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mole Dec 12, 2011 9:56 PM

A few birds
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Just a few glimpses of some of our common late-season "feathered friends" here in East Tennessee...

This pair of ("ordinary") mallards were perched unusually high on a mostly-submerged tree at a popular fishing spot here at the home park...

mole Dec 12, 2011 9:57 PM

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Our Little Green Herons are usually VERY shy, but this one posed long enough for a quick snapshot.

mole Dec 12, 2011 10:01 PM

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Like the LG Heron, our Belted Kingfishers are fond of the park's lake's small fish, frogs and such. And like the heron, our Kingfishers are usually very shy and difficult to approach. But, on one recent very cold morning, this Kingfisher was busy soaking up some sun in the Sycamores, and let me get close enough for a fairly good shot.

mole Dec 12, 2011 10:03 PM

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Coots are not too shy, and often "hang out" along our shores these cool, almost winter days.

mole Dec 12, 2011 10:08 PM

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Most of these photos were taken with the SMC 135-600mm. Was trying to find a more portable birding setup - using a Tamron Adaptall 70-210 (19AH) combined with the Tamron 2X TC. The TC worked great with the 90mm adaptall macro, but doesn't seem to do so well with the 70-210. Here's the best of a bunch of not very good photos. Great colors, but not nearly as sharp as I'd like. Not sure if it's the lens, or the operator - wondering if anyone else has tried this lens and TC combination?

mole Dec 12, 2011 10:11 PM

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It's almost winter here in the East Tennessee hills - a great time to be out with the "critters!" Hope you enjoyed these glimpses of some of our very diverse bird fauna, and that you will share your comments & critique!

mtnman Dec 12, 2011 10:23 PM

Wonderful photos Mole. I love the paw and hoof prints in the sand and mud. I don't think I've ever seen them before, but I assume those arre seed pods in the sycamore tree, beside the kingfisher. They're almost as interesting as the bird.

jelow1966 Dec 12, 2011 10:49 PM

Can't say much about the 70-210 but I know that my 80-200/2.8 combined with my 1.5 TC is perhaps the best lens i have. Razor sharp as long as I get it in focus :) Works well enough with my Tokina 2x but not so much that i wouldn't just carry my Tokina 400/5.6 instead. Combined with the 1.5 it makes a very good 600mm as long as the light is good enough for it to be stopped down some. From my experience a 400/5.6 is the best bet for a light weight birding lens. For really good shots i will have to take along the SP 200-500/5.6 but that is a real beast to carry around.


Frogfish Dec 14, 2011 9:30 AM

Kingfishers and Woodpeckers .. gotta love 'em ! Nice shots Mole, however I think the 2nd shot of the two ducks is the best exposed, the other two are lacking in contrast.

Enjoyed those !

mtngal Dec 14, 2011 3:12 PM

Can't help you with the lenses, but I sure like the pictures.

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