This winter has brought a few rare birds to Santa Cruz County and this week a Hooded Warbler showed up at Natural Bridges State Beach.  This is an East Coast bird that was last seen in the county in 2006.  This was a difficult shoot since the bird was forging in bush that was under large Eucalyptus trees.  Plus being early morning the sun was low and the area was in a ravine.  Since I knew the area, I decided to use my D800 without any TC so I could take advantage of the fast f/2.8 aperture setting.  Even with the f/2.8 I had to use an ISO1600 and a shutter speed of 1/320s with the image stabilization on (Nikon VR).  I was pushing the rule to use 1/(lens focal length) or a minimum 1/300s, which I have found to be very slow in capturing birds with even a little motion.

Featured Photo 18: Hooded Warbler (Wilsonia citrinaI) EQ: D800 300mm f/2.8 VR on    Taken: 1-16-15 10:05 Setting: 300mm, 1/320s, f/2.8, ISO1600    Condition: Shady in tree grove and under brush

Featured Photo 18: Hooded Warbler (Wilsonia citrinaI)

EQ: D800 300mm f/2.8 VR on    Taken: 1-16-15 10:05

Setting: 300mm, 1/320s, f/2.8, ISO1600    Condition: Shady in tree grove and under brush

So to better my chances of capturing the bird, I timed my shots to correspond to the times he would move and stay still for a couple of seconds.  This required getting familiar with his movement and forging habits.  After about 90 minutes of watching and shooting, trying to capture him any sunlight I could; I did wind up with a few good images.

Setting: 300mm, 1/320s, f/2.8, ISO1600

Setting: 300mm, 1/320s, f/2.8, ISO1600

Setting: 300mm, 1/320s, f/2.8, ISO1600

Setting: 300mm, 1/320s, f/2.8, ISO1600

This was a life bird for me so the excitement of that and being able to capture this gorgeous bird that should be in Central America and the Caribbean just added to adventure.

Setting: 300mm, 1/320s, f/2.8, ISO1600

Setting: 300mm, 1/320s, f/2.8, ISO1600

Setting: 300mm, 1/320s, f/2.8, ISO1600

Setting: 300mm, 1/320s, f/2.8, ISO1600

Your comments are welcomed and if you have any questions about the photo or any other questions leave me a message.

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