A New Phenomenon at ILE. And More SONY 1200mm Insanity … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

A New Phenomenon at ILE. And More SONY 1200mm Insanity ...

What’s Up?

Photography on Saturday morning down by the lake was fair at best. I did get a lovely, softly backlit image of Old Gnarly’s small colt, and then spent some time with the vultures still picking at the pretty-much desiccated turtle carcass three full days after I put it out. With a forecast for thunderstorms in the afternoon, I swam early. The storms never materialized so I headed back down at about 6pm; aside from the caracaras, things were pretty slow so I headed home at about 6:45pm to get some work done. I set the alarm for twenty minutes and then headed back down for what promised to be a decent, muted ball-of-the-sun sunset. It was and single grackles cooperated by landing on The Perch. Every time I moved the Sequoia to line things up, I was off by a fraction. I did get some nice ones and since this is a scenario that is likely to recur, I might be famous yet …

The forecast for this morning — Sunday 26 APR 2020, is for more of the same: mostly to partly cloudy with SW winds. This is less than ideal for bird photography; any wind with an easterly component is generally pretty good in the morning as the birds will be flying toward the light rather than away from it and you. None-the-less, I will be heading down Park Drive to do some hunting with my photo gear.


Thanks to those who set me straight on my wildflower confusion. Image #1 is in the genus Rhexia, the meadow beauties, members of the melastome family. It is almost surely a Meadow Beauty. And Marsh Pink does in fact, grow in and around freshwater habitats. I will keep my eyes peeled in the future.

keep (one’s) eye(s) peeled (for something or someone)

To remain vigilant or carefully watchful (for something or someone). They should be arriving any minute, so keep your eyes peeled.


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Money Saving Reminder

If you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H, would enjoy free overnight shipping, and would like a $50 discount on your first purchase over $1000.00, click here to order and enter the coupon code BIRDSASART at checkout. If you are looking to strike a deal on Canon or Nikon gear (including the big telephotos) or on a multiple item order, contact Steve Elkins via e-mail or on his cell at (479) 381-2592 (Eastern time) and be sure to mention your BIRDSASART coupon code and use it for your online order. Steve has been great at getting folks the hot items that are out of stock at B&H. Those include the SONY a7r IV, the SONY 200-600, the SONY 600mm f/4 GM, and the Nikon 500mm PF. Steve is eager to please.

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of photographers whom I see in the field and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail. Those questions might deal with systems, camera bodies, accessories, and/or lens choices and decisions.

This image was created on 23 APR 2020 at Indian Lake Estates, FL. Working from my SUV, Induro GIT 204/FlexShooter Mini-mounted Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens, the Sony FE 2.0x Teleconverter, and the blazingly fast Sony Alpha a9 II Mirrorless Digital camera body) that features incredibly accurate AF. ISO: 640. Exposure determined by Zebras with ISO on the Control Wheel: 1/1600 sec. at f/8 in Manual mode. AWB at 8:53am on a slightly hazy sunny morning.

Tracking Flexible Spot (M) yielded a sharp-on-the-eye image.

Be sure to click on the image to see a larger, apparently sharper version.

Osprey reacting to a fly-by

A New Phenomenon at ILE

As I mentioned the other day, I had never seen an Osprey just sitting in the shallow waters of Lake Walk-in-Water until last week. Now, it has become a pretty much daily occurrence. In the mornings, I have seen as many as seven in the water at once. Yesterday afternoon there was one just to the south of the pier near the spot where the morning birds have been. For the most part, the birds simply sit there (even on chilly, wind days). When the birds do bathe, they just splash around a bit. They rarely flap afterward as most birds do. Some of the best action occurs when another bird flies low over one in the water. When that happens the bird in the water will often start calling, flap its wings in place (as shown in today’s featured image), or take flight. When the latter happens, they may re-land in the same spot or nearby.

The birds are relatively distant and if you get out of your car they are gone in an instant. That’s where the SONY 600 GM with the 2X teleconverter in place really shines.

More SONY 1200mm Insanity!

The more I use the SONY 600mm f/4 GM lens — the weapon of mass destruction — with the 2X TC, the more I am impressed with the results. AF performs superbly even with birds in flight and in action. The Canon 2X III TC with their big, fast lenses was great for static subjects, but the Nikon TC-E 20 was close-to worthless on the 600 VR even for static subjects. So the switch to SONY has opened up a wonderful new world — flight and action at 1200mm.

If In Doubt …

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Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the BAA Online Store 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog or Bedfords, for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

As always, we sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And please remember that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

I would, of course, appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links or Bedfords for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above, and for everything else in the new store, we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and those who regularly visit the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.


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In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

4 comments to A New Phenomenon at ILE. And More SONY 1200mm Insanity …

  • avatar Bill Hill

    I regularly see an Osprey (just one) sitting in the water of the Carmel River lagoon in Central California. On one occasion a Peregrine Falcon dropped in and sat about 30m away. Interesting behavior.

  • avatar Bob Allen

    Aw shucks, Artie, that’s mighty nice of you!

    Wildflowers of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains.
    Centered on Orange County, but also covers cismontane (non-desert) regions of San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties. Includes associated insects and birds. It ‘s also the first book ever to include Allen’s daisy, the sunflower that’s named in my honor and lives only in Orange County.


  • avatar Bob Allen

    Hi Artie. Since you asked for corrections.

    Your second sentence reads “Image #1 is in the Rhexia family…”

    Rhexia is a genus, not a family. How about rewriting that sentence to read:

    “It’s in genus Rhexia, the meadow beauties, members of the melastome family.”

    For more info:

    BTW, There are no rules for common names. The common name meadow beauty can be written as one word or two. Florida Plant Atlas calls them “meadowbeauties”, while the Alabama Plant Atlas calls them “meadow beauties”.



    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Jeez, I should have thought of you first when I was looking for help. Bob has done the book on the wildflowers of Southern California, but he obviously knows a bit about Florida wildflowers too! Bob, please feel free to add the correct name and a link for your book. And thanks also for the two links. I have emended the text as you suggested.

      with love, a

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