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Old Jan 13, 2007, 11:20 PM   #1
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It was a chilly early morning here in southern california. A cold snap blew in and the temperature meter in my car was showing 45 degrees F. It was a breezy saturday morning and I was off to visit the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary. I recently stumbled upon this great birding location, which was right under my nose. It is located 10 minutes from my house. From the road, there is no sign or interesting views. Just a chain linked fence and alot of thickets and bushes obscuring the interior of the wildlife sanctuary. I have cycled past it thousands of times and have never paid it much attention. Nestled in its wooded paths are half a dozen ponds and a small river. This was only my second time visiting the area. The first time, I only had my pentax smc-da 18-55mm lens, which did not lend itself to successful birding photography to say the least. This time I returned with my sigma 70-300 apo dg macro.

Still finding hummers around here.

A great blue heron taking off.

A snowy egret banking low behind the marsh reeds.

A male redwing blackbird. Quite a delightful singer this one.

I believe this is a Say's Phoebe.

A great egret coming in for a soft landing. This one didn't turn out as sharp as I would have liked, but it made for a nice pose.

Last but not least, a visiting flock of white pelicans. Normally we usually only see the california brown pelicans around here. I had a tough time with the lighting. I was shooting into it which made the birds somewhat backlit. Blowing out highlights all over the place. I couldn't get to the other side of the river. I think I shall return to this spot in the late afternoon next week and try some more shots with the setting sun over my back.

Thanks for looking.
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Old Jan 13, 2007, 11:43 PM   #2
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Great shots Royce!
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Old Jan 14, 2007, 12:41 AM   #3
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These are great Royce.

For bird shots I reckon getting the eyes sharp and good feather detail are crucial to a good result.

These shots show that your technique and the Sigma 70-300 fulfill these requirements perfectly.

Well done.

Cheers:Ian Mc
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Old Jan 14, 2007, 1:08 AM   #4
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Those are really nice and great flying shots.

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Old Jan 14, 2007, 2:43 PM   #5
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Great shots. Feather detail is so important and you seem to have achieved this.

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Old Jan 14, 2007, 3:07 PM   #6
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Very nice series. Looks to me like you done went and found a good spot to go back to.

FZ 30, Nikon TCE17, QuikAim Max RDS, Zeiss Digiscope/Sony W7, Pentax K10D

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Old Jan 14, 2007, 4:01 PM   #7
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All excellent shots Royce! Jim
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Old Jan 14, 2007, 9:04 PM   #8
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Excellent shots Royce.

Everytime you post pics from that 70-300 Sigma apo it makes me want one.

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Old Jan 15, 2007, 12:47 AM   #9
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Royce you have done it again, what wonderful shots, you must have the steadiest hands in the East.

The first shot of the Hummer is fantastic, perfect pose and detail.
All the flying shots are incredible for there sharpness, but the Great Egret is my favourite of all, the light under it's wings is just beautiful.
I know how hard it is to get quality shots like these, well done.

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Old Jan 15, 2007, 5:03 AM   #10
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fantastic photos
i like the timing on the 3rd photo

it is great to find a place where you can keep going back and trying over and over
i am looking forward to your next series
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