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Eagle mission with Flew

Discussion in 'Birds' started by Kevin Scott, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. While in Nashville over the holidays, I met up with Frank(Flew) who talked me into coming down to shoot eagles at Guntersville Dam. So I got up at 430am and drove 2 1/2 hrs to shoot with him. Just as I arrived, Frank says "Oh, you just missed him...the eagle just took off from the tree not 5 min ago". Then he proceeded to show me his images on his LCD. He assured me that the routine schedule is for the eagle to reappear every 2 hours or so.

    Frank's a man of his word. Two hours later, the eagle did a 5 sec fly-by with a fish in his talons but must've seen me and high-tailed it to another county.

    So we waited another 2 hours and sure enough, the eagle performs another fly-by for all of 5 secs.

    Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the company and comraderie of Frank and his other photog friends but these shots are about the bulk of what I got! No eagle shots, nada, nothing! I think only 1 guy got one so-so shot during the fly-by and that's it. I didn't drive 5+ hrs total for nothing so I shot what was there (how do you guys do this??). I think I'm spoiled by Florida and will never complain again about a slow day at Viera! :wink:

    Now that I think of it, this could've all been a cruel joke spurred on by HarryB. I think I saw someone running through the woods with a remote control in his hands. That eagle didn't seem to be flying very smoothly, either. Hmmmm....:confused: 

    Anyway, here's my Alabama bird collection! All 3 of them!! :eek:  Hope you enjoy them as it was a lot of hard work to get! :rolleyes:  :wink:

    I think they said this was an Indigo Bunting. (Man, the trees in Alabama sure are branchy) Shot manual-1/800, f7.1, ISO200

    Don't know what this one is called but liked the way he was hanging on to the giant green bean (never knew green beans grew on trees! :smile: ) The expression on the bird's face is one of sorrow, probably for me not getting an eagle shot! :redface:
    Shot manual-1/800, f7.1, ISO200.....ID is appreciated

    And my favorite (and only!) Cardinal shot. Sorry about the branch (see comment on first pic) Shot manual - 1/250, f7.1 ISO200

    All shot with the 300mm/f4 AFS with 1.7tc on a tripod.
  2. dbirdsong

    dbirdsong Guest

    nice little birds...
  3. Nice color and detail. You do very well with the 300mm f/4.0. It was nice meeting you at Guntersville. I expect you now realize how hard Frank works to get his great eagle sequences. It involves waiting for hours then shooting at 8 fps for a few seconds, then another long wait, etc.
  4. cknight


    May 2, 2005
    Madison, AL
    Well, it looks like you had some good shots. I'm glad you at least got to enjoy the company. It sounds like that eagle might be related to the one at Vierra. Not very cooperative. You should have gotten Frank to take you to the other side and see his pet herons. They probably feel neglected now that he's giving most of his attention to the eagles.

    I thought about going over there last weekend, but the weather wasn't looking too hot (plus I needed to clean house:rolleyes:  ). If I had known you were coming, I might have made the trip anyway.
  5. As Chris mentioned the great blues are a lot of fun. Even though they are a very common bird, there are lots of them at Guntersville, and they offer many flight shot opportunites.
  6. Thanks Dave. I don't shoot these little guys very often but may have to start. I just realized we really don't have too many trees for this type of bird around where I live. :frown:

    Thanks, Muril! I got some cheese to go with my w(h)ine so I'm better now! :wink: I would've had just as great a time even if I hadn't taken out my camera. I have the utmost respect for Frank and enjoyed seeing him again and meeting new Cafe members. I'm not giving up though, one day my turn will come.

    Hey Chris! Color me stupid. I completely forgot about you living there. I PM'd Frank earlier in the week but once I got to Nashville was going to back out. Frank convinced me to come and I'm glad I did. I'd never been to Alabama before and the dam area is beautiful. He offered to take me to the other side to shoot GBHs but they aren't really my favorite birds to shoot. I was content waiting for the eagle. It was a thrill to get to see him fly by, especially with the fish in his talons. You kinda just sit there in awe and watch and forget to shoot! :wink:

    Muril, just saw your other posting. You're right, the bif oppportunity would've been fun, too, but as I mentioned to Chris, I was happy waiting for the eagle. Just to see him was neat!
  7. Kevin, great shots. Love the crisp sharp colors in your shots. You really do extract the best out of the 300 F4 in combo with your D2X.

  8. I think Frank was just messing with you and had you frive the 5 hours just for a torture test...
  9. Johntu


    Jul 4, 2005
    Fremont, CA
    Beautiful captures, nice and sharp.
  10. mike17112

    mike17112 Guest

    The birds in the first picture are a pair of Eastern Bluebirds. Wonderful birds, one of my favourites.

    The bird in the second shot is an American Goldfinch.

  11. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005

    Sorry that we didn't get the Eagle, but as Muril said, that's pretty much the routine. Now you can understand why I drive 11 - 12 hours to get down there with you guys. I went over to the nest six times during the holidays, and got shots on two of those trips. I probably spent 16 hours to get 10 seconds worth of shots. When you get them though, wow. :rolleyes: 

    Your shots here BTW are very good. You do get the most out of the 300 f4. :smile:
  12. Hey you know the old saying if you get lemon make lemonade. Welcome to our world where birding is hit n miss... BTW I was wondering if they are Eastern Bluebirds in the first shot.
  13. Thanks Louie, Eric, John, Mike, Frank and Mike Mac!

    Hope you know I was just whining, Frank! :wink:

    I realize how good we really have it here in Florida. Basically, no weather issues and an overabundance of birds to shoot with many different locations to choose.

    Thanks for the bird id clarification, too! Though my body can function before 7am, my brain is only awake after 10am! :rolleyes: 

    I think the 300mm along with a tc or two is an incredibly sensible alternative for birding. I've been very pleased with what it can produce. Still can't help drool over some of those other lenses though....200-400/400/500/600....:redface:
  14. Well it wasn't a total loss Kevin, the Eastern Bluebirds are really nice and the others aren't too shabby either.
  15. bfjr

    bfjr Guest

    Well not every mission gets a green light.
    Man I know how you feel though, Eagles for me are at Big Bear and thats 2hrs away and I haven't gotten a clear window to go.

    I like the little bird shots, especially the double.
  16. Thanks Gordon and Ben! Sometimes you just take what you can get! :) 
  17. Very nice Kevin. Now you have a taste for just how hard us folks not living in Florida have to work for our "fun." I do think however it adds to the enjoyment. If it were easy, I am not sure I would be spending as much time as I have trying to master the equipment.
  18. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    Excellent point. Those FL folks have it way too easy. Their images should be banned (I say this as I make my plans for Merritt III of course). :biggrin:
  19. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    hey, whoever said it was easy here!

    I had to drive....oh, 3 miles, and walk my really heavy rig approximately 75 ft today! :eek:  :biggrin: :tongue:
  20. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    Yeah, yeah, yeah Steve. Just rub it in. :rolleyes: 
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