Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
ShawnZ

Least Sandpiper

20 posts in this topic

I know what you are thinking, "too bad about the feet". Okay, maybe YOU are'nt thinking that, but someone will, trust me smile

I guess sometimes you can actually get down too low smile The funny thing about this juvenile least sandpiper is where I found it, next to a railroad track, foraging in a rain puddle.

Of course the rain puddle was in the vicinity of 40th avenue west in Duluth, which at the right time of year can be shorebird gold. Minolta5d, Tokina80-400mm, f10, (don't recall the other settings), cropped, levels, USM. Comments and critiques always welcome.

Regards,

Shawn Zierman.

leastfeet2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fantastic image! Your low perspective and eye contact are what makes the image for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty funny when 'low perspective' means hiding the feet behind a grain or two of sand. Me--I never would have noticed if you hadn't mentioned it. I love the picture--bg is really soft and nice with his coloring. And I'm delighted to see some new bird postings this morning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fantastic work Shawn!

I was curious,how do you get so much bokeh at F10? The 400mm lens I used to shoot wouldn't do that at 5.6

Just wondering. Once again,excellent shot. smile

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a sweet shot Shawn. Did you see that over by the steam plant ? If it is a secret spot and don't want to say I will not feel bad. I was just curious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MarinerMagnum, I'm pretty sure your 400mm lens would have this same effect if you were close enough to the subject and shot as low as this. It's all about subject to lens distance. Basically, when I'm this close to the subject, and this close to the ground, at this focal length, everything in front of and behind the subject is going to be thrown out of focus (bokeh) because as the distance between subject and camera decrease so does the depth of field. The f10, could be f16 and there would be little difference in the end product except that I would have less shutter speed to work with. The f10 is only to cover the focus on the subject from bill to tail, because with this lens, you have to stop down a bit to get edge to edge sharpness. Where as from what I've seen, a 400mm Canon L series lens can have excellent edge to edge sharpness wide open at f5.6. I'm sure others could chime in with more scientific and precise explanations at what I'm trying to get at. Anyway, this is why minimum focusing distance is so important to me, and why I would love to own the old Sigma prime 400 f5.6, (one version of this lens has a minimum focusing distance around six feet!, and is very sharp wide open from what I've read). This is a hard lens to find these days however.

Jimalm, this was taken near the entrance to the erie pier area, otherwise known to birders as 40th Avenue West. You can clearly see this whole area when you are crossing the Bong Bridge heading from Wisconsin back into Minnesota. Where as the steam plant will be on the left hand side of the bridge, the

Erie Pier/40th Avenue West area will be on the right hand side.

During spring and fall migration this can be a phenomenal birding area. In recent years, this area has turned up some amazing accidental species including a Northern Wheater! Look that one up in the bird book and you'll see what I mean by accidental! Basically just take the 40th avenue west exit off the highway, when you get to the first stop sign turn right and park in front of the (usually locked) yellow gate. Then just walk in on the dirt road and start looking around the Pier area and adjacent water features. This area has historically always been open to birders, fisherman, naturelovers, beer drinkers, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info Shawn. I will have to take a stroll down there one of these days. I will look up the Northern Wheater when I get home. No Sibleys at work grin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shawn, that's an excellent explanation of relative DOF based on distance from lens to subject.

When I shot the 100-400, with its minimum focus distance of six feet, I frequently shot wild birds from a blind setup when perches were 6.5 feet away, and backgrounds 40 feet behind the bird were soft and buttery at f8 and f9. I shot at those apertures because, like Shawn, I wanted as much DOF on the bird as I could get, and because the 100-400 sharpened up considerably when stopped down to f8. The Canon 400 f5.6 has excellent edge-to-edge sharpness shot wide open.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One more thing about 40th avenue west/Erie Pier area. If you go out and really muck around be aware that the water areas in the pier area have some of the most quicksand like mud that I've ever experienced. I nearly got myself stuck so bad once just a few feet out from the water's edge that I vowed I would never tempt fate like that again. I mean it, you really sink in, deep and quick. Good luck by the way if you go check it out. Someone just saw some buff breasted sandpipers out there this week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Shawn. I'm familiar with what you explained,I just didn't figure you were that close when you said you cropped it-did you do some kind of belly crawl? grin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shawn that Northern Wheatear was definitely one for the list. What a cool sighting of such a rare bird.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I am a belly crawler smile It's amazing to me how much closer I can get to some species by crawling vs stalking bent over. This fellow was more than cooperative however and posed for over a half hour and only left after some of his kind landed right next to him at the puddle, then they all left together. I'll post a picture of the pectoral that landed right next to this fellow so you can compare the subtle differences between the two, though in person, the pectoral is noticeably bigger than the least peep.

jmalm, there have also been burrowing owl, forktailed flycatcher, and McCown's Longspur recorded at 40th Ave. West!

I have also had many slow days there too, so don't let my hype it too much, but it's definately worth a visit during peak migration periods.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, here is the picture of the pectoral sandpiper that landed right next to this least peep that I was photographing. It was clear to me that the pectoral was not gonna stick around long so I just gripped it and ripped it, got off four frames and then they were gone. When they start talking their peepy talk, they usually are saying goodbye smile

pectoral.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have gotten some great shots there Shawn. I’m going to have to start doing the belly crawl. The only consistent place for shore birds around here is in the mud and that could cause some problems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

excellent work. I would belly crawl , but with a belly my size, I would be more like a teeter totter than a creepy crawly thing. more likekly to scare the birds thinking a walrus was coming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What happened to the feet in the first photo? lol Just kidding.

Amazing work there Shawn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is such a cool perspective! He's actually looking down at you! Great shot! Second one ain't so bad either!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • Think we should change the topic to "Trump for Trees."
    • Had to go all the way back to Missouri to hunt in the snow this year! Beautiful morning but not much movement. Did see some late rut activity Friday.
    • Dotch, you guys over there are almost famous....   Almost because it is Waseca, but whatever.    Mark Seeley's weather blog... http://blog-weathertalk.extension.umn.edu/   .... Waseca now reports 54.13 inches of precipitation for 2016 and this is a new statewide annual precipitation record, surpassing the old one of 53.52" at St Francis (Anoka County) in 1991.
      ....   And an interesting thought...(from Mark, not me) Commentary on Winter TIME: No question will be answered this week, but I want to take TIME to make a comment about Winter TIME. Managing the TIME in the Winter Season in Minnesota is a different ball game than other seasons of the year, because everything takes longer. No question winter will be felt more frequently soon in the daily weather, and snowfalls will become more frequent this month. The rash of bicycle, pedestrian, and vehicular accidents reported during the snow storms towards the end of November reminded me about adjusting for Winter TIME. Our concept of time needs to be adjusted. Lengthen the time intervals that you have intuitively built-into your everyday habits and tasks. It takes longer to walk places, longer to drive places, longer to dress and undress, longer to warm up the car, longer to degomble (shed snow) when you come into the house. You need to make time to shovel snow, scrape the windshield, clean the furnace filters, When you walk take shorter steps and not too fast...put the boots, gloves and hat on when you go outside....check on the neighbor if their place hasn't been shoveled...everything should slow down..except for the long Minnesota goodbye..that is better shortened...just say goodbye, open the door, leave and close the door behind you....no need to stand in an open doorway for minutes conversing about last minute stuff. Winter TIME is an adjustment that may save you anxiety, regret, or even injury.
    • Would you use a bobber on your rattle reel with these? I would think a lively minnow would pull the line out of the contacts.
    • My my, how the mighty have fallen...  I went back to the thread on the cook subsidy, and what did I find in the second post from you, on the second page....     Gee, you were ok with the 66 million because it wasn't a stadium or something, but now all butt hurt over 7 million of Indiana money?    Now that there is a funny joke.  
    • Thanks to everyone who replied. Lots of good advice. I'll start with an electrician and go from there.
    • Is there some type of frame or carriage that bolt to machine?  Or do the extra wheels just "float" back there?
    • Who has it for that price? Is the transducer included? I have a 5" version. They are good units but if you ever need out of warranty service they will not repair your unit. They give you credit towards a refurbished unit of the same type or let you upgrade to a different model for a certain price which is something to be aware of. I found that out when my elite 5 wouldn't turn on.
    • Your post is demonstrative of the point I am trying to make. Rural areas have been sold a bunch of talk, and you believe that talk and vote against your own interests. The metro area is taking nothing away from the rural areas in terms of taxes, tax dollars flow the other way. It flows that way through employers that exploit you. A particular quote from "What's the Matter with Kansas?" really nails the point home.      
  • Our Sponsors