Juvenile Great Horned Owl

4/30/2013 Juvenile Great Horned Owl

Juvenile Great Horned Owl  Today was the first day this year above 80 degrees in the Fox River Valley.  So, a walkabout by the Fox River seemed like a good idea.  The Villa preserve lies between Geneva and Batavia along the river.  Along with a Japanese garden and a walkway to a river island, at the moment, it features Great Horned Owls; mom, dad, and baby.  Well, the baby is growing quickly so now it’s a juvenile.  Even on a weekday, it attracts attention so it’s perched high in the trees with mom nearby and a 30mph wind to manage.

This image was captured handheld.  With a 810mm effective focal length, it held its own shooting along side heavy duty 400mm and 600mm f2.8 lenses on tripods used by other photogs.  Was this image better than theirs?  No, of course not; their images are probably technically better.  Still, it’s not a bad image.

Grey Squirrel

4/29/2013 Grey Squirrel

Grey Squirrel  Today was the warmest day of the year thus far; about 70.  This squirrel seemed to be smelling the wild flowers near the Fox River.  One issue when using the Nikon 1 V1 is that the electronic viewfinder is sometimes a bit small and dark.  But, most of the time, it does not matter because the auto-focus is so good.  For a good example, look at this shot.  I was on my stomach where it was difficult to see through the viewfinder and remain stable for the 810mm telephoto handheld.  The auto-focus certainly did its job.

Red-tailed Hawk Pair

4/23/2013 Red-tailed Hawk Pair

This Red-tailed Hawk Pair can be seen several times a week looking over their domain high in the trees overlooking a large meadow and lake.  Today, I tried to mate the 80-400mm and the Nikon V1.  The V1 will not auto-focus the 80-400mm since it is not AFS.  The new 80-400mm is AFS, but I do not have one.  Anyway, handheld manual focus with the V1 turned out to be difficult with such a large lens.  It took many shots to get one with reasonable focus.