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Inspiring and Supporting Photographers of Australian Birds

Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret (Image ID 43303)
Photographed byJim Schultz on Fri 6th Nov, 2020 and uploaded on same date.
Resolution1800x1250
Viewed122
ID43303
CommentThis was the 2nd time I went to Erskine Lakes to photograph the breeding colony of Cattle Egrets there. I arrived at the crack of dawn only to realize that the day was going to be an overcast one, presenting challenges with regards to light. In this image, the otherwise grey skies had a blue tint to them behind the main bird, so it stands out and separates well with a calm, pleasant background. All 3 birds were in full breeding plumage and displayed the courtship flush, and there’s no doubt in my mind that we’re watching a major squabble over a potential nesting site or indeed intense rivalry between possible suitors for one of the opposite sex.
Locality of this capture: Erskine Lakes, WA. Status of the species (IUCN 2016): Least Concern ~ ‘trend increasing’
EquipmentNikon D850
Nikkor AF-S 500mm f4G ED VR lens + TC-14E MkIII Teleconverter = 700mm focal length
Technique: Camera rig support: Gitzo GT3543XLS Tripod, Dietmar Nill gimbal tripod head as high from the ground as I could reach to focus, standing tall partly concealed by shrubs and photographing across water onto island, the sun behind me and over my right shoulder.
Exposure Mode: MANUAL 1/1000 sec at f9; ISO-500. Metering Mode: Center-Weighted; Focus Mode: AF-C high/5 frames per sec & AF Area Mode: Dynamic, 9 points. VR: On, but will have little or no effect at the shutter speed in use
Nikon ViewNX-i for viewing and selecting files; Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw/CC 2020 for resizing and cropping image to 115% plus performing mild selective sharpening and manually removing halos. General post-processing inclusive of lifting shadows and removing a twig as well as mild colour enhancing in lieu of the clouded day were also undertaken. ‘Australian Bird Guide 2019’ for supplementary data and colour checks
LocationErskine Lakes, Mandurah, Western Australia
Keywordsin flight, adult, breeding plumage/features, behaviour/display
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