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Birding place around Kent/Renton, Washington?

Discussion in 'Birds' started by RonS, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. While I decide on some longer glass, here is a bird and animal place in Kent, Washington. It was cold this morning, and not a bird in sight.

    The place is the Green River Natural Resources Area. That is Mt. Rainier in the background.


    If any other local members know of other locations in this area let me know. I have found a few, but not too much activity so far.
  2. Sorry Ron, I can't help as everything is north of Seattle for me. I will be interested to see what information you get. One would think there would be plenty of places.
  3. Thanks Jim. The place mentioned in my post above would be ideal I think. it has three viewing towers. Unfortunately the closest tower is at least 200 feet from the ponds in this area. The tower pictured above is probably 800 feet from any water. There is a slew that is close to a walking path however.

    I will keep checking there for a while to see if any action develops.

    Here is a fisheye view taken last week from the tower closest to water.

  4. Ron, the way that I found spots local to us here was to call the local Audobon Society as well as Parks and Recreation here in Snohomish County. It takes some persitence, as half the people at the Parks Dept. won't have a clue and half at the Audobon Society can't, or won't :wink: , give you good directions but it has scored us about half a dozen super spots within 1/2 to 1 hour from me.

    That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.....

    Good luck.
  5. Oh, and one more. See if you can find a road along the river, start driving and watch for wetland areas just off the road. Especially through any farm country. Jim and I did this along the Snohomish a couple of months ago and found one more great spot. It helps, REALLY helps, to have a second person along to look for birds while you drive. Also has the advantage that you don't need a tow out of the ditch....
  6. Ron I would also think around the Green River area there should be some spots. I have talked with a few people that have mentioned the spot you show. They all say the same thing, too far away from the action and usually it is pretty slow. Then again they could just be trying to keep it all for themselves.
  7. Thanks Jim and Bill,

    I have run into local Audubon folks at Marymoor Park while flying R/C planes there. They let me in on the fabulous area in Bellevue, Medina Park. There were at least 5 GBH nests there this spring.

    I have a bunch of pretty good shots of GBH from there this spring which I have been posting here on occasion (two so far, more to come). You are so close to one of the nesting trees you can literally hug it. But I would not stand under it long, if you know what I mean.

    I am crusing the Green River, and parts of the Black River, and working my way out tward the Cedar and White river.

    Cant wait to try my new lens at Juanita Bay, perhaps this weekend!
  8. Ron, what lens is it?
  9. Well, after seeing all the shots from you and Louie, and some email conversations with Bill Dewey, I ended up ordering a Sigma 500mm F4.5 EX APO HSM. Should be here Thursday!

    Also ordered a Bogen 3421 gimbal mount. Read a few reviews and seems pretty good.
  10. Wow Ron. You will love it. What are you going to do for a TC? Bill and I converted the Nikon 1.4. Not sure if Sigma makes one that works now. When I got mine I was told that the Nikon was the one to use.

    I am going to go up to the Skagit Flats again on Saturday if the weather is at all good. I am hoping Louie will go as well. I think Bill is off for England unfortunately. Let me know if you are interested?
  11. Jim, the Sigma literature still says the Sigma 1.4 TC will not AF on the 500mm F4.5. If I need one it would probably be either a modified Nikon 1.4, or a third party brand (Kenko Pro?).

    I am looking for good weather also. Seems rain has replaced the fog. Probably cannot make it Saturday, but you never know, my schedule is a little hard to pin down on the weekends.

    Thanks anyway.
  12. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005

    I think that you will love the 3421. Several of the guys that I shoot with use them and they really like them.

    I'd be interested in following your experiences with the Sigma 500 4.5. I know that Bill Dewey loves his. I'd like to see how another sample pans out.
  13. Congrats Ron, you're going to love the 500mm as Jim says.
  14. Good to hear the head was a good choice. Thanks Frank.

    I will post the first shots and first impression, hopefully this weekend.
  15. So, I read the rest of this thread and when I came to this I thought 'What? The Sigma TC HAS to work, it works GREAT on my 120-300' and luckily before I opened my mouth I tried it. Lo and behold it won't even hunt. Nothing, nada, zippo. Nikon TC-14E works great. Now, on my 120-300 my TC-17 hunts, as does the TC-20E, which surprises me since it is an f2.8 lens. Per Sigma, the Sigma 2x does AF on the 120-300. I don't know what these manufacturers do, but it seems awfully strange to me that the electronics in the Sigma 500 f4.5 work with the Nikon 1.4 but not with Sigma's. I don't have a Kenko to test for you, maybe I'll stop at Kenmore on the way home Friday to see if they have one I can test with.

    The only disadvantage to using the Nikon TC's is the focal length and aperture are not reported correctly in the EXIF. It does not take into account the multiplier for the TC.

    Hope we find you Friday at Juanita.
  16. Well, given that you obviously don't believe ME :Shocked: , what do you think Jim and Louie have been posting, eh? Fruitcakes??????? :wink:

    My guess is that once Ron gets going the score will be 4 for 4 :biggrin:

    Oh, wait, maybe they only work well for Washingtonians.............

    Oh, yeah, and the price means you can buy an extra D200 as well.......:cool: 
  17. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005

    No doubt that the price is right on this lens, and no doubt that it can produce good shots. The thing that concerns me is the 4.5. I like 2.8. I'm afraid of 4.0. This lens is 4.5. I'm concerned with AF; will it auto-focus with my TC's? Just with the 1.4? Will I have to grind parts off? All data is useful. :rolleyes: 
  18. OK, just because I am in a good mood this AM, I'll answer ALL of your questions...

    Correct, it is f4.5, unlike the Nikon version which is f4.0. I'll give up the .5 for the cost, but I too would like 2.8. In fact, I am STILL waiting for the 1-1000mm f1.0 that weighs 2 lbs and cost $1500. Nikon has been remiss in not making this for me :wink: . Look at the weight, and cost, of the 400 f2.8, and then look at the Sigma 800 weight and imagine that beast at f2.8. This is a compromise, and when you need the reach, 2.8 is just not available.

    As to AF, the Sigma AF's very, very, VERY well with the Nikon TC-14E. Both Jim and I can attest to this. It doesn't with the TC-17E, the TC-20E or the Sigma 1.4, I can't speak to the Kenko's.

    As to "grinding off your parts", well, not sure what to say about that one, but for the TC's of the Nikon variety there is a small tab which must be removed. Nikon, in their infinite wisdom, has this tab on the mount whose only function is to prevent the TC from mounting on a non-AFS lens. 10 minutes to remove it, and Voila, works a charm.

    Remember, of course, that even if you have a 400mm f2.8, by the time you add the 1.4 TC you are right in the same place you are with 500mm at the f4.0/4.5 aperture as well.

    So my solution is to have f2.8 up to 300mm and then deal with f4.5/f5.6/f8.0 from 300mm to 1700mm, when I am foolish enough to stack my TC's on the 500. MF Only at that point, of course. I was really hoping that my TC-17 would AF on both the Sigma lenses, but no dice, so that is relegated to use on the "focal lenght challenged" 70-200 f2.8 :wink:

    In all seriousness, it is tough to make this decision, aperture vs. length, and there are plenty of times I'd love to have 1 or even 2 more stops, but on balance I think the cost and weight of something 500mm and up at f2.8 would be prohibitive, to my back as well as my bank account.......
  19. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    No question Bill, no question. I won't be getting one (of any aperture or brand) for Christmas, so I have a little more time to evaluate in any case. :rolleyes: 
  20. Ok, it is my turn. I LOVE MY SIGMA 500 4.5!!! I could never have gotten my wife to allow me to buy the Nikon. I was able to get it earlier this year when they were going to the new DX model. It is the best $2,300 I ever spent.

    Now, if I could have the Nikon for the same price, I would have gone with it. I did not want to modify my TC but it was pretty easy to do. It was a huge improvement from my 70-200 with 2x.

    It was also nice to have had the chance to use Bill's before I purchased one. I know that Ron will love his as well.

    Bill, for your information Louie has the Nikon one not the Sigma.

    Frank, here in Washington we need as much reach as possible because seldom can we get very close to our subjects. The 300 would seldom be enough reach. The down side is as you mention. It is not that brite here and the faster lens would be nice. The sigma with the HSM does AF very fast. I do not notice much if any difference with it vs. my 70-200vr lens. In low light it can hunt if subject is in clouds but so too does my 70-200.. Ok just my two cents.
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