This is going to be about birds, but I thought we would create a new thread. Joel Eade, J.W. Eade, and I met up last weekend at Laguna Seca Ranch. First takeaway, yep, there is another Eade that takes photos of birds. It is Joel's son, and, not surprisingly, he has a good eye. Laguna Seca Ranch is in Edinburgh, TX, which is near the Mexican border and the gulf. Our thought had to been to be there when migrant birds were coming through, but it seems like we were between waves. That said, not complaints, the birding was excellent.

Second main takeaway, a couple of us talk about investing in locations rather than new are talking about places like Laguna Seca Ranch. I was actually a bit shocked, but their blinds are set up so well, you really do not need the big whites, matter of fact, you may not want the big whites. Within minutes I had abandoned my 500 f/4 (forget about the TC), and took the vast majority of images with the 100-400 II. But, what got me, some of my favorite photos thus far were actually taken at 150-300 mm. Gene, the site owner and our guide, was shooting with a 300 f/2.8. But, as he advised, you really need to stop down to keep the whole bird in focus anyway. So, f/5.6-5.7.1 were very common. My point, you can go places like this without the expensive gear like supertelephoto lenses. I did end up using my 500 f/4, but mostly when trying to get head shots.

That said, the R5 was very nice to have. I have way too many photos to sort through, but the Eye-AF was amazing and absolutely helped me get shots that I would have otherwise missed. Most of the time, I was in "H" mode, so "only" 9 fps, which was enough...until it wasn't and I shifted to electronic shutter and 20 fps. But I could have easily walked away with good photos even without the R5.

I am going to try to work in some other thoughts here or there. But here are a few from Day 1. I still need to look at Days 2 & 3.

Day 1 Morning: Raptor Blind

Crested Caracara
537A5149 by kayaker72, on Flickr

537A5255 by kayaker72, on Flickr

I am impressed with the R5 right out of camera. I am usually modifying, but I am starting to think I over edit a is a Caracara unedited-just RAW conversion in LR.

537A7031 by kayaker72, on Flickr

Day 1 Afternoon-Beaver Blind (aimed at songbirds):
Green Jay taking a bath
537A9937 by kayaker72, on Flickr

Cardinal (they have LOTS of Cardinals) at a reflecting pool:
537A1061 by kayaker72, on Flickr

Female in the cactus flower:
537A1330 by kayaker72, on Flickr

Thanks for viewing....Brant