Online Birding Reference

Our thanks to one of our readers, Ray Miller, for sharing an online birding reference… ebird.org… which was helpful for me to discover some additional local birding locations. It is always helpful to communicate with other people who enjoy bird and nature photography to learn about local bird populations, seasonality etc.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

OM-D D-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/2500, ISO-6400, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, cropped to 4184 pixels on the width, subject distance 6.8 metres

Some of you may already be aware of this online birding reference. I had no experience with it and quickly discovered a potentially good bird photography location only 6.6 kilometres (~4.1 miles) from my home.

OM-D D-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/2500, ISO-2500, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, cropped to 4032 pixels on the width, subject distance 15.1 metres

What I found particularly interesting is I’ve lived in this town for decades and had no idea that Grimsby Wetlands even existed.

OM-D D-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/1600, ISO-1600, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, cropped to 4553 pixels on the width, subject distance 6.1 metres

A couple of days ago I took a quick trip to the location to check it out. It was a hot, hazy afternoon with the temperature just above 32 degrees Celsius (~90 degrees Fahrenheit). Given the heat and haze I wasn’t expecting much out of my initial visit. I ended up with a decent selection of images, some of which are included in this article.

OM-D D-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 800 mm, efov 1600 mm, f/13, 1/1600, ISO-5000, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, cropped to 4783 pixels on the width, subject distance 4.4 metres

If you open the link in this article you’ll find that it takes you to the Niagara Ontario area. To change locations, click on Hotspot Map under the Explore heading.  When the map opens you can type in a new location in the black bar at the top of the page. Various locations will appear. These are colour-coded to indicate the number of species identified at individual locations.

OM-D D-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/2000, ISO-6400, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, full frame capture, subject distance 11.1 metres

While my focus was checking out Grimsby Wetlands for bird photography I also had the opportunity to photograph a couple of mammals during my brief visit. And yes… Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking will work with other animals as long as their eye is visible.

OM-D D-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 346 mm, efov 692 mm, f/8.6, 1/640, ISO-2500, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, full frame capture, subject distance 3.8 metres

I’ve noticed that some internet comments on other websites are still critical of the E-M1X’s Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking. Some folks complain about not being able to ‘thread the needle’ to focus on a bird. Or, that Bird Detection AI gets hung up on foliage in the foreground.

OM-D D-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/2500, ISO-2000, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, full frame capture, subject distance 23.4 metres

In both of these situations I think this is most likely due to user error. Some E-M1X owners are not using a single AF point to help direct Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking.

OM-D D-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/640, ISO-2500, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, full frame capture, subject distance 5.9 metres

In his 6 Month Real World Review, Chris Eyre Walker clearly states that a single AF point should be engaged when using the Intelligent Subject Tracking on the E-M1X. You will find this reference at about the 38:00 minute point in his video. I have been using a single AF point for quite a while and have not experienced any of the issues that some other E-M1X owners have complained about.

Technical Note

Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process. Crops are noted. This is the 1,048th article published on this website since its original inception.

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