Share Birds; When/Where Did You Start

Joined
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Dan
Since many of us seem to be going down memory lane through our files these days, I thought it might be interesting to share when/how we started shooting birds. Here's my story:

In April, 2008, my wife and I traveled down to Mt.Vernon, WA, for the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. At the time my primary subject matter was flowers. I was into my second digital body which was a D200 and had mostly budget friendly Sigma lenses. The only long glass that I had was a Sigma 100-300mm f4.5-6.7. This was a real bargain lens, not the 100-300 f4 which was a nice piece of glass(and I purchased after this trip). That year the tulips were late and I could only shoot so many daffodils before running out of ideas. So we went cruising around a bit. That's when we spotted the snow geese. I was hooked IMMEDIATELY. I had grown up hunting waterfowl and this was all that and more.... The rest is history :)

Nikon D200/Sigma 100-300mm f4.5-6.7/handheld

1) Flock o geese
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2) First ever attempts at BIF photography
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Joined
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Good ones Dan, this is right in my backyard. The Skagit Flats can provide some super shooting at times. You caught the best of them. I was always interested in cameras especially while in the service, but really got hooked after attending the Merritt Island out by the Nikon Cafe around 2005 or so, loved those annual outings. My first decent camera was a used D2h, which was a super camera for me at the time.
 
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Randy
I was a sports shooter and went on a Nikon Café annual shoot in Florida called MI5 (MI=Merrit Island) run by Harry B and I was hooked the day we went to Viera. This was approx 2006
 
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Nashua, NH
I went about 10 years of only taking family photos. Then I bought a digital camera in 2003 or 04. I wanted to shoot more so I looked around for subjects that interested me. When doves built a nest outside my bedroom window I got hooked on birds.
 
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I'm not really a birder. Meaning I don't go out of my way to shoot birds. For me they are more a "target of opportunity".

That was until I got it in my head that I wanted to get a Heron shot. So, it was more about the stalking and getting into position.
My obsession with birds started and stopped basically with these shots. Got what I wanted. :)

Nikon D500
nikon 300mm f/4E PF + Nikon TC14EIII
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Joined
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Clearwater, Florida
I've always been a portrait shooter. Frank (Flew) convinced me to meet him out at Fort DeSoto in 2006 to teach me the ropes and try my hand at birding.
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I got a lot of blurry shots that day but was hooked. Back a few months later with my son and Frank sent me this photo that I treasure.
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Ferndale, WA
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Jeff
It started for me after I bought a Nikon D50 and drove out to an Indian reservation that’s only a few miles from me on the North Puget Sound here in Washington state. I saw my first ever Bald Eagle and I was hooked. Jeff
 
Joined
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Dan
Interesting hearing the various stories.
Oh, nice images Dan. Beginner's luck?
Allan, that would have to be pre-beginner's luck :D
I got a lot of blurry shots that day but was hooked. Back a few months later with my son and Frank sent me this photo that I treasure.
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I can see why. Hopefully he'll also treasure it as the years pass.
...I saw my first ever Bald Eagle and I was hooked. Jeff
Yeah those eagles will do it. Shortly after shooting the geese I ordered a Sigma 100-300mm f4. It has good reviews/test scores and ultimately fulfilled expectations(at the time). With that lens on the D200 I captured what I consider to be my first successful eagle BIF. It's interesting how some of those historical shots continue to hold a special spot in your memory.

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