Sun kissed WilletSun kissed Willet – Nikon D7100, f8, 1/640, ISO 500, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

It was delightful to have light and a six-pack (plus) of birds out on Antelope Island yesterday to test my new Nikon D7100. I also had the company of two wonderful friends. The first bird I locked my focus on was a Willet standing in the warm golden light, the Willet was being bothered by those nasty biting gnats and so were we. There are a few of the gnats in flight behind this Willets neck.

I should have used my insect repellent, I have bites in my scalp that itch like crazy.

Juvenile Loggerhead ShrikeJuvenile Loggerhead Shrike – Nikon D7100, f8, 1/500, ISO 500, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

Next up was my first of the year fledgling Loggerhead Shrike. There were a few other young shrikes nearby but none as close as this one. It was especially nice that this youngster didn’t have any jewelry on.

Molting ChukarMolting Chukar – Nikon D7100, f7.1, 1/400, ISO 500, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

Not long after photographing the shrike we came across this molting Chukar standing on a rock calling. Chukars cluck and sound similar to chickens but these upland game birds aren’t chicken at all.

Western Kingbird with nesting materialWestern Kingbird with nesting material – Nikon D7100, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 500, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

Before long we all had Western Kingbirds in out viewfinders, the king and queen were busy building a nest for their young that will learn to be Kings and Queens of the bird world. It isn’t often that the red feathers in the crowns of Western Kingbirds show but we all got nice views yesterday of the crimson crest of this bird.

Sage ThrasherSage Thrasher – Nikon D7100, f8, 1/1600, ISO 500, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

So as to not to be left out a Sage Thrasher popped up to the top of a sagebrush to be found in our viewfinders and for a bit it sang for us before moving to another sagebrush. It was still close enough to get some nice images that show North America’s smallest thrasher off nicely.

Eastern Kingbird on a wireEastern Kingbird on a wire – Nikon D7100, f8, 1/2000, ISO 500, +1.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

The Eastern Kingbird wasn’t about to be left out of this six-pack of birds and posed on a barbed wire on the south end of the island. I didn’t see the second Eastern Kingbird until this one flew off and landed next to it. I guess they were the king and queen of the south part of the island.

This is the kind of six-pack I would enjoy indulging in everyday.

Mia