Migrants in flight (part I) – Mount Soledad, La Jolla

[All photographs copyright, Gary Nunn 2013] – I made an early stop at Mount Soledad this morning to check out what migrants might be making their way over this coastal La Jolla peak. The Santa Ana winds were mild but the temperature sure was climbing quickly! There were not too many birds but the diversity of species was good. I have been trying to improve my “birds-in-flight” (BIF) photography techniques and this site is a real training ground. Small passerines mostly appear in flight from the south, often flying on a beeline, and rapidly pass by heading northwards. Using an effective telephoto lens length of 640 mm to find small moving objects is challenging, not to mention hoping that the Canon 7D autofocus locks onto the subject! I managed to catch a reasonable number of species in flight shown below. Needless to say there were a few mystery birds that got away. One of the challenges of this genre of bird photography is that there is no time to look at the birds with binoculars! However the 640 mm telephoto lens gives a magnification of about 12X looking through the camera viewfinder. So if the camera can snap on to focus then you get a great look at the bird!

Lazuli Bunting – Mount Soledad, La Jolla 03 May 2013

Phainopepla – Mount Soledad, La Jolla 03 May 2013

Western Tanager – Mount Soledad, La Jolla 03 May 2013

Western Wood-Pewee – Mount Soledad, La Jolla 03 May 2013

Vaux’s Swift – Mount Soledad, La Jolla 03 May 2013

White-throated Swift – Mount Soledad, La Jolla 03 May 2013

5 thoughts on “Migrants in flight (part I) – Mount Soledad, La Jolla

  1. Great job getting a picture of a Vaux’s swift in flight. At that magnification it is quite a feat. The WT swift photo is also very cool.

    • Hi Tito! Thanks for the comments on my blog – always appreciated! Yeah it is tricky getting these flying birds in focus, but I am getting better with practice! I agree, WT Swift are actually very cool looking birds when frozen in flight. Gary.

  2. Hii

    I was hoping that you might donate your bright Cassin’s Vireo and Hammond’s Flycatcher to my free online ‘Birds of Vancouver Island’ on my website above.

    It would be greatly appreciated and you and your website will be credited.


    • Hi Pat, feel free to download and use the images you specified directly from my blog pages. The pixel sizes are pretty generous if you click on the images it should go to the fullsize! I would be grateful if you provided credit on your website – links back always welcome thanks! Gary.

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