Welcome back Dave !! Yeah, we don't give the animal world much credit, I think they have a lot more brain power than we attribute to them. Nice shots of an unusual bird [In fact my wife is standing looking on at my writing this, and she says they are Nicer than Nice ]
Your new equipment ???
Looks like some sort of Space Alien doesn't it?
I am shocked by watching this guy "fish." Course it wasn't live bait. In some of the images you can make out the discoloration on the end of his beak - it's the scales from the minnow. He actually scaled it to make it lighter...:G
Not really "new Equipment." I suddenly realised, that since I was shooting in ISO 800, I could go back to my 800mm adapter, which I had shot at ISO 400, and gain an extra stop - Meaning shooting at 1000 instead of 500 or 1250 instead of 640.
So I got greedy and shot these at 1000, forgeting how DARK the scene was...
I just have to get used to the change...