Tales of Two Fresh Juvies « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Tales of Two Fresh Juvies

What’s Up?

It is late on Friday 10 September 2021. I walked 4.4 miles in Central Park with the 200-600GM and the a1. I saw lots of migrant songbirds: American Redstarts, several Northern Parulas, two Bay-breasted Warblers, a few Common Yellowthroats and Black and White Warblers, a Northern Waterthrush, an Ovenbird, and a Red-Eyed Vireo. With the bright sun and heavily leaved trees, photography conditions were horrific at a best. I raised my lens twice and never created a single image. Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, I hope that you too have a great day.

Remember that you can find some great photo accessories (and necessities!) on Amazon by clicking on the Stuff tab on the orange/yellow menu bar above. On a related note, it would be extremely helpful if blog-folks who, like me, spend too much money on Amazon, would get in the habit of clicking on the Amazon logo link on the right side of each blog post when they shop online. As you might expect, doing so will not cost you a single penny, but would be appreciated tremendously by yours truly. And doing so works seamlessly with your Amazon Prime account.

This blog post took about 90 minutes to prepare (including the time I spent on the image optimizations) and makes 253 consecutive days with a new one. Please remember that if an item — a Delkin flash card, or a tripod head — for example, that is available from B&H and/or Bedfords, is also available in the BAA Online Store, it would be great, and greatly appreciated, if you would opt to purchase from us. We will match any price. Please remember also to use my B&H affiliate links or to save 3% at Bedfords by using the BIRDSASART discount code at checkout for your major gear purchases. Doing either often earns you free guides and/or discounts. And always earns my great appreciation.

Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Please know that the longer you wait to sell your used gear, the less you will get for it …

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charged a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. They went out of business. And e-Bay fees are now up to 13%. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please scroll down here or shoot us an e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly — I offer pricing advice to those who agree to the terms — usually sells in no time flat. Over the past year, we have sold many dozens of items. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 100-400, the old 500mm, the EOS-7D and 7D Mark II and the original 400mm DO lens have been dropping steadily. Most recently the price of used Canon 600mm f/L IS II lenses have been dropping like a rock with the introduction of the 600 III. You can always see the current listings by clicking here or on the Used Photo Gear tab on the orange-yellow menu bar near the top of each blog post page.

Right now, there are lots of great buys on the Used Gear Page.

Please Remember

With income from IPTs now close to zero, please, if you enjoy and learn from the blog, remember to use one of my two affiliate programs when purchasing new gear. Doing so just might make it possible for me to avoid having to try to get a job as a Walmart greeter and will not cost you a single penny more. And if you use Bedfords and remember to enter the BIRDSASART code at checkout, you will save 3% on every order and enjoy free second-day air shipping. In these crazy times — I am out at least forty to sixty thousand dollars so far due to COVID 19 (with lots more to come) — remembering to use my B&H link or to shop at Bedfords will help me out a ton and be greatly appreciated. Overseas folks who cannot order from the US because of import fees, duties, and taxes, are invited to help out by clicking here to leave a blog thank you gift if they see fit.

New and Better Bedfords Discount Policy!

You can now save 3% on all of your Bedfords photo gear purchases by entering the BIRDSASART coupon code at checkout. Your discount will be applied to your pre-tax total. In addition, by using the code you will get 2nd day air shipping via Fed Ex.

Grab a Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III and save $14.99. Purchase a Canon EOS R5 and your discount will be $116.97. Purchase a Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens and save a remarkable $389.94! Your Bedford’s purchase no longer needs to be greater than $1,000.00 for you to receive a discount. The more you spend, the more you save.

Money Saving Reminder

Many have learned that if you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H and would enjoy free second-day air shipping, your best bet is to click here, place an order with Bedfords, and enter the coupon code BIRDSASART at checkout. If an item is out of stock, contact Steve Elkins via e-mail or on his cell phone at (479) 381-2592 (Central time). Be sure to mention the BIRDSASART coupon code and use it for your online order to save 3% and enjoy free 2nd-day air shipping. Steve has been great at getting folks the hot items that are out of stock at B&H and everywhere else. The wait lists at the big stores can be a year or longer for the hard to get items. Steve will surely get you your gear long before that. For the past year, he has been helping BAA Blog folks get their hands on items like the SONY a9 ii, the SONY 200-600 G OSS lens, the Canon EOS R5, the Canon RF 100-500mm lens, and the Nikon 500mm PF. Steve is personable, helpful, and eager to please.

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs (remember those?) 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.

This image was created on 7 September 2021 at Nickerson Beach. While standing, I used the hand held Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens with the Sony FE 1.4x Teleconverter(at 840mm) and The One, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless digital camera. ISO 1250. Exposure determined via Zebras with ISO on the Thumb Wheel: RawDigger showed that the exposure was nearly perfect, about 1/6 stop too dark. 1/2000 sec. at f/5.6 (wide open) in Manual mode. AWB at 7:14am on sunny morning.

Tracking: Zone/AF-C with Bird-Eye/Face Detection performed perfectlyby nailing the bird’s eye.

Image 1: Whimbrel in fresh juvenal plumage

Berm (n): a long narrow wedge of loose material, mostly sand, but also of loose shells, pebbles, flotsam, and jetsam with a steep slope that faces the ocean.

The Juvie Whimbrel

I had been sitting on the beach trying to work the edge of a Black Skimmer flock in hopes of getting some nice frames of the gorgeous juvenile birds. With the clear skies and a southwest wind, I was not having much luck. I glanced toward the surf and saw the long skinny neck of a shorebird just above the top of the berm. I was somewhat puzzled.

I approached with caution, and once I saw the whole bird, I knew instantly with its decurved bill and distinctive eye-stripe that it was a Whimbrel, not a common sight on the open beaches of Long Island. The warm tones and evenly patterned feathers told me that it was a fresh juvenile, just down from the sub-arctic tundra where this species breeds. I was not thrilled by the seaweed background and could have lessened its impact by getting on the ground, but I was pretty sure that the young bird would fly. I made a few frames and in a flash it was gone over the ocean heading east.

This image was also created on 7 September 2021 at Nickerson Beach. While seated on dry sand at the top of the berm, I used the hand held Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens with the Sony FE 1.4x Teleconverter(at 840mm) and The One, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless digital camera. ISO 1250. Exposure determined via Zebras with ISO on the Thumb Wheel: RawDigger showed that the exposure was nearly perfect, about 1/6 stop too dark. 1/2000 sec. at f/7.1 (stopped down 2/3 stop) in Manual mode. AWB at 7:41am on sunny morning.

Tracking: Zone/AF-C with Bird-Eye/Face Detection performed perfectlyby nailing the bird’s eye.

Image 2: Sanderling in fresh juvenal plumage

Bird Behavior Tends to be Repetitive

I was sitting in the same spot that I created yesterday’s featured image, the screaming Ring-billed Gull. Two juvenile Sanderlings kept walking up to the top of the berm to rest. Then they would head down to the surf to forage a bit more. After that happened several times, I scootched about four yards closer to their resting spot and lo and behold, the came right back up. I made lots of very sharp portraits, but the birds were both angling slightly toward me. I made this image as one of the young birds reacted to being buzzed by a skimmer — note the flying sand. It flew back down to the beach, but hand holding at 840, I wound up clipping the attempted action shots.

Topaz Sharpen AI on Motion Blur improved this one 100%!

Great Topaz News!

As regular readers know, I run DeNoise on virtually every image that I process immediately after executing the crop with the Delete Cropped Pixels box checked. For images made in sunny conditions, I used Standard. For images made in low light, I use Low Light. You can check all four methods by using the Comparison View but I rarely do that any more as I am confident as noted above.

Folks who use the BAA Topaz link to purchase Sharpen AI, DeNoise AI, or the Utility Bundle (or any other Topaz plug-ins), will receive a 15% discount by entering the ARTHUR15 code at checkout. If the stuff is on sale (as it usually is), you save 15% off of the sale price! To get the discount you must use my link and you must enter the discount code. Be sure to start with this link.

Those who purchase Sharpen AI, DeNoise AI, or any other Topaz plug-ins using my link and then entering the ARTHUR15 code at checkout can e-mail to request a short Getting Started with Topaz e-Guide. Please include a copy of your Topaz receipt that shows the discount. Aside from the basics, the guide explains how to install the plug-ins so that they appear in the Photoshop Filter Menu.

SONY Alpha a1 Set-up and Info Group

The SONY Alpha a1 Set-up and Info Group is going great guns as more and more folks chime in with thoughtful questions and experience-based answers. As the a1 is becoming more readily available, more and more folks are getting their hands on this amazing body. With two folks joining yesterday, we are now up to an astounding 79 lucky and blessed photographers! Early on, we discussed the myriad AF options. I gave my opinion as to the best one for flight and general bird photography. More recently, we have been in contact with folks at SONY sharing our thoughts, experiences, and frustrations with the EVF blackout problem.

All who purchased their Alpha a1 bodies via a BAA affiliate link will receive a free subscription to the Sony Alpha a1 Set-Up and Info Updates after shooting me their receipts via e-mail. (Note: it may take me several days to confirm B&H orders.) This same service may be purchased by anyone with an a1 body via a $150.00 PayPal sent to birdsasart@verizon.net indicating payment for Alpha a1 Info Updates. Alternatively, folks can call Jim weekdays at 1-863-692-0906 to pay via credit card. New members will receive composite e-mails that summarize all previous discussions.


With all blog posts, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors.

6 comments to Tales of Two Fresh Juvies

  • avatar Steve Schiff

    >> I walked 4.4 miles in Central Park with the 200-600GM and the a1. <<

    A bold move and I give you a lot of credit, walking around in New York City with $8500 worth of camera equipment! Were you alone?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      I lived in NYC for more than four decades and have always felt totally comfortable in the field. There were lots of folks in the park.

      with love, artie

  • avatar Pat Fishburne

    I never saw such a beautiful juvenile sanderling and the background/foreground really enhances it’s color.

  • avatar Jean-Louis Rousselle

    Artie, two beautiful images. In image 1 of the Whimbrel, would you consider softening in post, the blotch of seaweed directly in front of the bird? I find that it’s sharpness competes with the bird. Keep up the great work and safe travels back to FL

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


      That is very difficult to do as most of the time you will wind up with what I call depth-of-filed mis-matches.

      with love, artie

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