Muskegon trip Aug. 16th, still more shorebirds
This post is about the trip that I made to Muskegon on August 16th, 2014, not one of my better days. I think that some of the first waves of shorebirds had already departed, as I didn’t see more than a handful of species of them. I am positive that this will be the shortest post that I’ve ever done on a trip to anywhere in the Muskegon area, and I shot less than 200 photos for the day as proof of how little I saw.
I went to the wastewater facility again, and warmed up taking a few photos of a horned lark.
I posted quite a few images of red-tailed hawks in the last two posts I did from Muskegon, but when one poses for me, I just have to shoot it. 😉
One of these days I’m going to have to buy a good lens other than that junk Sigma 150-500 mm, otherwise known as the Beast. 😉
When I got to the first of the man-made lakes, there was a mixed bag of birds to be seen.
I shot a few more of the greater yellowlegs, since I posted just lesser yellowlegs last week.
While I was shooting those, another birder/photographer showed up, and I showed him my trick of hiding in the weeds to get better photos than from his vehicle. Too bad that somewhere in there I managed to switch the mode of my camera from aperture to manual without knowing it, and I fought that for most of the day. I checked everything else out when I started having trouble, but never thought to check the shooting mode, as I seldom change it.
Anyway, we were kneeling in the weeds, and the Wilson’s phalarope swam right over to us.
As you can see, I over-exposed the last two images quite a bit, darn!
I did manage a few halfway good shots of the semipalmated sandpipers.
Later in the day I was able to get even more, but I won’t bore you with them now.
Instead, I’ll bore you with a few eagle images. The first one was shot from inside of my Forester.
I eased outside for this one.
Since the eagle seemed in no hurry to leave, I put the Tamron 1.4 X tele-converter behind the Beast for these next to, giving me a focal length of 700 mm.
Fair, since I have to manually focus, I never know if I missed the focus or it that combination of the Beast and extender is just soft past about 75 feet.
Another very poor shot, four sandhill cranes and a murder of crows out in the middle of one of the fields eating grasshoppers I assume.
That’s one of those “for the record photos” that I don’t post many of any longer. There were between 30 and 50 crows out in the field along with the cranes.
Next up is the most interesting sequence of photos from the day, a pair of American kestrels engaged in what I assume was pair bonding.
I had watched one of the kestrels chase a hawk out of the area, then it was joined by the second kestrel. They were fooling around in the tree at first, then one took to the air to make passes at the other.
Then, the second one took wing, and the two of them flew in formation together for quite a while as I watched.
I shot plenty of photos, too bad the kestrels had moved to where I couldn’t get a good image of them.
After that, I went back and got a few more shorebirds.
The rest of the images of the Baird’s sandpiper I used to correct one of the mistakes that I made in the My Photo Life List project. One down, one to fix yet, but I didn’t get any shots of a stilt sandpiper, maybe next time.
I’m not sure when that will be. I’m a bit burned out on shorebirds right now, so I think that I’ll skip a week at least before returning to the wastewater facility unless the birding reports tell me that I’d better not. But, I have a week to figure out where to go next weekend. It will depend on the weather, also. It’s hot out there in the mid-day sun, I could use a break from that as well.
Other than that, I don’t have much to say, it was a long day, and not a very productive one at that.
That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!