Went on a Heritage Expedition voyage organized by Shearwater Journeys and it was a wonderful adventure.  I don't know how many parts this will required but I saw 137 new species, experienced a forgotten coast, encountered spectacular birds including the Stellar's Sea Eagle and the purpose of the expedition to find the Spoon-billed Sandpiper.  Hopefully, I will be able to share the experience through my photos and words.

Our first stop was Inchon South Korea but more on that later.  The featured photo was taken south of Vladivostok Russia near the FAM Factory.  The Mandarin Duck is a resident of Japan but breeds in the Vladivostok area and China.  This was an out of the way area known by our guide company Explore Primorye run by Rada Sumach and Sergey Abarok and we even had with us ornithologist, Tatiana Svatko.  Highly recommended if you are in the area.  This pair of ducks were 2 of at least 46 males, females, and immature ducks that had bread on an oxbow off the Solenaya River.  This was a very shady area under a thick canopy.  My main wildlife setup was my Nikon D7200 1.5 crop sensor with a 500mm f/4 lens, which gives me a 750mm equivalent 35mm focal length.  Since the light was limited and using my normal shutter speed of 1/1250s, I had to open the aperture to f/4.0 and set my ISO to 800.  I set my exposure compensation to 1/3EV to slightly over expose for post processing the RAW images by reducing the exposure to reduce the noise.

Featured Photo 49: Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata): FAM Factory, Primorskiy kraj, Russia EQ: D7200, 500mm f/4.0   Taken: 6-17-2017 at 10:30 Settings: 750mm (35mm eqiv), 1/1250s, f/4.0, ISO800, 1/3EV         Conditions: Shady

Featured Photo 49: Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata): FAM Factory, Primorskiy kraj, Russia

EQ: D7200, 500mm f/4.0   Taken: 6-17-2017 at 10:30

Settings: 750mm (35mm eqiv), 1/1250s, f/4.0, ISO800, 1/3EV         Conditions: Shady


Back to Inchon Island where the airport that services Seoul South Korea is located.  This was our first stop on our way to Vladivostok.  We landed around 4 pm local time and did some birding around our hotel but the next morning our guide took us to a wooded area where the first bird we saw was a Dollarbird.  This was a great area where we saw 12 species 11 new ones for me.

From left to right Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis), Carrion Crow (Corvus corone), Varied Tit (Sittiparus varius) at Woon-Bookbong-Woodlands, KR-28, South Korea


After spending almost 2 hours in the wooded area we headed to the shoreline.  The air quality was very bad creating fog like conditions and resulted in very low contrast images.  We saw 12 species and again 11 new ones for me.

From left to right Gray Heron, Gray (Ardea cinerea cinerea/jouyi) and Intermediate Egret (Mesophoyx intermedia) Incheon Island-shoreline, KR-28, South Korea

From left to right Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus), Black-faced Spoonbill (Platalea minor), and Japanese Cormorant (Phalacrocorax capillatus) Incheon Island-shoreline, KR-28, South Korea


More Images from FAM Factory

Black-tailed Gull (Larus crassirostris) FAM Factory, Primorskiy kraj, Russia

Black-tailed Gull (Larus crassirostris) FAM Factory, Primorskiy kraj, Russia

Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) FAM Factory, Primorskiy kraj, Russia

Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) FAM Factory, Primorskiy kraj, Russia

This is the first in a series of blogs that I will write over the next few weeks with some tales from my Palouse WA trip mixed in.

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

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