Thursday, April 15, 2010

Eagles at the Sanctuary

    Yesterday I got a real treat, there were 6-7 bald eagles in one of the sloughs of the bird sanctuary. I've seen one or two around before, but never this many. At one point there were four eagle standing on a log that was floating on the water just across the slough. There were several males and females in the group, along with a juvenile.

300mm AF-S w/1.4X TC, ISO320, 1/500s @F7.1

    Several of the eagles were fishing, but each time that happened I was pointing my lens in a different direction. I missed capturing one eagle flying right at me, by only a matter of seconds! I was just about to press the shutter and then the bird was too close, and it filled the frame too much. It is times like that when I wish I had a zoom, but none of the zooms in the price range I can afford have the quality of my 300mm AF-S along with the TC14E, so I think I'll be sticking with what I have for some time.

    While I was shooting the eagle in today's photo, another eagle was on top of the bird blind I was shooting from. Every now and then I would hear the big bird move around on the roof, which was strange. I've never been able to shoot them at this distance before, so as I said, it was a real treat. I also had my T2i along and took some videos of them in the 640p crop mode, and was really able to capture the mood in some short clips. I was shooting these majestic birds for over an hour late in the afternoon.

    At this time of year a lot of the action is missed because birds are generally more active early in the morning and late in the day, but the sanctuary opens at 9AM and closes to the public at 5PM. I don't mind though, because the sanctuary gives people a unique chance to see these wild birds as they come and go along the coast of BC.