Sunday 5 April 2015

A Rare Bird/Another Twitch

    April 4 2015 Hope Airport Fraser Valley BC Overcast with Occasional Sunny Breaks 6c

Who doesn't love a good twitch? Ever since a rare Loggerhead Shrike was spotted Wednesday a steady stream of birders have been making their way up the valley to Hope. Hope Airport is famous for producing 'good birds' and this time was no exception. It's also a good excuse to catch up with fellow birders and share some yarns.
I spoke to a few long-time birders, one of whom had been waiting a 'mere' forty years to tick a BC Loggerhead. Another life long birder told me he had been looking fifteen years to add it to his Canada and BC list. It was a big deal to everyone who came, be it with bins, scope or camera.

Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)
D7100 500mm F4 and 1.4  converter. ISO 800
Finally the sun came out for a few minutes otherwise it was overcast.
Nikon D7100 and 500mm F4 with 2x converter.

Pic #3 Tamron 150mm-600mm on the D7100.

To be fair to the Tamron I only took a few shots as juggling three cameras while shooting a rarity can be a little challenging. All these images have been cropped and sharpening applied.

Nikon 500mm F4 and 2x Converter
(Above) My favourite image from the many I took. Although the shrike spent most of its time on bushes it occasionally landed on this fence. 

Loggerhead Shrike taken handheld at 357mm which equates to 2000mm on the cropped sensor of the Nikon P900. I originally bought the lens to shoot video but as you see it does a great job of stills.

I  had the chance to use the P900 Nikon bridge camera for the second time and thought that it would be an ideal test in case the shrike was a long ways off. No bigger than an American Robin, the shrike was a mere blob in my DSLR viewfinder. I used a 500mm and switched both 2x and 1.4 converters and I still had to make a significant crop in ©Lightroom. I also used a Tamron 150mm-600mm for a few shots but didn't give it an equal usage compared with my D7100 and 500mm. The P900 was used to shoot ONLY three shots in the (I kid you not) bird watching mode and the above shot is one of the best frames from a high sequence burst.
See next blog for a few more shots with the P900.

"It's never too late to start birding"

John Gordon
Langley /Cloverdale
BC Canada

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