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Thread: Bird Lake Drama

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    Cool Bird Lake Drama

    Hi Guys,

    I had a wonderful birding day by our local lake a couple of weeks ago. Although it isn't possible to convey fully with photographs I thought I should share at least some of the excitement with you guys.

    Here is a series fom a stirr-up that a white-tailed eagle (Haliaetus albicilla) made amongst the waterfowl:

    First, the eagle has come within sight of the geese and ducks and made them anxious:

    "Goose or Duck?"

    - "Let's see... who's in for dinner today? A goose or a duck?"


    Second, the eagle seems to have decided to single-out a couple of greylag geese (Anser anser).

    "OK - Goose!"

    Grelag geese (Anser anser) water the beak...


    The collective of waterfowl is stirred up and the eagle is loosing its focus (not me though ) and is about to miss out on a nice goose for lunch:

    "Confused"

    - "Hey... what happened? Where did all those confusing geese come from?"

    "A Fraction of Thousands"

    Greylag geese blasting off to confuse the white-tailed eagle.


    "Safe Together"


    More confusing geese - I'm always impressed as ever when I get caught up in this "mess" .


    Not all manage the long migration journey without injuries - which can be fatal:

    "Death Shadow"

    The white-tailed eagle lowers it self over a wounded Canada goose. Water sprays all over when it despereately tries to get airborne - to the safety of chaos.

    "The Final Strike"

    Greylag geese are watching and wigeons and gadwalls swirl in panic while the eagle finishes off the Canada goose.

    I hope you sense a bit of the drama!

    As usual, any comments, suggestions, and critiques are very welcome and I'll try to answer any questions you may have.

    Cheers, Jens.

    Technical:
    E-3, Tokina AT-X 300/2.8 + EC-20 = 600 mm handheld, manual focus, manual exposure set to: ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/2000 sec. Slight crop to ~3000 pixels width and resized to 1024 px by SmugMug.
    Last edited by jebir; 10-28-2008 at 01:03 AM.
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    Default Re: Bird Lake Drama

    Wow, what a great series, Jens. Dramatic for sure. Bad day to be a goose, but everybody has to make a living, and what an impressive bird that eagle is!
    Nate

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    Default Re: Bird Lake Drama

    That's a great group of photos, Jens. Thanks for sharing and congratulations on getting the good focus on "Death Shadow" and "Final Strike." I bet that wasn't easy.

    Dale
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    Thumbs up Re: Bird Lake Drama

    Looks like mix of both Jens and hungry eagle to, wonderfull thanks for sharing. cheers
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    Default Re: Bird Lake Drama

    I am amazed at your ability to maintain focus on the eagle amidst the confusion
    Well done!

    Jim

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    Default Re: Bird Lake Drama

    Jens, the images are great and the few words describing them ties them all together very well indeed.
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    Default Re: Bird Lake Drama

    A lovely series but you didn't get a close up of the "kill" which I suppose happened out of sight below the brush.

    About a week ago I had Bald Eagle in my front yard. I was alerted to its presence by the 200 crows that were going after it. I spotted it just as the crows drove it from a tree directly in front of me and about fifty feet from the house. I was rooting for the crows. Don't want eagles in my yard thank you. Next thing you know I would have animal groupies declaring all the 200 foot firs and hemlocks "habitat".

    Clay

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    Default Re: Bird Lake Drama

    Great series, Jens! It must have been an amazing sight to witness it in person. Thanks for sharing it here. I'm amazed at your ability to track focus in all the confusion .

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    Default Re: Bird Lake Drama

    Good heavens Jens, my heart was in my mouth as I worked my way through your story. Well done indeed. As others say, focus would have been an interesting (and enjoyable) challenge.
    The 'safety in numbers' thing is graphically displayed in your sequence, and makes me think of a parallel......could Canon owners be geese, and the lone eagle Olympus?

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    Default Re: Bird Lake Drama

    Don B that comment will stir up a huge debate,GO FOR IT.Jen a great series well done.Don B i like the way you think.

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    Default Re: Bird Lake Drama

    Stunning photographs in deed!

    Wow, what a great nature shot.

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    Default Re: Bird Lake Drama

    Great series Jens, I bet it was exciting.

    Steve

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    Default Re: Bird Lake Drama

    Thanks guys,

    Nate, you are right: "One's death is the other's bread" - as a Swedish saying goes. Here the wounded goose would die pretty soon anyway so the eagle just shortened its pain. Its the way it works in nature.

    Dale, focusing long teles is always tough but practice helps. AF would for sure have screwed things up here - but I discarded that option when chosing a MF lens anyway.

    Pete, LOL! I don't know how hungry the eagle actually was. I think they do this by instinct. After killing the goose, it didn't stay and eat it and I have seen that before. White-tailed eagles are known for feeding on carcasses so maybe it will return to the kill on a day with less geese around?

    Jim, manual focus is the secret here.

    Cheers, Jens.
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    Default Re: Bird Lake Drama

    Thanks Clay, yes the killing itself was out of sight. As you see in one image only the head of the goose can be seen and that is a bit taller than an eagle.

    Let the eagles come and stay and enjoy the wonders of nature instead of worrying about "animal groupies"!

    Cheers, Jens.
    Motto: Wildlife won't come to me unless I go to it.
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    My Wildlife Photos: jensbirch.smugmug.com

    E-5, E-3, E-510, IR-E-1 ,E-P2
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    Default Re: Bird Lake Drama

    Thanks friends!

    bg2b, yes - experiencing this kind of drama is fantastic and it doesn't happen too often but it helps getting out frequently.

    Don, LOL! I suspect that, psychologically you are right to some extent! However, I'm not sure that this allegory holds much further though. I mean, why are we all gathered in this forum - really?

    Cheers, Jens.
    Motto: Wildlife won't come to me unless I go to it.
    --------------------------------------------------------
    My Wildlife Photos: jensbirch.smugmug.com

    E-5, E-3, E-510, IR-E-1 ,E-P2
    ZD: 7-14, 14-54, 50, 50-200 SWD, 90-250/2.8, 300/2.8, EC-14, EC-20
    Peleng 8mm fisheye, shift Tamron SP 17/3.5, Tokina AT-X 300/2.8
    FL-50R, FL-40, FL-20, HLD-2, HLD-4, cleaved ZD EX-25 w. electric bypass, 250D, 500D, KatzEye Plus OptiBrite
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    Default Re: Bird Lake Drama

    Thanks guys,

    yes - Nature is exciting!

    Cheers, Jens.
    Motto: Wildlife won't come to me unless I go to it.
    --------------------------------------------------------
    My Wildlife Photos: jensbirch.smugmug.com

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    Default Re: Bird Lake Drama

    Jens, its amazing, I love it, you captured the nature and show us at the other side of the globe, THANK YOU ~~~

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    Default Re: Bird Lake Drama

    Great series Jens. I especially love the last shot. You can see those wings closing in on the goose like a avian grim reaper coming to claim his next soul. Ok, maybe its only that dramatic to the birds...but anyway, awesome capture.
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    Default Re: Bird Lake Drama

    Simply one of the best nature series I have seen in years. outstanding photos and good explanations. I do not think it could be done any better.

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    Default Re: Bird Lake Drama

    Quote Originally Posted by jebir View Post
    Thanks friends!

    Don, LOL! I suspect that, psychologically you are right to some extent! However, I'm not sure that this allegory holds much further though. I mean, why are we all gathered in this forum - really?

    Cheers, Jens.
    Well, we are many here, but globally, pinpricks on the face of the earth.
    But that was only an aside, and must not deflect from your superb photo essay and it's execution. Also, you must have the patience of Job to capture your stories.
    Cheers,
    Don

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    Default Re: Bird Lake Drama

    Jens -

    This is a wonderful series, breathtaking really. Of course, I doubt I'm the only one here who has come to expect as much from you whenever we see that you've posted something new.

    You were most wise to not use AF in that shooting. That gaggle of geese would have fried the AF half way through the series.

    I know you had to re-size the photo-files, but how much, if any, cropping was necessary? Also, what gear were you using for these photos? Thanks!

    -leon
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    Cool Re: Bird Lake Drama

    Thanks for showing your appreciation, friends!

    Luke, I try to show stuff that I like myself so I'm glad that others like it too.
    The technical info is: E-3, Tokina AT-X 300/2.8 + EC-20 = 600 mm handheld, manual focus, manual exposure set to: ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/2000 sec. Slight crop to ~3000 pixels width (except for #4 and 5) and uploaded to SmugMug. The 1024 pixels wide images in the post are created entirely by SmugMug.

    Matt, I had to look up what grim reaper is and I certainly agree - and I'm not a bird! (Actually, I don't think they think it is as dramatic!)

    Halfwright, you make me blush... - Is this photography that fantastic - really?

    Cheers, Jens.
    Motto: Wildlife won't come to me unless I go to it.
    --------------------------------------------------------
    My Wildlife Photos: jensbirch.smugmug.com

    E-5, E-3, E-510, IR-E-1 ,E-P2
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    Default Re: Bird Lake Drama

    Yepp Don.

    It takes patience, practice, and naturalist knowledge to get good wildlife images. However, I enjoy being out there so it is easy for me to endure (unlike Job's case).

    Cheers, Jens.
    Motto: Wildlife won't come to me unless I go to it.
    --------------------------------------------------------
    My Wildlife Photos: jensbirch.smugmug.com

    E-5, E-3, E-510, IR-E-1 ,E-P2
    ZD: 7-14, 14-54, 50, 50-200 SWD, 90-250/2.8, 300/2.8, EC-14, EC-20
    Peleng 8mm fisheye, shift Tamron SP 17/3.5, Tokina AT-X 300/2.8
    FL-50R, FL-40, FL-20, HLD-2, HLD-4, cleaved ZD EX-25 w. electric bypass, 250D, 500D, KatzEye Plus OptiBrite
    Feisol CT-3472LV and CM-1471

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    Default Re: Bird Lake Drama

    Quote Originally Posted by jebir View Post
    Thanks Clay, yes the killing itself was out of sight. As you see in one image only the head of the goose can be seen and that is a bit taller than an eagle.

    Let the eagles come and stay and enjoy the wonders of nature instead of worrying about "animal groupies"!

    Cheers, Jens.
    Jens,

    Yeah, I suppose some folks would like eagles in their yard. I really don't pay much attention to the birds until the start nesting in the rafters or tearing wood off the house (flickers). When I was a few decades younger I might have, while engaging in an idle fantasy, contemplated hunting bald eagles, the ultimate politically incorrect sport. The whole thing would have been symbolic, killing the bird that is a symbol of killing and conquest. An attack one of the most protected symbols of Amerika. But it never got past the fantasy stage, and now I am to old and don't really care about making symbolic statements. Further more, I don't really know how to hunt, particularly a bird like that. A shotgun would be worthless, perhaps trapping them. They might be stupid enough to enter a trap if it was baited with fresh meat.

    BTW, "animal groupies" according to the SPLC publication Intelligence Report were not too long ago rated bye the government intelligence agencies as the most lethal and dangerous DOMESTIC terrorists in the states. This was prior to 9/11 which doesn't really change anything since those guys were not domestic.

    Thanks for the reply,

    Clay

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