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Morden O'Hare Photography Blog.  Blog posts discussing travel, photography, wildlife photography, landscape photography, camera gear reviews.

Denmark Birdlife

It has been some time since I did some bird photography but I got a chance to dust the cobwebs off my 500mm Canon lens recently on a trip to the Denmark area of Western Australia. The small country town of Denmark is situated on Wilsons Inlet and is also close to the coastal strip. Birds can generally be found wherever there is water so Denmark and its surrounding wetlands, forests, beaches and rivers has plenty of bird life.

Not far from Denmark there is a vegetated strip beside Wilsons Inlet that has numerous dead trees which offer perfect perching for Ospreys. As luck would have it, it was an Osprey that was pretty much the first bird I saw in the area. I have long been trying to get good photos of these impressive raptors and this time I made sure to take my opportunity.  Half an hour stalking through the scrub to get to where I had pinpointed the Osprey paid off and I had a few minutes of relaxed shooting while she looked down at me curiously. As is usual with wildlife things don't stay static for long so I was ready for action when she struck this pose for a couple of seconds then took off. I'm a little disappointed I didn't manage to frame the shot without the branch on the left but you get the best shots you can in the time you have.  

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4 @ F8.0, 1/1000, ISO 500

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4 @ F8.0, 1/1000, ISO 500

I really enjoy getting compositions of flocks of flying birds when I have the opportunity. The stilts in the images below seemed to fly in a sort of algorithmic way with wing beats and body angles in sync. Shooting these is a matter of firing bursts of images then selecting the good ones in post. All I was trying to do while shooting was keep the horizon level and the focus dialled in.

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4 + 1.4x @ F5.6, 1/3200, ISO 640

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4 + 1.4x @ F5.6, 1/3200, ISO 640

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4 + 1.4x @ F5.6, 1/3200, ISO 640

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4 + 1.4x @ F5.6, 1/3200, ISO 640

This little guy moved erratically and quickly but paused now and then for a moment. I tracked and shot him for quite a while hoping he would give me a chance of a reflection shot. I was rewarded in the end when I captured the bird on a small island with quite a good reflection.

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4 + 1.4x, F5.6, 1/3200, ISO 640 

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4 + 1.4x, F5.6, 1/3200, ISO 640 

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4 + 1.4x, F5.6, 1/3200, ISO 400

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4 + 1.4x, F5.6, 1/3200, ISO 400

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4 @ F4.0, 1/125, ISO 1000

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4 @ F4.0, 1/125, ISO 1000

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4 + 1.4x @ F5.6, 1/2500, ISO 320

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4 + 1.4x @ F5.6, 1/2500, ISO 320

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4 + 1.4x @ F5.6, 1/2500, ISO 320

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4 + 1.4x @ F5.6, 1/2500, ISO 320

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4 + 1.4x @ F5.6, 1/2000, ISO 500

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4 + 1.4x @ F5.6, 1/2000, ISO 500

Some of the images I got where quite monochromatic in nature simply because of the muted colors or reflective water backgrounds so I gave them the full black and white treatment.

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4 + 1.4x @ F5.6, 1/1000, ISO 500

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4 + 1.4x @ F5.6, 1/1000, ISO 500

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4 + 1.4x @ F5.6, 1/1250, ISO 500

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4 + 1.4x @ F5.6, 1/1250, ISO 500

Being bird portraits these images are a little unusual. It is difficult to get close enough to birds for this type of shot normally but these were taken on the rear balcony of our accommodation with birds that are habituated to people with bird seed. I like the detail and character visible at such close range.

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4, F4.0, 1/800, ISO 800

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4, F4.0, 1/800, ISO 800

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4 + 1.4x @ F5.6, 1/200, ISO 1250

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4 + 1.4x @ F5.6, 1/200, ISO 1250

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4 + 1.4x @ F5.6, 1/500, ISO 1250

Canon 5D mk iii, 500mm F4 + 1.4x @ F5.6, 1/500, ISO 1250

Canon 5D mk iii, 100-400 @ 400, F5.6, 1/200, ISO 640

Canon 5D mk iii, 100-400 @ 400, F5.6, 1/200, ISO 640