Sunday, February 1, 2015

It's For the Birds

 Baby its cold outside!  The temperatures have been in the teens and lower the past few days. That means winter and that means the bird feeders are up and I want pictures.
 This year the feeders are placed far enough away from the house that I need to use my zoom lens. The lens I fear. Getting clear crisp focused pictures has been a challenge for me lately and using the zoom lens pretty much guaranteed fuzzy photos. I gave it a try anyway and sure enough even my best effort was out of focus and slightly blurred. I had a training session yesterday so I put my zoom lens on and took the camera to my session. I asked every question I could think of and soaked up all the information I could. One piece of information made me very happy, I can use the higher ISO's and they will still print out nicely. Using all the information and lessons from that session I give the bird feeder another try, I was so encouraged that I braved the cold tundra and went out for a ride. Oh what a great ride.
   Near the fair grounds is a tree standing off almost by itself, in that tree is a nest. I saw activity in the nest and decided to give it a try. I was right in figuring I was just too far away for my lens to work. The wind was so strong that it was indeed moving me and making holding the camera still impossible. I snapped a few shots anyway just to see what I would get. They weren't good but I was encouraged to try again anyway. With the right lens and a tripod I can and will get the picture I want. I plan to rent both the lens and tripod in the next few weeks before the couple decides to move on. As I said not good at all, still I am sharing a few so you can see just exactly what it is I am photo hunting.

 After trudging through a snow drift to get those Eagle pictures I climb back in the car blast the heat and head on down the road to a Red Barn I want a picture of. Before I get there I see a few Hawks playing over  one field or another, and just as I am thinking I won't get the camera out in time, I spot one lone hawk sitting on a telephone poll. Pulling over, slamming on my brakes, and grabbing my camera all at the same time, I am crushed when I turn camera ready and the Hawk flies off the pole. He flies into a tree right in front of me but to the back side of the tree, I fire off 2 shots anyway and get a faint shadow of the bird. He then flies off and that is when I notice the other Hawks are still playing farther off in the sky. I get out of the car to try and capture the birds playing, thats when my Hawk the one I had been chasing with the camera came flying right towards me.

 I cropped the photos to help bring the Hawk closer other than that I needed no editing help.
  Standing in my front door I get to see a cornucopia of birds visiting the feeder and the Holy tree. Yesterday only a few feathered friends braved the cold for a little late afternoon treat. I love how Mr Blue Jay plays hide and seek in the holy tree.

 Out the back door I also need the zoom lens to catch the birds on the feeder. Normally we have a large verity of birds on the feeder and ground below it but yesterday only one little bird braved the wind and freezing cold. 

Can you tell the difference? The bird pictures out the back door are from before I had my training session all the other photos are after. 

Here are a few more from before the session and with my regular lens. Cropping was required.

  I enjoy birds in every season but I think winter birds are the most intriguing. The way they fluff up to keep warm, there constant eating and how they seem to know a storm is coming and disappear into hiding just before the storm gets here. Watching the birds is one of my favorite winter sports.