Some days the birds win
On Saturday, September 6th, I went to Roselle Park hoping to find a few birds to photograph. I guess that I got my wish, there were few birds there. 😉 By the end of the day, I learned that I haven’t spent enough time shooting small songbirds, my timing was off for one thing, I’ve spent too much of my time birding on shorebirds lately. The quality of my bird photos also suffered because it seemed like when I did see birds to shoot, the lighting was very poor at that moment.
For example, I started out shooting this female or juvenile common yellowthroat…
…and from about the same spot, I was getting the exposure dialed in on this eastern phoebe….
….as you can see, the birds don’t just jump in front of my lens to have their picture taken! Oh wait, yes they do! The yellowthroat hopped in front of the phoebe and insisted that I shoot more photos of it.
The yellowthroat must have thought that I quit shooting it the first time because it had a few feathers out-of-place, so it did a little preening…
….then struck a pose.
When the yellowthroat thought that I had shot a sufficient number of images of it, it departed, and let me get dialed in on the phoebe.
One great thing about nature is that if the birds don’t cooperate, there’s usually something else to photograph.
Those were shot with the Beast (Sigma 150-500 mm lens) just as the sun was breaking through the clouds. A few minutes later, the sun was fully out, and I switched to the Tokina macro lens for these.
I never did get the one with the water drop on it the way that I wanted it, water seems to change the focus point a great deal. If I got the part of the flower under the drop in focus, all the rest of the flower was out of focus and vice versa.
A band of clouds moved in to block the sun, about the same time that I found a small flock of bluebirds, none of which would pose in front of a background that would let me get a good photo of them.
That’s the way my day went, when I saw birds, I couldn’t get a good photo of them.
You wouldn’t believe how hard that I worked for those two rather poor photos. In fact, hard work seemed the rule for the day, I spotted this brightly colored beetle…
…and chased it around…
…trying to get a good photo of it, but I had to settle for this one.
That bug wore me out. On the other hand, this one was so ugly that it doesn’t have to move to hide from predators.
With those spines, nothing in its right mind would try making a meal of that thing, not even a nearby frog.
Of course the frog was hiding from predators such as this one.
And the heron was hiding because I had bungled my approach to the stream, which brought laughter from this crow behind me that was still smirking at me when I turned to shoot it.
I was providing so much amusement for the crow that it was a bit slow to take off, but it did.
At least I got a good shot of its feet.
A little later, I found a patch of wildflowers filled with goldfinches. Of course the males stayed on the wrong side of the wildflowers as far as lighting…
….while the females stayed on the right side for good photos.
I tried sneaking up on the heron again.
It didn’t work, they are such wary and intelligent birds.
On the other end of the scale are mallards, who love to pose for photos.
Next up, a dragonfly that I don’t remember ever seeing before, so I shot a couple of quick photos with the Beast to make sure that I got the dragonfly.
While I was looking for a safe place to set the Beast down while I used the Tokina macro lens for better images, the dragonfly moved to a less photogenic spot, but I tracked it down for these.
I said it was a day when I had to work for my photos, here’s another example. I tried very hard to get not only this bug’s face in focus, but also its wings.
But, the darned bug kept moving on me, ruining my photos.
On a completely different subject, I noticed the differences in color and textures of the leaves on these trees.
By the way, I shot that with the Tokina to get the sharpest possible photo so that the texture differences showed up in that image. I’ve tried that type of photo before, but it never came out quite right with other lenses.
I’ve said it before, but the Beast seems to sniff out birds hiding in the foliage…
But despite how well the Beast does, there are times when I still can’t make an ID from my photos.
From the shape color, and size of the bird’s bill, I think that this was a vireo of some species, but it could also be a warbler. So, I’ll copy those photos to my unidentified file, and hope that someday I’ll be able to get a few more photos of whatever species the birds is, make the ID, and match the new photos to these.
The next day, Sunday, I didn’t have much better luck with the birds, although I did get a lifer at Pickerel Lake, so I spent some time learning how to photograph fungi better than I have in the past. But, that’s another post.
That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!