I was able to get some nice shots this morning at sunrise of the black crowned night heron at the park entrance flying back to his roost. Also found an osprey, a white ibis devouring a crab, and a tri color heron, all inside the park.
As always, just click on any image to get a larger, sharper version.
One of the disadvantages of this campground is the almost constant noise of oil support vessels and helicopters roaring about 24 hours a day delivering goods and workers to the offshore rigs.
The Winegard Saga Continues
Later, I got in touch with Winegard and was told that the “AZ motor stalled” error message I got after the last fix, wasn’t good, and that I probably will need a second replacement unit. He suggested, as a very last resort, that I manually stow it and then power up and recalibrate. So, up on the roof yet again and manually stowed the unit. Back down and turned the power on and recalibrated the system, all to no avail. At this point, I am fed up with this process, so I went on the internet to find an authorized Winegard dealer around New Orleans and it turns out there is one in Metarie. I called Winegard one last time, waited two hours for the call to be returned, told them I was done fooling around with their system and I wanted the entire system replaced by the dealer in Metarie. They actually agreed to do just that, so, I now have an appointment for 8 AM next Monday to finally ( I hope ) get this sorry experience behind me.
In the middle of all this, my Mac keyboard began dying this AM. First, the “i” key failed. OK, “me” can work around that. Uh oh, now the comma key won’t work well that’s not good but lots of people don’t punctuate all that well so “me” can live with that “me” guess. Oh crap now the “8” the ”i” the ”k” and the comma all don’t worc plus now a row of numerals also has qu1t.Reallynowthespacekeyhasqu1t.T1meforanewkeyboard“me”guess!Nosatell1tteTVandnowno wayto1ntell1gentlycommun1catebyema1lorsearchthe1nternetfor1nfojustwonderful!
Finally, beautiful weather has returned, sunny and warm with a gentle breeze and blue skies! So up on the roof I go to replace the turret on my Winegard satellite dish. My hoped for ladder never materialized, so had to do a little improvising to get the unit up on the roof and get the old one down without breaking anything, including myself. Probably spent a couple of hours on the project and didn’t have any major problems except for one adjustment plate that had to be reused but did not match up perfectly with the corresponding part of the replacement turret.
Climb back down the ladder, go in and power the system up, the unit raises up, circles, and circles, and circles, then spits out a new error message “ AZ motor stalled”. Turn the power off and it starts to stow itself but now can’t and we are stuck with the new error message and a dish in the upright position that now won’t stow. Too late to call Winegard so this saga will continue tomorrow.
Drove up to Fourchon with a little success, finding an osprey with it’s specked trout lunch.
This flotilla of white pelicans was only 100 feet from the gathering of white ibis, snowy egrets, great egrets and roseate spoonbills that were really working this area hard. Obviously, there either were a mess of shrimp in this area or a large amount of baitfish. On this trip, with the road work preventing me from pulling over, I have missed an awful lot of opportunities to shoot mass gatherings of birds such as this.
Ventured out early this AM in search of birds but didn’t have a lot of luck so far as quantity goes. This night heron was waiting for me roadside at the entrance of the state park.
And I did get one very nice shot of an osprey that I apparently upset by my presence. I was actually trying to get closer to some spoonbills and didn’t notice him until the last minute. From his glaring expression, I sense that I must have irritated him.
I also came upon a first for me, a King Rail.
I then drove around Port Fourchon again and did some boat shots, I liked the ripple reflections on the side of the ” Double D “.
The sun popped through about 8 AM so I decided to go out and break in my new 600mm lens. I didn’t have to venture very far for as I headed out of the park, there were brown pelicans diving for fish in one of the ponds on the park road. Being slightly disappointed with the sharpness of the couple of handheld shots I tried with the lens last night, I set up the tripod and commenced shooting pelicans.
As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version, and some of these are really worth doing so IIDSSM.
I am pretty pleased with how fast this lens focuses and I seem to be able to maintain focus on the moving birds a little better than with my standby 200-400mm lens. But what really impresses me is how much more light this lens takes in than the 200-400 does. Some of these pelican diving shots are shot at speeds as fast as 1/6000 sec. @ F6.7 with ISO only at 400 or even 240! Couldn’t even dream of speeds like that with the other lens. Images are much sharper than the few I took last night, mostly because of better technique (the tripod ) and also a little more light. Between the power of this 600mm lens and the 36 megapixels of the D800, technique does become very important now, won’t be hand holding this lens very often. Weighing in at 16 pounds, handholding this lens is somewhat problematic anyhow, not to mention very tiring.
I even tried using the lens for a distant landscape series of shots and really like how it performed there also. The above image is comprised of 5 separate images combined in Photoshop and at 240 pixels/inch could be printed about 8 feet long. Now I understand why everyone raves about this lens.