Egrets – I’ve had a few…

Kota Kinabalu Wetland Ramsar Site. Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, 2 May 2019.

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In the late afternoon, we visited the Kota Kinabalu Wetland Ramsar Site, within the city.  I had requested this and I thought we might see a different kind of wildlife from in the rainforests and it would be a good test of my equipment and technique.

Photographic technobabble alert:

I’ve mainly been shooting Fuji in the last couple of years but I decided to take Nikon this time. I decided to get a D850 to go with my 300 f2.8 and I discovered my 1.4x teleconverter had died but managed to get it replaced just before I left thanks to prompt action by Nikon Australia.  Buying a Fuji 200mm f2 and two X-T3s as an alternative was too expensive at the time, and the Nikon option offered better autofocus and greater room to crop if necessary.  I could have taken my Fuji 100-400m but that is weaker at the long end and loses about a stop in light sensitivity, critical in the often dark rainforest.

It was low tide when we reached the wetlands, connected to the sea by a tidal estuary.

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Egrets, Kota Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu Wetland Ramsar Site, Mangroves, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Crab on the mudflats.

The first image is an illustration of the hazards of low light shooting.  It is at 1/200sec, f4 @ 18,000 ISO, and is an 84% crop!  So it was dark and the crab was some distance away.  The exposure was hand held (though leaning on the hand rail) because there was no point getting out the tripod on a raised wooden walkway with people on it.  It’s not suitable for printing at any size but the wonder is that there is anything there to see at all.

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Egrets, Kota Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu Wetland Ramsar Site, Mangroves, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Mud crab with eyes on stalks.  It must hide beneath the water and mud with only eyes above, waiting for prey.

This one’s not so extreme at 1/200sec, f4 @ 2,800 ISO, but it is also an 84% crop .

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Egrets, Kota Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu Wetland Ramsar Site, Mangroves, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Dragonfly on a dead tree, some distance away.

This one is a more respectable exposure, being 1/100sec f4.5 @280 ISO and not cropped much at all.

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Egrets, Kota Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu Wetland Ramsar Site, Mangroves, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Eastern Great Egret.

I discovered that the calibration for my 300mm lens plus 1.4 teleconverter was significantly out so I did a makeshift calibration focusing on the details of a patch of mud.  Having done that, this image is now sharp.  It is on a tripod from inside a large hide.  It would have been better without the tree or pole but there were too many people for me to be able to move around.

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Egrets, Kota Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu Wetland Ramsar Site, Mangroves, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

There were I think four or five egrets there.

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Egrets, Kota Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu Wetland Ramsar Site, Mangroves, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

After a while they all flew off.

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Egrets, Kota Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu Wetland Ramsar Site, Mangroves, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Walking back now, it is a mangrove zone.

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Egrets, Kota Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu Wetland Ramsar Site, Mangroves, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

… with lots of visible roots.

(This was taken with a Fuji X100s, so a wide angle.  All other images were with Nikon D850 + 300mm f2.8 + 1.4xTC, so a long telephoto).

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Egrets, Kota Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu Wetland Ramsar Site, Mangroves, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

… and finally, a flower near the Visitors’ Centre..

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2 comments on “Egrets – I’ve had a few…

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