I spent a little more time with my new lens today. I got out to the river at 7:00 am, 40 minutes before sunrise. The temperature was 5 degrees F when I left, so I didn’t see any critters on my way to the river. However, just as I got the to edge of the water, I saw the silhouette of a large bird flying north to south high above the bosque on the other side of the river. Thinking it was a crane by its size, I started snapping photos, but as it came into profile, I realized it was an eagle, but it was still a small shadow in my viewfinder in the pre-dawn light (even with a 600 mm lens), so I couldn’t tell what kind of eagle it was — I suspected it was a golden eagle. Only after I blew up the image and added enough fill-light in the post processing to get some detail in the bird, I discovered it was a bald eagle. Since the light was low, and the eagle kept its distance, I had to do a lot of post processing to get to the images of the eagle, which are still fuzzy. The first two eagle photos were taken just after 7:00 am, then just before sunrise it made another pass south of where I was photographing herons and cranes, which is the 3rd eagle photo.
While I stood on the west bank of the river photographing the cranes and geese, a couple of herons flew in and landed directly across from me on the other side of the river. I stood in the same spot observing and photographing the herons, cranes, ducks and geese until 8:45 am. The herons moved little most of the time I was there, but as a couple of cranes walked by, they got a little riled and strutted a bit. The photo of the heron and crane together shows how big the cranes are compared to the herons, which are large birds.
I got the photo of the sparrow about 11:00 am, used beaker as a sharpness test — since he holds still for me — and photographed the lesser goldfinch when I took out the trash around 2:00 pm. The jet was photographed around 4:00 pm. I was surprised how much detail I got in the jet given its altitude; however, since it appears to move slower and is much more reflective in the late afternoon sun than an eagle is in the pre-dawn light, its details came out much better than the eagle’s.