Best Of The Year!! November – December ‘Bird Is The Word’ Blog #82!!



Best Of The Year!! November – December ‘Bird Is the Word’ Blog #82!! During the summer I purchased a used Nikon 1 mirrorless camera and a 70-300 millimeter lens. The 300mm lens with the Nikon 1 crop sensor claimed to make for an equivalent of 810mm. At a bit of a loss I got out of this set up, selling it off as the zoom was maybe 400mm and that simply defeated the purpose. As a Nikon user, who understands the realistic limitations and painfully slow focusing of my main horse: the Nikon P600 I was appalled at the dishonesty of the Nikon 1 system. I possibly have a new camera purchase on the horizon and I believe Nikon has lost me as a customer, but I digress.


I mention this not to slander Nikon but to point out that I did take one of the photo’s for the calendar month of November with it. You may notice that I actually have a photo with birds in flight! Simply impossible with the Nikon P600, there was some upside to flight shots with the Nikon 1. On a sunny summer day, with hundreds of seagull and tern subjects at the ready I got some decent flight shots! I didn’t dislike the Nikon 1, but if it was advertised as to what it actually performs as, it would have never been on my radar. Money would have been saved and I would not have been so bummed. Even with all my exhaustive research I still felt bamboozled.


Many of my birding friends rejoiced with me and for me when I came around with my upgraded set-up. Hanging my head in shame when two months later I had just my old P600 strapped on and a story of disappointment was…well.. disappointing. The first pic below is the shot that made the calendar, and a few “B” roll ‘flight’ shots included as well for good measure!


Laughing Gulls





That was a fun day and the little Nikon 1 performed well! It is rare for me to have two of the same species of bird make the calendar but I liked this other Laughing Gull pic so much I had to include it too!


Obviously not taked in November but this pic was taken with the Nikon P600

Laughing Gull


The Nikon P600 does good on close, large subjects that are still, as evidenced by this Greater black-backed Gull!

Great black-backed Gull



I had to sneak a Wood Duck photo in as per usual!



Also highlighted here is the very rare Mountain Bluebird that for some reason made it’s way here way out of it’s normal range:


You wouldn't expect to see this bird ever around here, especially not in November or December which is when it was found


The photo of the Mountain Bluebird just made the cut-off as it was a bit distant and not too sharp of a photograph. This year I made the cover of the calendar all sub-standard shots of all ‘next level’ birds. The subjects are absolutely thrilling, all rare stuff, but due to whatever conditions the photo’s just are not “calendar shots”. Having many small pictures minimizes the imperfections that would be seen if they were blown up larger. I will be however including them here as a ‘Easter egg’ bonus in their full pixelated glory at the end of this blog entry!


Belted Kingfisher

This Kingfisher pic was also almost omitted due to lack of sharpness of the photo, but I just liked it too much to not include! The picture was taken in a suburban back yard which adds to the fun of the memory for me, but I get that doesn’t mean much to anybody else.


Earl   (Great Egret)


Lastly and concluding this calendar/best of the year 2018 series is Earl! A local legend and friend that is a bit tame. My local Salt Marsh affords these kind of impeccable looks at many species including unreal looks at Osprey and Great Egrets. Earl will regularly just show up and land next to ya, sometimes even walk the path a little with ya. He’s a cool bird and I’m looking forward to his return in the spring! See you in a few months Earl!


As promised, a little overtime in photos! Best of the year subjects with less than stellar photographs..the Cover! If you love birds you’ll love these pictures, If you like great photography and nice sharp photo’s you may wanna skip it hahaha



Brown Pelican


Purple Gallinule


Northern Wheatear


Barn Owl


Western Kingbird


Scissor-tailed Flycatcher


Roseate Spoonbill


Acadian Flycatcher


Evening Grosbeak


Western Sandpiper


American Bittern


Black-bellied whistling Duck


…and with that we conclude our best of 2018/calendar series! Will there be a calendar for next year, I’m not too sure! I’ve gotten some decent photo’s and species since I submitted my pics for this year, so there’s a chance! Thanks again for reading! Please do click the links below for all things