Western Kingbirds in All Kinds of Light

/, Birds, Davis County, Utah, Western Kingbirds/Western Kingbirds in All Kinds of Light

Stormy sky over Layton - May 25, 2015Stormy sky over Layton – May 25, 2015 – HTC One M8 cell phone image

I think I am a little addicted to bird photography. Why else would I head out in all kinds of weather from freezing to scorching, from fog to snow to rain and anything between bad light to excellent light? Some might say I am obsessed and perhaps I am. There are days when I feel like I chase the light or just make do with what ever light I have.

Yesterday was one of those days where I saw dark foreboding clouds before even arriving on Antelope Island, felt the rain on my skin and then eventually the clouds started to dissipate and the sun peeked out and lit up the views and my subjects. These Western Kingbird images were all taken yesterday in various lighting.  The good, bad and maybe the ugly but I made do with the light I had.

Western Kingbird under stormy skiesWestern Kingbird under stormy skies  – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/500, ISO 1250, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I’m really enjoying the high ISO capabilities of the Nikon D810 because I can crank the ISO up and as long as I get my exposure right the noise is minimal if present at all.

I really need to the higher ISO yesterday morning when the sky was forbidding and gray as I photographed this Western Kingbird perched on a sagebrush with its back to me.

Western Kingbird wing lift in low lightWestern Kingbird wing lift in low light  – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 1250, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

And again later when this kingbird decided to lift its wings after spending time preening itself on a dead greasewood branch. The wing lift happened very quickly so I needed the shutter speed I had to capture it all. I have a great series of this bird lifting its wings but liked this one with the wings nearly fully extended.

Western Kingbird on Antelope Island under gray skiesWestern Kingbird on Antelope Island under gray skies  – Nikon D810, f9, 1/1000, ISO 1250, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

There were at least four different kingbirds in the area and they were moving about quite often so I kept my ISO high to keep my shutter speed high enough to capture the action. This kingbird spit up a pellet while I photographed it and I was able to capture that behavior but I’ll post that image on another date.

A Western Kingbird as the sky begins to lightenA Western Kingbird as the sky begins to lighten  – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/640, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Then the sky began to lighten and I used a lower ISO to capture as much fine detail as possible. I just love the creamy yellows of kingbirds against their soft gray plumage and the soft light I had when I took this image showed it off well.

Antelope Island Visitor Center under clearing skies - May 25, 2015Antelope Island Visitor Center under clearing skies – May 25, 2015 – HTC One M8 cell phone image

There were still some storm clouds to the southeast when I took this image of the Antelope Island Visitors Center but at least I could see blue sky through the fluffy clouds!

Singing Western Kingbird in good lightSinging Western Kingbird in good light  – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 500, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

By the third or fourth visit to the area where the Western Kingbirds were located the sun was shining and the light was great. I felt like singing along with the kingbird to celebrate the clearing sky.

So, there you have it, Western Kingbird images in all kinds of light.

Life is good. Really good.

Mia

8 Comments

  1. Robert Draper May 29, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Mia……….I sometimes overlook kingbirds when looking for something else. Seeing your great pictures has taught me a lesson. Wonderful photos.

  2. Humming Bird Lover May 27, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Hi1 Loved the photo’s! Great work girl! I love the colors also! Have a special day!

  3. Tom Martin May 26, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Magnificent. Thanks Mia.

  4. Utahbooklover May 26, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Wonderful images all. More rain today; the total rainfall for May has now reached 3X average here in Brigham City. Cool temps will soon be replaced by temps in the 80s, however.

  5. Elephant's Child May 26, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    Love that first moody foreboding sky. And the wing lift is a phenomenal capture. Hell, I love all of these. Thank you.

  6. Alex (stu) May 26, 2015 at 10:50 am

    truly wonderful stuff Mia.. Each shot a masterpiece.

  7. Nancy Collins May 26, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Ditto Mia! Gorgeous photos!

  8. Sharon Constant May 26, 2015 at 5:59 am

    Really wonderful post, Mia. Very informative and, of course, your images are beautiful with lovely compositions. Thanks!

Comments are closed.