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Birds & Views from Nisqually Delta Natíl Wildlife Refuge, WA
Lens: Canon 100-400 f4-5.6 L Camera: Canon 7D Photo Location: Nisqually, WA ISO: 400 Aperture: F8 
Posted By: Miguel, 01-02-2011, 02:10 AM

On new year’s eve my wife and I took advantage of the cold, clear weather to make a pilgrimage to the Nisqually Delta National Wildlife Refuge. Located in South Puget Sound between Tacoma and Olympia, Washington, Nisqually combines 300 acres of salt and freshwater marshes and hosts dozens of migratory waterfowl, raptors, and songbirds. They have been re-designing the trail system during the past two years to better protect birds, so there is limited trail access for another month or two. Still it was a great day to be out observing birds and taking photographs.

While we’ve been coming to Nisqually for about thirty years, I’ve only been (trying to) photograph birds for the past 4-5 years. It’s a lotta fun, but sometimes frustrating. These days I’m using a Canon 7D for sports and birds. All the shots were taken with the Canon 100-400mm f4-5.6 “L” lens with IS. The ISO was 400, and IS was disabled. I’m still experimenting with in-lens IS. Usually I attach my monopod, but on this trip my wife needed it to steady her spotting scope (the incredible Nikon ED-50 Fieldscope), so these shots were all handheld.

One more thing: if you like identifying birds in the field and carry an iPhone, it’s worth purchasing the new Sibley’s Birds app. We also have the older iBird Explorer app, but Sibley’s is newer and a little better in some ways. Both are quite amazing tools, but using the digital bird calls is against the rules in some jurisdictions. I’ve seen how effective they can be first hand, almost scary.

Looking Northwest to Olympic mountains




Bufflehead




Ring-necked Duck



Canadian Geese



Golden-crowned Kinglet



Western Meadowlark (uncommon in Winter)



Eagle Pair



Northern Harrier



Greater Yellowlegs





New Boardwalk Will Open Soon




Raptor Silhouette



Evening Grosbeak
(uncommon in Winter)




Sharp Shined Hawk Cleaning Wing




Great Blue Heron



Thanks for looking.

M

Last edited by Miguel; 01-05-2011 at 06:51 AM. Reason: Corrected name of duck
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01-02-2011, 06:25 AM   #2
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Amazing variety of birds, and great images - thank you for sharing them. You are lucky to have this wildlife refuge so close.
01-02-2011, 06:29 AM   #3
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Nice shots! Wish I lived around a place like that!
Happy new year!
Tom
01-02-2011, 06:51 AM   #4
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Just as a photo I think I like the kinglet best but the variety of birds and situations is very impressive. Go back and get more!

01-02-2011, 06:58 AM   #5
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Beautiful shots of a lot of action on a winter's day. Great job.

Jer
01-02-2011, 10:35 AM   #6
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Love the birds and the eagles, two no less, are wonderful to see.
01-02-2011, 10:39 AM   #7
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the synchronized flight of eagles...! awesome
01-02-2011, 10:40 AM   #8
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btw.. canon shots on a pentax forum?? thats blasphemy ..lol

01-02-2011, 11:17 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone for your comments.
Dave, that Kinglet series was most frustrating as the focus limiter switch on the lens was changed to the longer distance setting by accident (gloves do that). Precious seconds later when I realized it, the bird had flitted off into the wood. What you see was the only salvageable shot.

M
01-02-2011, 11:25 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by RENNYEDWIN Quote
btw.. canon shots on a pentax forum?? thats blasphemy ..lol
I know, sorry, I think it's kosher here. I still shoot Pentax for many things, but birds and sports I do not. I added Canon in the summer. Maybe I'm totally wrong, but I find that while non-Pentax forums are plenty full of words, far fewer folks post images. Perhaps I don't get it, but to me the whole idea of photography is to create and view images.

M
01-02-2011, 02:45 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
the focus limiter switch on the lens was changed to the longer distance setting by accident (gloves do that). Precious seconds later when I realized it, the bird had flitted off into the wood. What you see was the only salvageable shot. M
Gotcha. I went out for winter birds myself the other day--my first such excursion. It's no piece of cake for sure.
01-02-2011, 04:05 PM   #12
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Very nice series, that new boardwalk should be nice. As for images with the Canon? who cares, it's all photography.
01-02-2011, 06:09 PM   #13
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Check the second duck. I think it is a Ringneck.

Very nice photos. The eagle duo is great as is the mountain panorama.

JB
01-02-2011, 06:22 PM   #14
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great series of shots, we have visited bird refuges in many areas and never seen a thing, your visit was very successful and I enjoyed viewing the photos. thanks Bob
01-02-2011, 08:11 PM   #15
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Absolutely love the two eagles.
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