The Main Event

There is a little wetlands not far from home.  It is also very close to a major shopping plaza, and surrounded by both houses and walking tracks.
It has large flat areas that are regularly inundated with water, the overflow of drains during heavy rains.

At present it is drying out, and has wonderful rich muddy areas.
Each year a group of Latham’s Snipe, migrate down from Japan and I suspect because of the predictability of the mudflats and the safety and security of the fenced-off areas, they settle in for our summer before the long-haul back to Japan to breed.  Latham’s used to be called Japanese Snipe at one time.

There might be as many as 40+ in residence at the moment.   Hard to count as the area is criss-crossed with trees and lignum stands.  So it is easy for them to slip away should danger, or a photographer approach.

Challenging photography, and a lot of wasted frames getting focus.  My weapon of choice is the 300mm PF f/4 lens. I set it to continuous focus, and vibration reduction turned off.  I also have my focus set for the Shutter release, (Not Back-button) and on the D500 I set it single frame rather than multi-burst.  That way it will reengage the focus for each press of the shutter (The old ‘focus-bumping’ technique so beloved of early Canon cameras}.
Then it’s just a case of waiting till they break cover.   The old dude is getting slower at picking them up early I confess, so perhaps I might turn to other photo  pursuits where the subjex are much more sedate. 🙂

10 thoughts on “The Main Event

  1. Gotta confess that after two seasons of not being able to have a go at the Snipe, I don’t seem to have the speed – more practice needed! Pleased to read your settings and approach, I use much the same, so I have learnt something along the way!
    A splendid series of images.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi David, just slowing down I think, unless the Snipe are now faster!
    I think its a two person photo event. Or at least 1 and a retriever.
    The light can be great down there in the morning and its easy to wander along getting them take off into the light. But would be so much better to have a stance off to the side while someone did the hard work of getting them up.
    Old joke but if I had a dog, it would be a Golden Labrador, and I’d call it KODAK, then I could say I had my own Kodak Lab 🙂


  3. Amazing you could catch such perfect images of these guys David, and for the privilege of being able to view so many at one time. These human shy birds are a challenge, as the cousins of these birds, and yes I know what you mean by our age in relation to catching that fast shot in focus.

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    1. Hello Ashley, there is no room for error, and the wetlands has few open spaces to catch the bird on the wing. Mostly its just shoot away and hope that it will be ok after. The second biggest problem is getting the af to figure out its the bird I want focused. 🙂

      What I’d love to do is find them sitting in the grass or feeding, but I don’t think that is possible in this location.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. G’day David…..great series. That underwing pattern is superb – have not seen it so clearly before. Intriguing birds. Glad to hear you have focus problems at times….defeats me frequently.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Clancy, thanks for dropping by.
      They are intguiging birds and their travel journeys are quite astonishing.
      We are fortunate to have such a wetlands that provides for a good number to stay over.


    1. Best I can tell it’s some browser setting relating to a security setting. Not sure wh8+h browsers. WordPress aren’t helpful in fixing it and sometimes I can’t logIn to reply as “me”

      Funny thing is it’s shows up in my mailer as “liked by Eleanor not anonymous. Too much techernooogy

      Liked by 1 person

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