Eared Grebe continues - 11 Feb 2021

I stopped by Bishop Park on yesterday at lunch with the hope to digiscope the Eared Grebe, but it would not show while I was there. The bird was most likely snoozing under the dock next to the fishing pier. It would be reported later in the day. So, today I returned after work to look for it, again. 

My plan was to digiscope w/ the Sony a9 in Manual Mode as I normally do. Using DMF works, but it results in failed focus areas (purple box instead of green) and causes the lens to jump somewhere between infinity and macro; this can result in OOF images even though they look ok through the scope. So, I put the Zeiss 35/2.8 on infinity focus and use focus peaking where appropriate.

As I waited for the grebe to show I spent some time trying to capture fly-by Canvasback on the Detroit River. A large raft was floating by as I arrived, and the ducks were working their way back north. Rolling focus as I shot a burst of frames helped to ensure a few keepers. A few Redhead floated by, and then I turned my scope on a few of the Mallard that swam out from under the dock to sun themselves on the ice.

The Eared Grebe finally showed, but decided to stay under the pier where dark shadows gave me only silhouettes to shoot. Eventually the bird moved out into the open enough to grab a few portraits before it returned under the dock.

As I waited to pick up carry-out for dinner I made a swing through Elizabeth Park. I had time, so I parked next to a spot where a few feeders were placed and decided to digiscope some of the local visitors from inside the car. Hand-holding the scope I was able to get some nice images of Black Squirrels, Dark-eyed Juncos, White-throated Sparrows, and a lovely Red-bellied Woodpecker.

I even managed to get a 3-shot segment while rolling focus so that I could stack the images in Photoshop to create a composite image w/ the bird's head and back in focus. I did notice a bit more noise afterward...


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