Tag Archives: ducks

Out & About—Safari Park birds

Out & About

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

At the beginning of 2017 I decided to upgrade my camera equipment. I was getting frustrated going to the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park but not being able to get to some of the wildlife because their enclosures were too big and, in the case of the birds, enclosed with screen and wire. I knew that a longer lens would take care of both of those problems.

My daily walkaround lens since 2007 was a Tamron 28-300 mm, so I decided to look at the 150-600 mm lenses. They come in three versions: Tamron G2, Sigma Contemporary, and Sigma Sport. At that time they ranged in price from $1,399 to $1,999, so they weren’t cheap.

Online reviews led me to believe that I would be buying the Sigma Sport for $1,999. I decided that real world use would be better than online reviews for that price, and it just so happens that one of our local camera stores specializes in renting all things camera. So I rented the Sigma Contemporary first (the cheapest), then the Sigma Sport (the most expensive), and then the Tamron G2. Rental period was one week each, so I went out each day to places like the railroad tracks, Ramona Grasslands, San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, the beaches, and the mountains to see if I could lug those things around for 10 hours a day, get good pictures, and be ready to do it again the next day without being too tired.

To make a long story short, for handheld pictures, I did not notice any difference in sharpness between the three lenses. The Sigma Sport was very heavy because it is all metal construction. The weight coupled with it getting too hot to handhold after a couple of hours in the San Diego sun coupled with its price dropped the Sigma Sport out of the competition.

The Sigma Contemporary lost out to the Tamron G2 based on one factor: which direction the zoom ring rotated. I discovered that Nikon and Sigma zoom rings rotate clockwise and Tamron and Canon zoom rings rotate clockwise. Remember that I handhold my equipment, not being a fan of tripods and monopods because of their bulkiness and difficulty in using in crowded areas. Zooming from low to high in a counterclockwise manner using the left hand is not natural, thus difficult and, due to the size and weight of these lenses, sometimes painful for someone 62 years old. Additionally, I had been using the Tamron 28-300 for ten years, so I already was quite comfortable with a clockwise rotation.

Lastly, at the end of three weeks, I compared the pictures from the three cameras. I found that the Tamron G2 gave me better blurred backgrounds than the other two lenses when I really wanted to get up close and personal. Following are bird pictures from the Safari Park taken with the Tamron 150-600 mm G2 lens on April 26, 2017. I have not cataloged these pictures yet so the only birds I know the name of are the the same ones you know the name of, so we’ll start with those.

Spoonbill at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

At the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

At the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Bald eagle at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

At the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Safari Park opens at 9:00 a.m., and that’s when I go to avoid
the huge afternoon crowds. So I guess this bird was eating breakfast.
At the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

This great white pelican turned its pouch inside out, which makes
it look like something out of a Stephen King movie.
The mallard doesn’t look impressed.
At the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

And now for the unknown birds.
At the San Diego Zoo Safari ParkAt the San Diego Zoo Safari ParkAt the San Diego Zoo Safari ParkAt the San Diego Zoo Safari ParkAt the San Diego Zoo Safari ParkAt the San Diego Zoo Safari ParkAt the San Diego Zoo Safari ParkAt the San Diego Zoo Safari ParkAt the San Diego Zoo Safari ParkAt the San Diego Zoo Safari ParkAt the San Diego Zoo Safari ParkAt the San Diego Zoo Safari ParkAt the San Diego Zoo Safari ParkAt the San Diego Zoo Safari ParkAt the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Mama and her little one.
At the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

As I was leaving Safari Park, I saw a hawk soaring
overhead so, of course, I took a picture. Duh.
At the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

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Enjoy life. Make waves.

Picture of the Moment

It’s rare that I see a lone mallard.

Either they are in a flock of a dozen or so, a pair during breeding season, or a mommy with lots of little ones.

So when I saw this one all alone just swimming its little feet off, I couldn’t resist adding words to its picture:

img_0366 enjoy life make saves stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift?
Anniversary? Birthday? Graduation? Marriage?
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

SNIPPETS (5-24-14)

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

I hope everyone had a happy World Turtle Day yesterday! Let’s have one final turtle picture in honor of turtles throughout the world.

Galapagos Tortoise

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #2

Sometimes when I’m doing a home inspection, a child follows me around, often asking, “What are you doing?” My answer never satisfies them because they following up that first question with a second one: “Why?”

Sometimes a cat or dog will follow me around, such as this little cutie:

Cat checking out my home inspection bag

I’m pretty sure she had no interest in becoming a home inspector. Another few minutes and my bag would have been her new home!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #3

Sometimes I get followed around by non-children, non-cats, and non-dogs:

Birds wanting food

Those birds were used to being fed right there. How do I know? Because the property was vacant except for a big jar of bird seed to feed the little ones. How sweet.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #4

Ever wonder what a butterfly convention looks like?

Butterfly convention

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #5

I ordered a printer from Staples on May 15. A couple of minutes after placing the order, I got an email message that it would be here May 23. The email included tracking information so I could follow its journey to San Diego. The tracking information link never worked.

No notification arrived yesterday, either by phone or email, so I chatted with a Staples rep online. The printer had been here since May 16! No phone call or email notification from Staples telling me that, though. Ack!

Where is our customer service today? Oh, wait. Staples is a company that Mitt Romney set up. Nevermind. (That was a political comment…)

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #6

Who was the bright individual who decided that power buttons should be on the back of big, tall, wide printers? In fact, who decided that power buttons, possibly the most used and most critical part, should be on the back of anything? Ack! 

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #7

Zoey the Cool Cat did not like the box the printer came in. It was way too big. However, she did like all the papers that came with it.

Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #8

The jacarandas are looking particularly stunning this season, possibly because rainfall was lower than normal. They just really don’t like to be all wet.

Here is Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos of my favorite
jacaranda so far this purple season:

Jacaranda in San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #9

I realize that all life dies, but I still feel sorry when it happens, as with this poor duck which died at Union Station in Los Angeles.

Dead duck

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #10

Ever find a really neat-looking building and wish you had enough money to buy it just to say that it was yours?

When I went to the Cat House on the Kings fundraiser on May 3, this building was next to the hotel where I stayed:

Cool building

It used to be a restaurant, King’s Buffet, but it is vacant and shuttered now, wanting someone to buy it and bring it to life again.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Need a unique gift?
Consider Photographic Art!photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

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Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
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If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray

No trespassing duck

What to do, what to do

Picture of the Moment

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Maybe we need a definition of “violators.”

No trespassing duck

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That duck stood there for the longest time, looking at the ramp and seeming to think about whether it wanted to take a chance on getting caught and prosecuted…………

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Just one little kiss.... purty please?

Just one little kiss….. purty please?

Picture of the Moment

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’ll leave it to avian101 to identify the birds.

Just one little kiss.... purty please?

Just one little kiss…. Purty please?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Just one little kiss.... purty please?

Ha! You missed!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Just one little kiss.... purty please?

Not in public! Let’s get a room.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bullying in the bird world

Bullying in the bird world

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture of the moment
PICTURE OF THE MOMENT

 

After dining with Shamu at SeaWorld the other day, I found some mallard ducks that appeared to be playing around. Upon closer inspection, two males were bullying a female:

Bullying in the bird world

 

The mallard on the left — we’ll call him ML — was doing all the damage, even pulling out a huge mouthful of feathers from that poor female. The mallard on the right — we’ll call him MR — was merely standing guard. Eventually we saw why he was standing guard because that female’s mate showed up and took to ML and MR, running them off and snuggling up to his little gal.

There were young children watching this bullying. What are they going to think about bullying?

 

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County? I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor with Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re just looking for a home inspector,
I can highly recommend Russel Ray; that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Cotton-top duck

New duck species……….?

Jack Gilleland, home inspector in Clayton, OhioThis post is dedicated to Jack Gilleland, a home inspector and owner of Home Inspection and Investor Services in Clayton, Ohio. I have known Jack for about five years through the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. I highly recommend him for anyone need home inspection services in Clayton or the Dayton metro area. If you’re a returning veteran, call him for his veteran special.

Dedications are my way of trying to provide a little extra Google juice for people I have come to know and respect over the years.

Picture of the moment

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Some of us hope to leave a name in the world when we leave and move on. Some do it simply by leaving progeny. Those of us with no progeny have to find a different way to do it…..

….like maybe discovering a new species of animal or plant.

I think I did! I can’t find the following bird in any of the books in my wildlife library:

Cotton-top duck

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Cotton-top duck

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 Cotton-top duck

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I have named him a cotton-top duck. He was hanging out with the mallards, American coots, Canada geese, and what I think are snow geese, so who knows what he is? Until I get the DNA profile back from the Department of Homeland Security, I’ve placed him with the bufflehead duck since it’s the only duck I can find with a description “large puffy head.” So his scientific name is tentatively Bucephala cotton topus russelii.

Cotton-top was swimming around at Lake Murray where I often go to take a walk, feed the birds and squirrels, and take pictures:

Lake Murray

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He’s my duck, so don’t try to abscond with him. However, if you know what he really is, let me know. That way I can cancel the DNA profile with DHS……. they are expensive! lol

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This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat