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All photographs by David Lilly

One Ring-necked Pheasant in a Tree

I see a few Pheasants in the local parks, but always on the ground and difficult to photograph.

Today, I was walking on a park pathway and spooked a Ring-necked Pheasant. I was plesantly suprised when it flew into a tree.

It sat in the tree for a while allowing me to walk around and get photographs from different angles.

He finally flew to another tree and posed again. Not as good as the first tree but still in a good position.

The colours with the overcast sky were just incredible. I guess he is trying to attract a female.

Learn more about the Ring-necked Phasant

Nikon D 500 with a Nikon 200-500mm lens

Trumpeter or Tundra Swan

This is the first question I ask myself when I see a swan, Is it a Trumpeter or Tundra Swan?

From a distance it is very difficult to distinguish the difference. As I looked through my lens I could not see a yellow marking around the beck, which would have indicated a Tundra Swan, so I drew the conclusion it was a Trumpeter Swan. When I consulted my birding book I had made the right assumption.

The swan photos in this article was photographed in a tributary off of the Bow River on March 15th. The light was at my back and the swan was close. My camera did a good job on the center weighted exposure. Lightroom info as indicated to the right. I always start with AUTO and make minor adjustments. White birds can be a little tricky to get a proper exposure. I always caution on the underexposure. In lightroom I moved the exposuer slider a little to minus side and boosted the whites as to not overexpose.

There have been swans over-wintering in the Bow River. I do see them once in a while. When I say them , I saw two separate swans on the 15th of March in two separate locations.

Read more about the Trumpeter Swan <Click Here>

Nikon D 500 with a Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Bald Eagle from Different Angles

The two photographs of the same Bald Eagle shows the importance of moving around a bird. 

I know it is not always possible. However, when I moved around this Bald Eagle it remained in the same spot. So, as a bird photographer I  attempted to move around and photograph from different angles.

There are a number of reason why you might want to photograph from different angles.

  • First you may want to get the sun shinning on the bird from different angles.
  • By moving around you can eliminate the branches and get cleaner photos.
  • Different angles make for different compositions.
  • By moving you can catch that all important catch light in the eye.
  • As you move around the colour of the sky changes colour.
  • You will notice as you move around the bird will turn and keep an eye on you. This allows you to get the catch light as already mentioned.

The next time you see a Bald Eagle try different angles for your photography.

Read more about the Bald Eagle <Click Here>

Nikon D 500 with a Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Photographing Birds in Action

Photographing birds in action can be difficult. 

Birds are small, they move without warning and most camera have a hard time focusing on a fast moving subject.

So, how do you overcome these problems? First, set your shutter minimum 3000sec, faster would be preferable, Auto ISO so you don't have to worry about ISO and set your F-stop (aperture) to F 7.1. I use center point focusing and not the multi-point focusing.

Another secret is to put yourself in a position where you have the sun at your back. Focusing works better in good light.

You will have to anticipate the bird when they fly as in the Black-capped Chickadee. To practise find a bird feeder somewhere and try until you get good photos.

Nikon D 500 with a Nikon 200-500mm lens.