Red Phalaropes

Discussion in 'Birds' started by Tim Z, Dec 31, 2005.

  1. The last time I saw and photographed Red Phalaropes was in the 80's. While Phalaropes fall under the "shorebirds" category, they do not walk and feed along shorelines, sandbars or mudflats like typical shorebirds. Instead, they swim and feed in deep water (usually in the ocean along the tidelines). Since they are usually out in the ocean during migration, photography can be difficult. Red Phalaropes are somewhat uncommon here in the Victoria area, but in some years can be abundant. This year they are later than usual, and with the recent storms, have been blown inland in search of food. The ones I photographed today were found on Langford Lake. I used my kayak to get close for these hand held shots. I do not have a VR lens, and it was a very dark cloudy day. Here area few samples of what I came up with.

    D70s with Nikkor 300 f4 afs & TC-14E II
    ISO 500

    Cheers

    Tim

    [​IMG]

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  2. very nice series on a species I was unaware of.
    dave
     
  3. Beautiful images, your post processing is wonderful. Nicely done.
     
  4. Gale

    Gale

    978
    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
  5. Bob Coutant

    Bob Coutant Moderator Moderator

    May 17, 2005
    Pleasantville Ohio
    Wonderful set of images -- simple and graceful
     
  6. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Tim,

    You have a very steady hand my friend. These are excellent shots for hand held, from a kayak, at 420mm. Heck, they are excellent shots if they were shot from a tripod on dry land. :wink:
     
  7. Thanks Frank. I used to do a lot of hand held shooting from my kayak, but I am finding it more difficult now with this new gear. I guess it is probably because the 420mm is acting like a 600mm with the digital gear. I used to shoot a lot in the ocean where the water was never still, but even in the calm lake today it was a REAL challenge. I plan to head back out there tomorrow and try it again with just the 300mm and SB-800.

    Thanks Gordon. I have only been at DSLR photography since July 2005, but I am getting better with CS2 processing every day. I use Power Retouche Pro for sharpening and Neat Image for noise reduction. I find that they have helped a fair bit over the CS2 built in tools. I have my monitor calibrated with Monaco Optix, but I am still unsure if they are correctly calibrated, as I see a fair amount of images posted here that appear a bit overexposed on my monitor.

    Cheers

    Tim
     
  8. Beautiful series, Tim. And thanks for the explanation.
     
  9. amazingly sharp for handheld from a kayak, I am very impressed! And definitely a species hard to get close to, I'm also jealous ;-) I've only seen these in Alaska! Sometimes here we get the odd Wilson's Phalarope, but to get a photo of this quality would be nothing short of a miracle, lol.
     
  10. Thanks Janet

    Yeah, we get the occasional Wilson's Phalarope here as well. Red-necked Phalaropes are generally the most common Phalaropes here during migration, but about once every decade or two, we get a big run of these Red Phalaropes through here. Has the birding community hopping these days. I was planning on going back out today and trying it with just the 300mm and flash, but we are expriencing 50 to 70km winds with gusts up to 100km/hr. Not a day to be out in my kayak. :frown:

    I can't wait for Nikon to come out with prime VR lenses, which should be helpful for hand held kayak shooting. :smile:

    BTW, I'm jealous that you've been to Alaska. During my serious birding days, my dream was to go to Attu. My buddies went, but I could never afford it. Even mainland Alaska would be an awesome adventure, especially when all the breeding birds are there.

    Cheers

    Tim
     
  11. Yeah Tim Attu was on my "someday" list but of course now it is no longer possible. Perhaps one day they will open it up again. Meantime, there is plenty to see on the mainland, and the Pribiloffs are still possible! Unfortunately on our trip in July 1999 it RAINED just about every day and while even so it was magnificent, it was frustrating for birding. Plus of course, no digital camera back then!! So I certainly hope to go back some day soon--hope that you can make it there too (heck, you can drive there from where you are--if you have a couple of months!)
     
  12. Even from here, Alaska is still a REALLY LONG drive! Since I am now semi-retired, time is not my problem, but money is. I make my very humble living now from my photo sales and home recording studio. At this point, there's nothing left for travelling. :frown: I still dream that some day I will make it up there though; and yes, the Pribiloff's would be one of my main destinations. :smile:

    Cheers

    Tim
     
  13. Very nicely done Tim. I just captured my very first of this bird this past weekend. I had it identified as a the same a Red Phalarope. I found it on the Long Beach Peninsula of Washington.

    I'll post it.

    Louie
     
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