Cloudy morning at Batiquitos Lagoon

Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
34,711
Location
Arizona
I met up with my friend Marty at Batiquitos Lagoon on the south side of Carlsbad, California last weekend. Marty is an avid visual birder, and she was after the Black Skimmer a gull-like bird with an elongated lower beak for scooping food from the water. It was the last day of Winter and the skimmers should be active.

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I'm not much of a birder, but I took my D100 with a 180mm f/2.8 and a Kenko 1.5X teleconverter. So naturally the first thing I did was shoot some of the flora:

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Beautiful, huh? But no sooner did I start to acclimate to the beauty of the place that Marty excitedly pointed to the sky and shouted "Falcon!", then jumped up and down, "A Peregrine Falcon!" she shouted again.

Without thinking, I raised the camera to my eye, looked up, twisted the barrel (yep, I was manually focusing, AF was just too indecisive with the TC... :( ) and shot:

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Ok, so now you see how green I am at this bird stuff. And I don't improve much, but bear with me... After a while of patient waiting (well, for me it took patience - 5 or 10 minutes actually) I finally saw some interesting behavior. Yep, that egret was flipping fish:

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I tried sneaking up on him, but he sailed off to safety:

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So after admiring some more wild flowers:

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I settled into finding the Black Skimmer. And what a magnificent aviator he was. Gracefully floating above the water, beak dragging for food. Here is a four shot montage, using the multiple layer method of super-imposing images into an action sequence (the EXIF data belongs to the second exposure from the left):

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All of my previous bird captures have been incidental to some other target, but this time I went after birds specifically. And it was fun! I'm sure the perfect weather and protected habitat with over a hundred types of birds helped, and although I'll never be anywhere near as good as most of you at this, I can certainly see myself going back to the lagoon!
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
994
Location
Alabama
Chris,

Welcome to birdie shooting. You better watch out, it can be very addictive. :lol:

This is a great story, and you got some decent shots. I especially like the Peregrine and the skimmers. Some folks go a lifetime of birdie shooting without getting a Peregrine. You can sort of see why there are so many of us that have become obsessed. :roll:

Regards,

Frank
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
978
Location
Viera Fl
Chris,
This birdie stuff is a terrible addiction.. I don't even know how I got into it. Maybe the Blue Heron at sunset on the beach. I really wanted to shoot the full moon coming up out of the ocean. The cloud cover was to thick at the horizon.. No moon..

I think that is how it all happened.

Also IT IS NOT EASY AT ALLLLLLL..

Frank is right it will become addictive.

Looks like the Skimmer came up with a treat also.

To funny you got the RR Flip. Good going Chris.

Keep up the good work.

Cheers
Gale
 
C

Canyonlu

Guest
What a great photo story, Chris! And I thank you, too, for noting the location. I've never been there. Seem to stick to Newport Back Bay and Bolsa Chica. I'll have to get down there! Love those black skimmers....you're right: they are so awesome to watch.......Nice shots and welcome to bird captures with intent!
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
2,495
Location
Huntsville, Alabama
Chris,

Good going!! I really like your flower pictures......I love Spring time!! Your last shot is really cool!! I bet you had a great time out there!! :) :) :)
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2005
Messages
867
Location
Rochester, New York
Chris:

Don't feel to bad about bird shooting. They will stay still sometimes. I took a course with Ron at Basgue and the first 200 shots were all blurry. But the time I finished, I got one good one. I still prefer standing birds an animals, but, I keep giving it a try.

Gil
 

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