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

 

Winter Scene III

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January 2012. Lasalle lakeshore – Bord de l’eau, Lasalle

 

Nikon D700/Nikkor AF 28-300mm f3.5 @ 55mm, f11.0, 1/4,000s ISO 320

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Winter Scene II

Posted by on Jan 13, 2013 in For Sale, Landscapes, Showcase | 1 comment

January 2012. Parc René-Lévesque, Lachine.

 

Nikon D700/Nikkor AF 28-300mm f3.5 @ 55mm, f13.0, 1/500s ISO 320

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Chirping Wren

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Wren/Troglodyte (Thryothorus ludovicianus)

January 2013.

Carolina Wren – Troglodyte de Caroline

 

Nikon D600/Nikkor AF 70-200mm f2.8 @ 400mm, f6.3, 1/250s ISO 400

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Chickadee / MĂ©sange

Posted by on Jan 13, 2013 in Best of, Birds, Featured, For Sale, Showcase | 2 comments

Spring 2012. Lac Boivin, Quebec.

Black-capped chickadee. MĂ©sange Ă  tĂŞte noire. (Poecile atricapillus)

 

Nikon D700/Nikkor AF 70-200mm f2.8 @ 600mm, f5.6, 1/1250s ISO 1250

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Winter Scene I

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January 2012, Lachine Lakeshore Park. After the snow storm, the perfect morning. Parc René-Lévesque, Lachine.

 

Nikon D700/Nikkor AF 28-300mm f2.8 @ 48mm, f11, 1/500s ISO 320

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Female Cardinal in Winter on Acacia Branch

Posted by on Jan 7, 2013 in Animalia, Backyard animals, Best of, Birds, Featured, Finalists, For Sale, PhotoSolution, Showcase | 0 comments

Northern Cardinal/Cardinal rouge (C. cardinalis)

January 2013. Northern Female Cardinal (C. cardinalis), one snowy morning. Cardinal rouge femelle.  Matinée enneigée.

 

Nikon D600/Nikkor AF 70-200mm f2.8 @ 600mm, f5.6, 1/1250s ISO 1000

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Red Cardinal one Snowy Morning

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Northern Cardinal/Cardinal rouge (C. cardinalis)

January 2013. Northern Male Cardinal (C. cardinalis), one snowy morning. Cardinal rouge mâle.  Matinée enneigée.

 

Nikon D600/Nikkor AF 70-200mm f2.8 @ 600mm, f5.6, 1/1250s ISO 1000

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Blue Jay 2

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Blue Jay/Geai bleu (Cyanocitta cristata)

September 2012. Blue Jay. Lac Boivin, Qc Canada. Geai bleu.

 

Nikon D300/Nikkor AF 300mm f4.0 @ 450mm, f5.6, 1/320s ISO 1600

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Mourning Dove Couple

Posted by on Dec 29, 2012 in Animalia, Backyard animals, Birds, For Sale | 0 comments

Dove/Tourterelle (Zenaida macroura)

April 2012.

Mourning dove couple. Couple de tourterelles tristes.

 

Nikon D700/Nikkor AF 70-200mm f2.8 @ 600mm, f5.6, 1/1250s ISO 3200

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Wren on Frosty Branch

Posted by on Dec 29, 2012 in Animalia, Backyard animals, Best of, Birds, Featured, For Sale | 2 comments

Wren/Troglodyte (Thryothorus ludovicianus)

December 2012. Carolina wren. Troglodyte de Caroline

Nikon D600/Nikkor AF 70-200mm f2.8 @ 600mm, f5.6, 1/200s ISO 1000

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016