The varied thrush has been on my list of local birds to capture, but has eluded my until yesterday. I saw one in the Garry Oak behind our house. The D2X with 300VR and TC17EII was sitting in my den. I quickly grabbed it and had time to fire off 15 quick shots in pretty dark conditions - it was windy, wet and cold. I was shooting at ISO 640 and 1/30s handheld. I did not expect to get much, but nothing ventured... The results - out of the 15 shots 10 were rejects due to subject movement or camera jiggles. The remaining 5 were not critically sharp, but good enough for web presentation, as illustrated by the shot I have attached here. The bottom line is that by the time I had assembled my tripod the opportunity would have been long gone. Without VR I would not have this photo. I am quite impressed with the results, considering that 1/30s at 500mm is quite a stretch. The image is a 50% crop from the original. I processed with neat image and selective sharpened.