Birds, Featured, Finalists, For Sale, Showcase, Zoo | 0 comments

Barcelona, May 2013.

My favorite parrot at the zoo.

 

Nikon 1 V1/Nikkor 10-100mm @100mm; f5.6; 1/320 ISO 200

 

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Yellow Parrot

Posted by on Jun 14, 2013 in Barcelona fauna, Best of, Birds, For Sale, PhotoSolution, Zoo | 0 comments

Barcelona, May 2013.

Yellow super star at the zoo.

 

Nikon 1 V1/Nikkor 10-100mm @100mm; f5.6; 1/200; ISO 140

 

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Proud Peacock

Posted by on Jun 14, 2013 in Best of, Birds, Featured, Finalists, For Sale, PhotoSolution, Showcase | 0 comments

Barcelona, May 2013.

Peacock parading at the Barcelona Ciutadella Park.

 

Nikon 1 V1/Nikkor 10-100mm @100mm; f5.6; 1/160; ISO 400

 

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Northern Flicker

Posted by on Apr 21, 2013 in Backyard animals, Best of, Birds, Featured, For Sale, Showcase | 0 comments

Northern Flicker / Pic Flamboyant (Colaptes auratus)

April 2013. Female Northern Flicker / Pic flamboyant femelle.

 

Nikon D600/Nikkor AF 70-200mm f3.5 @ 550mm, f6.3, 1/200s ISO 1000

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Winter Scene IV

Posted by on Jan 13, 2013 in Landscapes, PhotoSolution, Scenery, Showcase | 2 comments

January 2012. Lachine Rapids – Parc des Rapides de Lachine.

 

Nikon D700/Nikkor AF 28-300mm f3.5 @ 55mm, f11.0, 1/500s ISO 320

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Chipping Sparrow/Bruant familier (Spizella passerina)

Posted by on Jan 13, 2013 in Backyard animals, Birds, For Sale | 1 comment

January 2012. Chipping Sparrow РBruant familier pr̻t pour la pariade.

 

Nikon D700/Nikkor AF 28-300mm f3.5 @ 55mm, f5.6, 1/1,600s ISO 3200

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

European Starling

Posted by on Jan 13, 2013 in Backyard animals, Best of, Birds, Featured, For Sale, PhotoSolution, Showcase | 0 comments

Starling/Étourneau (Sturnus vulgaris)

January 2013. European starling. Étourneau sansonnet. Winter plumage/plumage hivernal

Nikon D600/Nikkor AF 70-200mm f2.8 @ 600mm, f13.0, 1/200s ISO 1000

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016