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Birdbath wildlife
Posted By: Des, 11-14-2019, 05:25 PM

To mark a minor milestone, my 4000th post, I post these images to pay tribute to all the PF contributors who have shared wonderful images of their local wildlife, particularly in The yard birds thread and The 300mm+ lens club (from which most of these are X-posted). Thanks to all of you - I have found your contributions enjoyable, inspiring, informative and encouraging. A special mention also to the late and much-missed Rupert.

Swamp wallabies, large and small. KP and DA 55-300 PLM




Bush rat. K-3 + FA*300 f4.5. (Gardening Australia magazine used this image, with my permission, in their November 2019 issue.)


Buff-banded Rail. First shot K-3 + FA*300 f4.5; the other two KP + DA 55-300 PLM.






Grey Butcherbird. K-3 + Sigma 400mm f5.6 tele macro


Eastern Whipbird. K-30 + Sigma 400mm f5.6 tele macro


Rainbow Lorikeets. KP + DA 55-300 PLM


Eastern Yellow Robin. K-3 + Sigma 400mm f5.6 tele macro


White-browed Scrubwrens. K-S2 + DA 55-300 PLM. A bit too much flash here, but still worthwhile.




The point is, you don't need to travel to remote locations to get good wildlife shots. Even in a city apartment, a water source on a balcony can attract surprising visitors. In suburbs, towns and rural areas, there are endless possibilities. And when the wildlife comes to you, you don't need large, heavy or expensive gear. A consumer zoom or an old telephoto prime on an entry level body will do fine.

A little fill flash can help - ideally off-camera, close to the subject and diffused, but even on-camera with a diffuser and low output can work (as several of these shots illustrate). If you don't overdo the use of flash, you won't scare off the wildlife.

These are all with tele lenses, but some people set up the camera close to the subject, pre-focus and fire the shutter remotely (using wifi or a remote shutter release). For that, even a wide-to-normal lens can give great results.

Catch-in-focus is another common trick with manual focus lenses.

Check out the threads I've linked to for more ideas.

Last edited by Des; 11-15-2019 at 02:42 PM.
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11-23-2021, 05:46 AM - 1 Like   #16
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Terrific images, Des. Really wonderful, thanks for sharing them!

11-23-2021, 06:27 AM - 1 Like   #17
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I don't think some of those are birds.

Nice captures.
11-23-2021, 08:47 AM - 1 Like   #18
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Iím inspired to try that catch in focus.
11-23-2021, 01:40 PM   #19
Des
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@OrchidJulie @tncasual @mahanpots
Thanks to each of you for your comment.

The ultimate setup would be a camera trap (e.g. Camtraption), where a sensor triggers the camera and flashes. The master of this is @Riseform - see his description here and here and look for his amazing pictures, posted in various threads.


01-05-2022, 01:39 AM   #20
Des
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Too shallow to bathe in, but OK to drink from. Australian Raven. KP + FA*300mm f4.5
01-05-2022, 01:57 AM   #21
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Your variety of beautiful subjects seems fantastic to one like me . Thanks for sending .
01-05-2022, 02:16 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by pichaser Quote
Your variety of beautiful subjects seems fantastic to one like me . Thanks for sending .
I'm glad to be able to share them. It's a constant source of delight to me too.

01-05-2022, 09:01 AM   #23
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Nice sharp capture of the Raven. Thanks for sharing.
03-26-2022, 03:32 PM - 1 Like   #24
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Another rarity. This is a White-headed Pigeon, a native of the tropical to warm temperate forests of eastern Australia, and a rare visitor to the cooler climate of South Gippsland (in southern Victoria). This male had a two-day stopover here at the beginning of January 2022. We saw another briefly the previous summer - possibly the same individual? A rare privilege to see "one of the shiest and wariest of pigeons" (Morecombe, Field Guide to Australian Birds). KP + DA 55-300 PLM.
03-26-2022, 05:27 PM   #25
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Very nice shot of this pretty bird. I took a closer look at the eye and beak on Flickr, noting the red color. Good detailed capture.
03-26-2022, 06:24 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by MikeNArk Quote
Very nice shot of this pretty bird. I took a closer look at the eye and beak on Flickr, noting the red color. Good detailed capture.
Thanks very much Mike.
04-12-2022, 12:22 AM - 1 Like   #27
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Young Crimson Rosella making a splash. KP + FA*300mm f4.5
04-12-2022, 07:12 AM   #28
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Cool shot . Caught the bird in a bathing frenzy.
04-12-2022, 12:13 PM   #29
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Very nice set of photos!
Do you like the 55-300 or Sigma better?
I have no idea if the Sigma is a high priced lens or comparable.
04-12-2022, 02:50 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by MikeNArk Quote
Cool shot . Caught the bird in a bathing frenzy.
Thanks Mike - displaying that lovely plumage!
QuoteOriginally posted by Michael Piziak Quote
Very nice set of photos!Do you like the 55-300 or Sigma better?I have no idea if the Sigma is a high priced lens or comparable.
Thanks Michael. The Sigma 400mm is the "tele macro" that takes 77mm filters (Sigma 400mm F5.6 APO (AF) v3: 1995 > Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database) - rated higher than other Sigma 400 lenses in K-mount. For a 400mm lens it is relatively light weight. I have got some good results with it (Sigma AF 400mm f5.6 APO Tele Macro | Flickr), but these days I mostly prefer to use the FA*300mm f4.5 (with or without TC), for better resolution, better colours, better contrast and better AF, and it's lighter and more compact.

The DA 55-300 PLM is something else. Slower aperture, but resolution is very good, AF is very fast, it's compact and lightweight, colours are excellent, rendering is very good - all you could ask of a consumer xx-300mm zoom.
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