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Old May 11, 2004, 11:07 PM   #1
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I live in a rural area and have a number of small ponds surrounding my home. I was pleasantly surprised tonightwhen this first subject below landed on a fence post very close to where I stood with camera in hand.I try to get out to the ponds for a few hours eachevening. I've attempted to identify this bird as well as the oneat the bottom belowand all I could guess was Sandpiper or Snipe of some kind, and thelast one an Avocet?To methe last one looks like an American Avocet inmany ways, especially beak, except that the color doesn't seem to be right for that choice.Any help with identification would be appreciated as I amjust beginningat this identification thing.



Same bird taking off (shutter could have been set to a faster position but to methe blur isn't so much that it's distracting, especially since the eye is clear)



Avocet?


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Old May 11, 2004, 11:21 PM   #2
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i don't know much about birding...but wat i do know....is wat i've looked for to define the bird....is the beak..shape and length, the tail feathers sometimes, the markings and colors (the main way...) and i would guess eye color.....

i usually try to narrow it down with basic colors and patterns and then figure it out with where it is normally found or the beak shape....

the first one, if i'm remembering the right bird, looks like a sandpiper....but i'm not sure...




btw....nice shots

i like the blur too cool effect to it

the last one gives a peaceful feeling

good job
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Old May 11, 2004, 11:27 PM   #3
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Sandpiper would be my guess. Was it running around the beach? I really like that picture and the last one. I have no idea what that last one is.
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Old May 11, 2004, 11:33 PM   #4
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calr, the top one sat on the fence so I wasn't able to see any further habits, but it looks a lot like that little guy next to what I think may be an Avocet at the bottom. Hopefully Eric will come around and let us all know. Thanks for your suggestions. And, yes, calr, the little guy at the bottom right was rushing about the shoreline just as you say, so perhaps it was a baby specimin of the top guy (or gal).
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Old May 11, 2004, 11:34 PM   #5
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it is definetely nice to have a guy that knows what he is doing..and talking about wandering around the forum
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Old May 11, 2004, 11:49 PM   #6
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Nice shot Normcar, looks like you are now have more fun with your FZ10. Does it now has more preference from you compare to your Canon G series ?
(I enjoy your writing about Canon G and FZ10 comparison).
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Old May 12, 2004, 12:00 AM   #7
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Hi Jonathan, good question

From the posts in this wildlife forum I think it's clear that a good DSLR with long lens will get the prize overall. I love the FZ10 because it allows me to capture reasonably decent images, with some processing, in good light. I would never consider using the FZ10 in extremely low light unless I wanted to get some "impressonistic" or "pointilistic" artistic flavor, which I've personally done and love it.

My personal rules for the FZ10 are: ensure it's not dawn or dusk because I need good light for it to work well, the less the light, the less the ability because of the smaller sensor; ensure that I don't go above ISO 50 for obvious reasons (and I can live with that because the camera can really perform well at that ISO in good light); use a fill flash as much as possible in order to give the camera a good drinking of light (the only time this shouldn't be applied, from my experience, is when you are attempting to zone focus and you have twigs in front of the zone. The flash will overexpose and kill any shot wished for.

I love the FZ10 in the right environment, and will never sell mine, especially with it's 1.5 converter that gives me a range of between 630 and 1890 mm, depending on how much "digital zoom" I wish to use. I choose to use none 99% of the time.

I love the FZ10 but I long to get my Rebel back so that I can work more effectively in low light.

The G series Canon, the G5, I still use, but less and less and less. I let my students use it now because it enables the student to learn how to use the manual features. Otherwise, primarily because it doesn't relate to my interests, I leave it alone. I even find myself shooting portrait shots indoors with the FZ10 over the G5 because I have used this camera enough that I feel extremely comfortable with it and it's manual features. I think the G5 and FZ10 are comparable in quality, but not in zoom.

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Old May 12, 2004, 1:52 PM   #8
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Norm, I believe your mystery bird is a Willet, a rather large shorebird compared to most sandpipers. I'm no shorebird expert but the wing pattern in flight usually offers a quick ID for Willet. Also note the gray legs and slightly upturned bill. Your still photo of the bird on the post is super.

The Avocet in full breeding plumage has the bright rufous colored head and neck, but appears white during the rest of the year. I'd venture a guess that your "headless" wader is a Black-necked Stilt.

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Old May 12, 2004, 10:47 PM   #9
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Excellent Hummer! I appreciate the information. The Willet actually crossed my mind. I got another shot of him today but my ISO was too high so I only posted a tiny shot on my most recent string. I've got a tiny shot of what I "think" may be a Killdeer, if you could be of some assistance there as well? Again, thanks.
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Old May 12, 2004, 11:59 PM   #10
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That last one is an American Avocet. I've never seen one in the wild, but it fits almost exactly what I've got in the bird book in front of me. The coloration seems a bit darker in the head than my book shows and there is no dip in the lower black part on the side/wing. In this book (my others are downstairs) it isn't a smooth curving line but had a downward bump.

I'm no shore bird expert, but I'm not sure that is a willet. The neck is too short (unless it's scrunched down) and there should be more of a dark streak through the eye, whereas this has it only between the eye and beak. On the other hand, the beak size and leg color does fit.

And to top it off, there is nothing else that is close (that I saw in my book.) And those dark tail feathers (which are visible in the first shot but not in the second) are just plain weird. The Willet didn't have it, but neither did other things I saw.

I can identify a Killdeer if you need. They have a double bib on the neck and red eyes with a black pupil.

I don't see that headless guy is a black necked stilt. Their legs are really tall, and they are only 4 inches shorter than the Avocet. Not only that but the sides should be ½ white with a very black back/top. I don't know what that is, but it isn't a black necked stilt.

And I almost forgot to say that that first shot is supper and I like the Avocet a lot too. It could be a bit sharper, but since I have never seen one before I don't really care!

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