Tim Boyer Photography

Small Groups, Cool Birds in Fun Places, Create Award-winning Images!

Little Blue Heron

It's All About Habitat

Bird PhotographyTim Boyer1 Comment

14 species of shorebirds at the mouth of the San Diego River and then three more at the Tijuana Slough NWR! A 17 species shorebird day!  

Long-billed Curlew scratching its face. Birds have to be contortionist to satisfy those itiches.
Long-billed Curlew scratching its face. Birds have to be contortionist to satisfy those itiches.

We had the usual shorebirds at the San Diego River, plus this year we had Surfbird, Ruddy Turnstone, and Yellowlegs.  This is a great location for birders and bird photographers.  The birds allow for a close approach, the local dogs from the dog park scare them more than humans walking slowly and getting low and non-threatening.  Tech data: 1/1600 of a second, f/6.3 at ISO 250, with the Canon 5D Mark III and the 600 mm lens and a 1.4 Extender.

Marbled Godwit bathing.
Marbled Godwit bathing.

Tech data: 1/1600 of a second, f/6.3 at ISO 250 again with the 5D Mark III the 600 mm lens and the  1.4 Extender.

Little Blue Heron fishing.
Little Blue Heron fishing.

The light started to get harsh when we finally got close to the Little Blue Heron. Created at 1/800 of a second at f/5.6, ISO 400 and still using the 5D Mark III and the 600 mm lens with the 1.4 Extender.

Redhead
Redhead

In the afternoon before we went to the Tijuana NWR we stopped at a Glorietta Bay thinking we'd photograph Eared Grebes and Lesser Scaup.  They weren't there, but we did find Surf Scoter and Redheads, a very nice consolation prize instead!  Captured at 1/640 of a second f/5.6 ISO 400 with the 600 mm and the 1.4 Extender.  I had to crop this too, so you can see they didn't come in very close, but they're beautiful birds!

Enjoy     Thanks As Always     Tim

San Diego January Workshop Images

Bird PhotographyTim BoyerComment
Black Skimmer coming in for a landing.

Black Skimmer coming in for a landing.

We had such a great workshop in San Diego County this year, that it's hard to know which images to show you.  Here's a sample, I hope you enjoy them.

We found some Black Skimmers this year and it was fun to spend time with them. They are such unusual birds!  The bill when viewed sideways looks so big, but if viewed straight on, it's actually very thin, for slicing through the water. I chose to shoot at f/8 because I was using the AF Selcetion Zone.  After I pushed the aperture to f/8 I opened up the ISO to 800 so I'd have enough shutter speed.

Little Blue Heron feeding.

Little Blue Heron feeding.

Little Blue Herons have to be one of my favorite birds of Southern California.  I think they've been found in Washington State a couple of times, and I saw them here once on an Eastside Audubon fieldtrip to Ellensburg.  This one if fishing late in the day with some creamy light. I chose f/8  because the  600 with the 1.4 Extender can be a little soft, so then had to increase the ISO to 640.

Snowy Egret feeding.

Snowy Egret feeding.

This Snowy Egret was fishing by the Little Blue Heron. It's starting to get dark, but the light still had some color.

Brown Pelican Head throw La Jolla.

Brown Pelican Head throw La Jolla.

I love how his right foot is off the ground.  Dancing or stretching the pouch? I could probably set this to music and post it on YouTube.

Belted Kingfisher, Santee Lakes.

Belted Kingfisher, Santee Lakes.

While I often curse the short battery life of the new Canon 7D Mark II, I got this shot because I had to walk back to the car and get a third battery for the day.  So, I guess thanks Canon?

Female Ring-necked Duck Santee Lakes.

Female Ring-necked Duck Santee Lakes.

She's beautiful! Low angle from using the 600 mm lens on the ground pod Skimmer II.  Shot this one pretty much wide open on the aperture so I could blur the background.

Wood Duck Santee Lakes.

Wood Duck Santee Lakes.

Get low and get eye level!  I love Wood Ducks but this look is killer.  Is he saying feed me or don't come any closer?  Nice blurred background with the  600 at f/4!

Wood Duck Santee Lakes.

Wood Duck Santee Lakes.

Okay he was saying feed me.  Toss a little corn, get an action shot. 1/320 of a second blurred the wing tips some, I like it when action and motion is implied by using a slower shutter speed.

Heermann's Gull Coronado.

Heermann's Gull Coronado.

Post breeding season the Heermann's Gull come up the Washington Coast in the summer, but it's great to see them in their year winter or year-around habitat. I  chose to use f/9 becasue I was using Zone AF Selction points.  In Zone mode the camera will pick up the closest part of the bird.  So if the camera focuses on the wing, I wanted more depth-of-field so the eye would be sharp.

Ring-billed Gull Coranado Island.

Ring-billed Gull Coranado Island.

Flight photography with the 7D Mark II and Zone AF Selection points.  It worked great.  Fast auto focusing, 10 frames per second, and a nice tight shot from the  1.6 crop factor.

Whimbrel at one of th e local estuaries.

Whimbrel at one of th e local estuaries.

One of my favorite shorebirds, I  like that bill. If shooting at a slow shutter speed, press your hand down on top of the lens to dampen any lens shake and vibrations.  This trick will make your images sharper.

Sunset Coronado.

Sunset Coronado.

In camera HDR on the 7D Mark II, then de-saturated some in post processing.  It was so red, so cool.  Even the RAW files  look too red. It was a nice ending to a great day of photography in San Diego.

Enjoy!   Thanks   Tim

Bird Quest 2014 #5

Bird PhotographyTim BoyerComment
Little Blue Heron San Diego River.
Little Blue Heron San Diego River.

It's a little strange to go birding and do some bird photography in a dog park.  But the San Diego River estuary and a dog park co-exist.  For the past two years I've been able to photograph Little Blue Herons there.  For me it's a special bird I don't get to see very often. These images were made on January 10th.

Greater Yellowlegs resting.
Greater Yellowlegs resting.
Long-billed Curlew stretching a wing.
Long-billed Curlew stretching a wing.
Willet alternating between resting and preening.
Willet alternating between resting and preening.
Dunlin foraging at the  edges of a pond.
Dunlin foraging at the edges of a pond.
Snowy Egret
Snowy Egret
Blue-winged Teal resting on a rock just under the  water line.
Blue-winged Teal resting on a rock just under the water line.

We finished the workshop back at Scripp's Beach.  Saw more Marbles Goswits, Willet, Spotted Sandpiper, Black Phoebe, Whimbrel and had a fantastic sunset  One of my favorite images is this on of the underside of the pier.  It was much darker then the exposure indicates the sun was  well down during this exposure.

Scripp's Beach Pier after sunset, a 25 second exposure.
Scripp's Beach Pier after sunset, a 25 second exposure.

Good Birding!

Birding/Photo Project #5 & San Diego Workshop Images

Bird PhotographyTim BoyerComment

These images were created on the banks of the San Diego River, and at Cabrillo National Monument as part of the San Diego Workshop.   Having never photographed Wrentits, Little Blue Herons or California Towhees, this was a fun day.  California Towhee was a new bird for my life list as well.   The tally is now 33 species photographed and  467 to go.  

A Little Blue Heron pauses while searching for food along the San Diego River.

A Little Blue Heron pauses while searching for food along the San Diego River.

A basic/winter plumage Forster's Tern hanging out on the San Diego River.

A basic/winter plumage Forster's Tern hanging out on the San Diego River.

A Killdeer along the banks of the San Diego River.

A Killdeer along the banks of the San Diego River.

A Horned Lark searching for seeds along the San Diego River.

A Horned Lark searching for seeds along the San Diego River.

A Whimbrel searching for food along the San Diego River.

A Whimbrel searching for food along the San Diego River.

A California Towhee searching for seeds in the Cabrillo National Monument across the bay from San Diego.

A California Towhee searching for seeds in the Cabrillo National Monument across the bay from San Diego.

A Wrentit feeding in bushes in teh Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego CA.

A Wrentit feeding in bushes in teh Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego CA.