Archive For The “Alpha 7II” Category
The first quarter moon chases the setting sun over Ursula Channel as we return home from a day trip on the salt chuck, August 28, 2017. (Robin Rowland)
Ursula Channel is south of Kitimat, east Gribbel Island, southeast of Hawksbury Island (part of the system of channels, passages and “canals” known collectively as The Channel. Douglas Channel itself is west of Hawksbr
Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Unit 63 alpha and bravo vessels, the “Snowflake Responders” exercise in Kitimat harbour on Sunday, August 13, 2017. (Robin Rowland)
On Sunday morning, we held a North West Photo Fest long lens photo workshop/photo walk on the seawall at the Kitamaat Village, mostly shooting birds, when the search and rescue boats came out for a training session.
Related: Kitimat christens new SAR 63 rescue vessel, Snowflake Responder III October 25, 2014.
Jay Gough of Nikon and the participants in the Kitamaat Village photo walk (Robin Rowland)
And around the same time we caught a rainbow over the harbour, putting the legendary “pot of gold” at its end right in the Rio Tinto aluminum smelter. (Robin Rowland)
A merlin (falco columbarius)a small falcon perches on a driftwood stump near the Kitamaat Village seawall during the North West Photo Fest photo walk on Sunday, August 13, 2017. (Robin Rowland)
Camera is a Sony Alpha 77 with the Minolta 500mm f8 mirror lens, which is light weight, which easily makes up for the lack of flexiblity that might come with a much heavier standard telephoto zoom or prime lens that have more adjustments.
The merlin takes off (Robin Rowland)
The merlin skims across the low tide sea grass. (Robin Rowland)
About 10 minutes earlier, a squirrel scampered along the driftwood log. Lucky the squirrel didn’t stick around.
That shot was taken with my Sony Alpha 7II with the Sony 70 to 300mm G lens, at 91mm. The little fellow came up so fast, I didn’t have time to extend the zoom.
Jay Gough, the Nikon representative who was a speaker at North West Photo Fest, put together a Nikon D500, 400mm f/2.8FL and TC-20III (teleconverter) to get a similar shot during the photo walk.
Heavy rainstorm at Minette Bay, Saturday, August 12, 2017 (Robin Rowland)
This is a colour image, not black and white. Sony Alpha 711 with Sony G 70-300 lens
Went out to Whatl Creek on Wednesday morning as the Kitimat Valley Naturalists conducted the monthly bird count. At Whatl Creek swallows were darting from tree to tree, skimming the surface of the creek and hunting insects across the estuary since it was low tide.
Normally swallows are very difficult to capture, as I have tried a few times both this year and last with little success. At Whatl Creek, however, the photography gods were smiling. With the swallows skimming over the water, it was easier to follow them (than against the sky) and the autofocus was able to keep tracking the birds. Sony Alpha711, Sony 70-300mm G lens, ISO 2000, shutter priority 1/1250.
A couple of Kitimat scenes in black and white
Driving back to Kitimat from Prince George on May 20, I stopped at the Topley rest area. Not only is Topley a good place to break up the drive, there is a small marsh that if the time and season is correct provides an opportunity for great bird and landscape photography. Moments after I got out of the car, out of my eye I saw something high above, tiny in fact, a small bird chasing a larger one, probably a raptor of some kind, in a weaving dancing movement, reminiscent of a aerial fighter dogfight (or if you prefer, since today is the 40th anniversary of Star Wars A New Hope, a chase between an X-wing and a Tie fighter.)
No time to get back to the car to get my 500mm, just point at the sky and shoot using my Sony Alpha 7ii with the 70-300mm zoom G lens.
The first shot above is from the full frame from the 7ii, below it is cropped and enlarged and but for this shot I still couldn’t identify the smaller bird that appeared to be the aggressor and the much bigger raptor, the bird that was being pursued. Actually the G zoom performed quite well as I followed as the small bird chased the bigger hawk across the sky.
The two birds wheeled, the smaller one pushing at the larger hawk.
It was only with the second shot that I could identify the unique red and yellow wing patches of a male red-winged blackbird as you can see in the closer cropped image of the blackbird.
The bird books say that a male red-winged blackbird will aggressively defend its nest, although usually against similar size birds such as other males, yellow-headed blackbirds and marsh wrens.
The hawk climbs higher into the sky, with the red-winged blackbird still following, and below a smaller bird (bottom right just left and above the watermark) prudently stays well away from the “dogfight.”
Not all the shots worked out, the lens did “hunt” as the birds got higher.
So what kind of hawk was it? I asked my birder friends. Two votes said a possible Swainson’s hawk, although the Hazelton and Bulkley Ranges are at the far north of the Swainson’s hawk’s range. One vote was “I don’t know.” If you have a better idea add a note in the comments.