Muskegon birding March 28th, mostly songbirds
Way back on March 28th, I went to Muskegon to see if I could find any rare migrant birds, no luck there. However, I did get quite a few really good photos of some of the early arriving songbirds, although not every one would consider the common grackle to be a songbird. 😉
They may produce many sounds, but song isn’t the word that comes to mind when I hear them. I don’t name or classify birds, I just photograph them. 😉
Anyway, I began at the wastewater treatment facility, where I didn’t find many things to photograph. There was a rough-legged hawk, but too far away for a good photo.
I saw these rocks and their reflections in the water, and shot this specifically to play with in Lightroom.
It may not look like it, but I spent more time in Lightroom working on that photo than any other so far. Not that there’s a lot of difference between this and the original image, as the original was quite good to begin with. This one was all about very small changes to many of the settings in Lightroom to fine tune an image while learning Lightroom.
I probably should have used some of what I learned in that previous image for these, but what I was after with these was showing the “horns” of a horned lark, which gave it its name.
You can see that it was still very early in the morning from the long shadow being cast by the lark. So early that I caught a small herd of deer feeding in one of the fields.
If you remember the video of the male hooded mergansers displaying for a female…
…here’s two still photos that I shot and had to crop way too far.
Here’s a few of the geese that were adding their honking to the video…
…and one of the male red-winged blackbirds that provided background sounds as well.
Sorry for posting three photos of the same bird, but I love the fact that by using Lightroom to tweak these, I can get mostly black birds to look in my photos the way that they look in real life.
My next stop was the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve…
…which is on the other side of the Muskegon River from the power-plant that you can see in the background. It was a glorious day as you can see, but still a bit on the cold side.
I sat under the edge of the shelter that’s there at the preserve, shooting the songbirds in the brush around the shelter.
I also found a few things other than birds to shoot photos of.
Now then, I must apologize for not properly identifying some of those things, but I’m rushing through this post for a reason.
It’s the early pre-dawn hours on Saturday as I’m throwing this post together. Because of changes to my work schedule this week, I ran over to the camera store yesterday afternoon after I finished working for the week, to pick-up the new 7D Mk II camera that I’ve been saving for. My plan was to make the purchase, then come home, unpack the camera, and get the battery charged as I slept. However, they were out of camera only kits at the store, so I have the free spare battery, 32GB SD card, and a HDMI cable that are part of the current promotion from Canon, but no camera. That’s supposed to arrive around noon today, Saturday.
My new plan is this, I’m rushing through this post, which I won’t publish until Sunday night or Monday. As soon as it’s light (and warm) enough this morning, I’m going to go for my regular walk using my “old” 60D bodies. Then, I’ll pick-up the new 7D Mk II, and return to the park to try it out, since I’ve charged the spare battery already. So, by the time that you read this, I’ll have already been out with the new camera, and will have tons of photos to review taken with it. Depending on how the photos from Saturday look, and how quickly I’m able to get the basics of the 7D down, I may well go to Muskegon on Sunday, or at least somewhere other than around home, to shoot another ton of photos to review. At least that’s the plan as of right now. I may very well throw in a photo or two shot with the new camera here towards the end, since I won’t be publishing this post as soon as it’s done.
Anyway, here’s a mute swan that I shot at Muskegon State Park, which was my last stop of the day on this trip.
I walked back to the eagle nest there at the state park, but I couldn’t tell if the female was on the nest or not. On the way to the nest, I shot this photo just to test something out…
…and tried a quick HDR image of the same scene.
I think that I didn’t get the exposure settings correct for the HDR version, as there’s not much difference between the two.
An update, so much for the best laid plans of mice, men, and camera buyers. My new camera did not arrive at the store today as scheduled, they had vehicle problems. The camera was coming from Kalamazoo, Michigan, less than an hour south of here. So much for local knowledge and service, this will be the last purchase I make at the local store!
I had called earlier in the week to let them know I’d be there this weekend sometime to pick that camera up, but they didn’t send one then. I’ll tell you, I’m close to cussing some one out, which I don’t make a habit of doing. That store used to be good, but they’ve got a bunch of flakes working there now, you can’t depend on their advice, that’s been proven to be incorrect more often than not, and you can’t depend on them to do what they say they’ll do.
I should go back and rework this post, but I don’t feel like it now, I’m thoroughly ticked off to put it mildly. So, I’m going to throw in a couple of more photos of the bee from my last post….
…the first field sparrow of the spring…
…and an artsy shot that I took this morning, before I learned my camera hadn’t been shipped.
It’s a beautiful spring day outside, I’ve already done one walk, as soon as I finish some chores, I’m going to do another. Hopefully, I’ll get better photos of the first meadowlark to show up here this spring…
…and the eastern phoebe that has also returned.
That this is it for this one, thanks for stopping by!