Wednesday, June 30, 2010

House Finch Overcoming Handicap?

I do not know how this little finch has made it thus far. He wasn't able to crack any of the sunflower seeds, that I could see. I am very sad for the difficulties that a little creature of this nature has to deal with. At the same time I am inspired. If a little bird can overcome such a major handicap, what do I have to complain about?
(Canon Rebel Xsi, 250mm lens 06-30-2010)
  ~click for enlarged view~

Thursday, June 10, 2010

New Bird ;)

No - it's not a photoshop job...
And, no - it's not a gold finch with a sunburn ;) 
My daughter is convinced that there are hybrid birds,
but, it's not a hybrid.
It is a Western Tanager - I had never seen one before -
and, JOY
It was in my neighborhood ;)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Savannah Sparrow

I had never noticed this little bird prior to my walk the other day.
It is the Savannah Sparrow
and there seems to be quite a few around my neighborhood.
They are quite friendly,
as I could get quite close to take their pictures.
As I walked,
different ones of them would fly along the fence line -
sort of following me?
But the young sparrow in the next two photos was so cute!
It was very curious and made all kinds of funny poses.
As you can see,
it is much fluffier than the adult in the photos above.
Last winter, I was getting discouraged.
It seemed there weren't very many different species of birds
right around here.
But, this year I'm discovering there are many more kinds of birds!
Part of it is having a camera that brings the birds closer
so I can see the differences.
A sparrow isn't necessarily just a sparrow ;)
Now I can recognize about six different sparrows alone! 
Next post
I'll show you another new bird I discovered on this same day ;)  
(Canon Rebel Xsi, 250mm lens, cropped - 06-05-2010)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Bee

I was in the park on Thursday taking  pictures of flowers and raindrops. When I was about as close as I could get to the center of a rhododendren blossom, this bee flew in and "joined me."  I stayed right where I had been and began shooting him :-o (with my Canon, so, no harm done...)
He took a lick of something - you can see his probiscus...
...and then he lay back and was having a grand time!
I could almost hear him humming! ;)
He made me happy just watching him ;)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Chickadees in the Cedars

Friday evening, after seeing the Red-breasted Grosbeak and the Spotted Towhee, my attention was taken to the cedars alongside the garage. The whispy squeek of chickadees was constant - it sounded like the cedars were full of them!
I stood and watched for a few moments and sure enough, there was a lot of activity on the underside of the branches. It could have easily been missed, but especially because of the wind that engaged the branches in a wild evening dance.
From my vantage point, standing on the other side of my van, I shot as much as I could, hoping to get at least a couple of shots. I have enjoyed watching chickadees foraging in tree branches - they are so fast - and so I was challenged to try and catch them in a photo.
Well, I was pleasantly surprised :)  
I was absolutely thrilled to get another "parent-feeding-fledgling" photo! It's the second one this week!
And then, they posed so nicely in the evening sun ;)
It was a pretty awesome evening -
Totally unexpected
thoroughly enjoyed!
(Canon Rebel Xsi, 250mm lens, f 8.0, ISO 1600 - cropped and sharpened slightly

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Two Birds on the Same Page!

This photo is really poor and probably shouldn't be posted at all. When I ran to get my camera, I found the short lens was mounted on it. So, it was either change the lens and lose the shot ,or take the shot and hope to get something. Well, I got it ;)  
I didn't know what this bird was until I looked it up - female Red-breasted Grosbeak. I was so excited!
Later in the evening, I was out in my yard and saw another bird of which I wasn't sure. 
It was a Spotted Towhee - I haven't seen one in a long time. He was sitting in the branches of the rhododendren bush - very shaded. 
But, then, he got brave and jumped out right on to the driveway in front of me! His red eyes really sparkle in the evening sun!
When I looked in my Kaufman Field Guide, to check the identification of the Towhee, (because I get his name mixed up with the Varied Thrush), it wasn't hard to find him because, interestingly, he was on the same page as the Red-breasted Grosbeak! Funny how things happen sometimes ;)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Surprise Sparrow Shots!

Yesterday, at the park, I was changing my lens after taking some close shots of a bumble bee having a grand time in a rhododedron blossom ( I will post them at a later date). I had been using the 18-55mm for raindrops and textures, but I wanted to switch to the 250mm for some long shots.
Some fluttering caught my attention about 12 feet up the path.
I knew it was a sparrow-type bird, but couldn't see it very clearly because it was somewhat back-lit. I aimed and took some shots, not certain that they were going to be anything to blog about. The glare on the LCD really doesn't give me an idea of what I've gotten sometimes.
Anyway, it turned out that I was photographing a White Crowned Sparrow and that was neat because I have one that frequents my feeders.
At the same time, I saw another fluttering on a rock close by, and I'm really into getting action shots these days, so I aimed and took some shots.
It turns out that the bird on the rock was a juvenile - really young - looks wet behind the ears, I guess you could say - and I think he looks a bit disgruntled.
Before I put the camera down, the first bird I had seen, joined the party on the rock! It was his mother and she had a seed for her baby! (I'm supposing he was disgruntled because he was hungry)
I think she must be trying to get her beak back, but he's so hungry, he won't let go! ;)
Anyway, it was a wonderful surprise to come home and find these photos on my flash card! It was pretty lucky, I guess you could say, because it certainly didn't have anything to do with my expertise intentionally setting controls on the camera! 
Oh happy day! ;)

(Canon Rebel Xsi, 250mm lens, cropped - 06-03-2010)
Click to see an enlarged view ;)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

At the Park Today

Today at the park, I saw a little bird
I had never seen before.
A Bushtit - very tiny -
not easy to spot.
And I collected photos of raindrops :)
(Canon Rebel Xsi, 250mm, cropped - 06-03-2010)
click to enlarge ;)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Deer In My Backyard

I raced out feeling like I, too, could leap like a doe.
I saw one pass my kitchen window -
could hardly believe it!
They hardly ever come to my yard.
They realized they were stuck.
Jump the fence in the direction of the barking dog,
try to run past the human with the "gun."
(I had my 250mm lens)
They chose to try to get past me!
There was only 1 1/2 times the width of the driveway between us.
I was amazed!
Even at that close proximity,
the grace with which they made their escape
was breath-taking....
(Canon Rebel Xsi, 250mm lens, very little cropping - 06-01-2010)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The End of the Rainbow

We've had a lot of rain -
last week, weekend, and looks like all this next week. 
Last evening, just before sunset, 
the clouds, still pouring rain on us, pulled away from the horizon
 and  the most glorious rainbow stretched across the road, 
practically in my backyard! 

(Canon Rebel, Xsi, 18-55mm lens, f 8.0, ISO 1600, cropped slightly)