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Old Dec 30, 2012, 12:03 PM   #1
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Default busy day at the feeder

Well we had some snow Wednesday night and then all day Thursday with some mixed stuff in between. Really tough on the animals living out there. On Friday the sun came out and the birds found themselves not only cold but with many food sources covered under impenetrable ice and snow which brought them all to the feeder.

All shot handheld with the E-PL2 and the 70-300mm Zuiko, 1/400 shutter priority, which I find is about the sweet spot for this combo. These were also shot through a double pane glass window, which hurts the contrast and sharpness a tiny bit.

tufted titmouse


PC287946 by ramcewan, on Flickr


PC287965 by ramcewan, on Flickr

Red-bellied wood pecker


PC287929 by ramcewan, on Flickr


PC287922 by ramcewan, on Flickr

not sure if this is a vireo or a warbler, very small and a pretty yellow


PC287953 by ramcewan, on Flickr


PC287957 by ramcewan, on Flickr

north american eastern bluebirds, these are one of my favorites

male


PC287917 by ramcewan, on Flickr


PC287895 by ramcewan, on Flickr


PC287905 by ramcewan, on Flickr

female


PC287884_1 by ramcewan, on Flickr


PC287961 by ramcewan, on Flickr

We also had the juncos, the cardinal and the usual downy wood peckers, nuthatches and chickadees but I didn't get anything worth sharing of these birds.

Thanks for looking!

(and in interest of full disclosure I have posted some of these in the wildlife section)
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 12:06 PM   #2
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p.s. actually this female downy isn't a half bad shot so I will share that too


PC287943 by ramcewan, on Flickr
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 2:47 PM   #3
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Some beautiful images there! I like the look of the 70-300 lens. I have the Panasonic 100-300, with has brought me some excellent results, but the more I see of the Olympus, the better it looks.

I have a titmouse photo from earlier today. They are quick at the feeder.

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Old Dec 30, 2012, 2:50 PM   #4
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Love how the lighting on number 6 came out
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 1:05 PM   #5
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Ramce, your photography skills have improved tremendously since I have been on the forum. Those are really nice detailed shots, calendar material for sure.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 4:36 PM   #6
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MacBook - that's a nice Titmouse photo, only suggestion would be to try and either get closer to the feeder or bring the feeder closer to you. My feeder is about 6-8 feet from the kitchen window which I shoot them through. With a 300mm I can stay a few more feet inside and still get the frame filled with the bird. When I am supremely lucky as I was with the Pine Grosbeaks I can open the window and shoot through the opening, most of the time it is too cold or the birds are too timid to allow that.

On the 70-300mm vs. the 100-300mm I really love the 70-300mm but it is loud to focus and sometimes just won't focus forcing me to zoom out and focus then zoom back in. It is also pretty big with the adapter which means I rarely bring it in the bag instead opting for the 45-200mm Lumix which I also have. The 45-200mm Lumix is a nice lens but the 70-300mm is better at the same focal length for IQ, but when you factor in size and AF speed it is still pretty damn good. I don't know if I had to do it again I would probably have skipped them both and gotten the 100-300mm instead, but at the time I bought the 45-200mm Lumix I didn't realize that 200mm wouldn't be long enough. Live and learn, now I have the 70-300mm I have learned it's quirks and love it's IQ I can't imagine not keeping it around until something much better is available like a fast 300mm prime.

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Originally Posted by James Emory View Post
Ramce, your photography skills have improved tremendously since I have been on the forum. Those are really nice detailed shots, calendar material for sure.
Thanks James - it is through the help and suggestions of the people on here including yourself that I think I have achieved the improvement, that and just shooting.


Quote:
Originally Posted by drew881
Love how the lighting on number 6 came out
Thanks for checking it out, I find morning is the most active time for the birds and sometimes the side lighting works out just right as in that case.

---------------------------------------
BTW the yellow bird has been identified as a non-breeding plumage male american goldfinch

Here's a couple more

White-breasted nuthatch


PC307989 by ramcewan, on Flickr

female downy wood pecker


PC307984 by ramcewan, on Flickr

Junco


PC308003 by ramcewan, on Flickr

and a bluebird shot, I think this one is becoming my new favorite shot of this bird


P1018035 by ramcewan, on Flickr
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 11:09 PM   #7
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Birds are tough enough without adding the extra problem of glass, but these are very good. My girlfriend has a bird bath and there is a great viewpoint from her living room, but it requires shooting through some sliding glass doors that are thick enough the AF system just does not work well.

I've tried using a blind at the photo club's meeting spot at the Heard Nature Center but it can be an exercise of frustration trying to capture those fast-moving critters, even in such a controlled setting.
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 1:03 PM   #8
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Wish there were an assortment of colorful birds around here in the burbs. About all I see is Blackbirds, Starlings, Robins, Sparrows, and Finches. The Goldfinches are by far the most colorful. Oh, once in a blue moon I will see a Cardinal or Blue Jay but by the time you get the gear out they are long gone. They somehow know you are going after your camera and leave.
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 5:47 PM   #9
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Hi Andrew,


Very nice series of images. I'm very impressed with your ability to focus on the bird in a busy background. You're a better man than I as I've long ago gave up on shooting birds with my Olympus E-P2 camera.

Also, I'm very pleased to see you take a photo of a bluebird. They are so scarce , here on the Cape, this time of year.

Very pretty bird.

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Old Jan 3, 2013, 5:12 AM   #10
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You know, at my parents house i can sit under the cherry blossom and the birds will not mind me at all and will feed just a few feet away, however...

As soon as i raise my camera or hold it to my face, they scarper! Its like they associate you lifting something up with throwing/shooting and they are gone in a instant! so frustrating, but i suppose a key to their survival.
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