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About lyceel

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    Order of the Green Heron
  • Birthday 01/01/1975

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    Los Gatos, CA
  1. Texas Bird ID

    Sorry, your original shots are certainly not an adult Black-crested, I'm wondering if they might be juvenile Black-crested, though. birdgir420's linked article has an image of a juvenile Black-crested similar to yours, and I turned up a few others with a Google image search.
  2. Bird lenses under $1000.

    The biggest issue I had from the Sigmas (other than the slight lack of sharpness, not bad, but noticeable next to better optics) is that they're f/6.3 at the long end, which gives you a relatively dark viewfinder image and hurts your shutter speed. If you can put up with that (and your camera can focus properly at f/6.3), they're not bad options for the price. Of all the options mentioned, I'd agree with dspates on the 300mm f/4. It's a good price to pay for a killer lens. When you can save up another $400 ($250 used), you can also add the TC14-EII which will make it a 400mm f/5.6 and give you a bit longer reach. If you can't swing the $1400, the Nikon 70-300mm AF-S VR is also not at all a bad lens for the $600 asking price. Make sure you get the AF-S VR version though, as the original AF-D 70-300mm is not nearly as good.
  3. Texas Bird ID

    Not saying this is what it is (I'm not a Texas expert) but is it worth considering Black-crested Titmouse here? I saw them in the Rio Grande valley, but the range map shows them over most of the state.
  4. Hawaii Quail/Francolin/???

    Gray Francolin would be the next obvious choice, and this was on the Kona side (probably should have mentioned that). Thanks!
  5. Just had to share this shot of the Kupa'ianaha crater on Mount Kilauea. During the day, it just looks like white smoke rising out of a hole, but at night, the lava lake below the surface illuminates the smoke with a crazy orange glow... Didn't have a tripod with me, so I shot this hand-held, D7100 with 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII at 110mm. Settings were f/2.8, 1/10", ISO 1600. Shadow detail is pretty subtle, so it looks better if you click on it. Comments welcome!
  6. Share your milestone birds

    Hit World lifer #500 in Hawaii last week. An Oma'o, a species of Thrush. Unfortunately, he only sat still for a moment, so I only got this marginal photo. The song helped confirm the ID, though... Honorable mention goes to number 501, which came a few minutes later. It was an I'iwi, a beautiful species of Honeycreeper...
  7. I was hoping one of you could confirm which species of Quail or Francolin or whatever this is. I saw them on the Big Island of Hawaii on Saturday 6/22. Unfortunately, I didn't have my good camera with me, only an underwater P&S (I was going snorkeling, not birding, at the time...). My first thought was Japanese Quail, but E-bird seems to think that three is too many for the location/time of year. Thanks in advance...
  8. National Geographic - my picture was chosen

    Awesome! Many congratulations, Boris! The photo deserves it, too. Great shot!
  9. Saw this guy at Merritt Island NWR a few years ago. It was teetering on 100 degrees and 90% humidity. The Towhee and I were both panting!
  10. Comparisons

    That's a good comparison. The thing that always sticks out to me when trying to ID these guys is how the Lesser just looks more svelte and slender overall than the Greater. There's just less mass on top of those long, skinny legs The Greater just tends to look more bulky overall. This photo shows that pretty well.
  11. 3 hours of hiking up and down the mountain, not a lot of birds, but on the way back, I came across this sight just a few hundred yards from the parking lot. Made the trip worth it! I thought for sure that it was a breeding pair at the time, just because of how closely they were sitting. On a closer look, though, I think they're both females. That might explain this guy swooping in and gawking like he did...
  12. Got my first (for real this time!) Lazuli Bunting last weekend. I couldn't get super-close to any of them, as they were off-trail in a big patch of wildflowers. I did the best I could, and I think the longer shot of the flowers and the bunting is better than trying to crop in on a relatively small part of the frame. It was actually pretty tough to find that little bit of blue in all that yellow. Fortunately, he was singing his head off too
  13. Common Raven in the yard

    I agree with you. One of the coolest birds out there. They have so much personality.
  14. Osprey close-up....

    Great shots! I miss seeing these guys since I moved from Florida. If I can pick a small nit, they look a tad overprocessed to me. Too much sharpening, or too much saturation, not sure which, but they just seem a bit hyper-real (unless that's the look you were going for...)
  15. Fungus in lens Question...

    No personal experience, but my understanding is that fungus can form inside a lens when it gets wet, either by immersion in water or by a sudden change in temperature that produces a lot of internal condensation (a brief bit of condensation when taking a lens in out of the cold usually isn't a problem). Since the fungus is on the interior surfaces of the lens, and since cameras aren't typically watertight, I wouldn't think that it would be easy for fungus to invade a camera body, but I don't know for sure. Personally, I would avoid any lenses with signs or history of fungus. Don't buy them and don't attach them to your camera. You probably wouldn't get great pictures out of them anyway