Thursday, August 13, 2009

Speaking of Birds ...

July 20 - 26, 2009

With a new camera comes new possibilities. This one, though compact and surprisingly light, has a powerful zoom. Until now, my subjects have been mostly flowers – for one thing, they don’t run or fly away! There are sometimes pleasant surprises when I get home and actually see the photos – details not apparent on the camera’s LED screen.
Now, I’m trying to snap shots of more mobile creatures – such as birds.
So far, I am still shooting from the hip, and not using a tripod.

Some of these photos aren’t as sharp as they could be, because of that habit.
(Now's the time to try out that nifty little GorillaPod that Rob sent me ages ago- !)

It’s neat to be able to see such creatures without scaring them off. Even with this advantage, most of them are well aware of my presence. One, as you will see, is even scolding me!

Here are glimpses into a whole new world for me:

A cedar waxwing gulping down honeysuckle berries along the edge of Moreau Lake. Lindsey, my go-to person for bird questions ( tells me that when they eat a lot of these berries, the yellow-edged tail turns orange!
(Click on any of these photos to see them larger)

Up in the meadows, little sparrows are dining on seeds of the wild parnsip. Not sure, but it might be a savannah sparrow.

Along a section of the Warren County Bike Trail which passes through great birding areas - such as the Glen Lake section - I saw this pugnacious little kingbird, high overhead on the powerline wires. I braced myself against one of the poles, which is why the focus is so sharp.

Further along on the same trail - (no poles to lean on this time, and it was after sunset ) :
an indignant indigo bunting -

It's always wise to pay attention to crows, especially a group of them.
Up to no good, most likely, mobbing an owl, or ...

... a hawk.

While paddling in Dunham's Bay this month, the great blue herons have become more visible, or perhaps less skitterish. It's tricky shooting due to the fact that the kayak is moving, unless I find a good parking-spot among the lily pads. The herons are busy taking advantange of the good fishing here.

But if you get too close ... buh-bye!


  1. I love that last great blue heron photo! Actually, I love them all. You have such an eye for composition! And I saw possibly that same sparrow today on wild parsnip!

  2. What spectacular photos! I especially love that one of the Cedar Waxwing and honeysuckle berries, as pretty as an Audubon painting. How I envy you your eyesight. When I look for birds, all I see are dark shapes against the sky. Thanks for letting me see them so beautifully.

  3. So what camera is this new one?

  4. hi guys - glad you enjoy the photos, even the blurry ones!
    Catharus - the new camera is the Panasonic Lumix FZ28. It's a "compact superzoom" that is less than $300. I's very light and not too big, either. What made me choose it over a Canon was the fact that it accepts an affordable polarizing filter, which none of the other ones in that category did. So far I'm shooting most of my stuff with the automatic settings.

  5. Oh, these pictures are absolutely breathtaking! Congratulations on having a new camera to have fun with, I envy you as mine is not at all up to taking such pictures. The Cedar Waxwing picture is possibly my favourite. Lovely bird portraits - lovely birds!

  6. thanks Bird, I was frustrated in trying to get a clear shot of the waxwing - more of a profile - but instead think I managed to convey the sneakiness of him pilfering those berries - he kept looking over his shoulder as if he was doing something especially sly.