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Old Nov 22, 2009, 12:22 AM   #1
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Default Some birds -- mostly the usual suspects (9 imgs)

Hi All,

After about a week being laid up with and inflamed Achilles tendon, I decided to take a walk at the River Trails Nature Center. I took a lot of shots of dead foliage and other stuff while on the trail, but nothing really worth posting, so I hung out by the bird feeders to see who might show up.

It was late afternoon, but the light was pretty good, so I attached the FA*300/4.5+ F 1.7x AFA and stood around, letting the birds get used to me being there. All of these but the last were at 510mm and handheld, so they're not as sharp as they could have been.

I spotted about 8 Downies, but only two got close enough. I totally blew the exposure on this male, but was able to do pretty well with the PP.


This female was almost too close!


There always seem to be Nuthatches around!


. . . and Chickadees


This male Cardinal wouldn't let me get too close.


There were a lot of Goldfinches, and they pretty much ignored my presence, but this young male posed very nicely.


Then, all of a sudden, they all disappeared! It took a while, but I spotted the source of their concern about 100 ft away, and 70 ft up.


. . . but for some reason, the little guy to the right wasn't overly intimidated.


This last little guy is a Screech Owl. It's a captive -- blind in one eye -- and I was very surprised that the grid of the cage didnt' show up at all. This isn't a great shot -- handheld at 1/50 with the FA*300, but the bird is so cool looking. . .


I usually hang it up for birding in Sept -- maybe I should extend my "season" a bit longer. . .

Scott
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Old Nov 22, 2009, 1:35 AM   #2
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Considering the paucity of subjects I've had to photograph lately, I would be glad to see the "usual suspects" around my feeders. I have no idea why, but the birds have totally deserted my feeders for more than a month now. I can still hear them in the woods around my house and see them fly overhead, but not even the Cardinals, Titmice, and Chickadees are coming to the feeder, much less the woodpeckers. Your nuthatch photo is really nice.

Paul
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Old Nov 22, 2009, 7:33 AM   #3
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Very nice photos Scott. I like the classic pose of the Nuthatch the best.

Sorry to hear about your Achilles tendon. I had a badly inflamed AT and found that a heel lift worn in my shoes gave the most relief.

Like Paul I have had a drought at my feeder this fall.

Yesterday a female Hairy Woodpecker showed up. I have had lots of Downey's. My first Cardinal since late August came yesterday as well. It seems that the birds are around as I hear them but they are not frequenting the feeder.

I will be taking part in the Christmas bird count this year and will be interested to see what the results will be.

Lou
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Old Nov 22, 2009, 10:51 AM   #4
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Scott

Sorry to hear about the Achilles tendinitis. I also have AT problems , both legs.

Great bird shots. I especially like the shot of the young Male Cardinal.

Also like Keltech and Paul. Traffic at my feeder has been down alot from last year. I have no Clue why!!
At least i am not alone.

Phil
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Old Nov 22, 2009, 11:35 AM   #5
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Nice pictures and I'm sorry about your tendon problems. I have chronic trouble with one of my AT, it's such a bore. Most of the time I can control it, but it does flare up on occasion, making life more difficult. I like the goldfinch pose, that's a fun shot. My favorite is probably the screech owl.
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Old Nov 22, 2009, 9:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trojansoc View Post
Considering the paucity of subjects I've had to photograph lately, I would be glad to see the "usual suspects" around my feeders. I have no idea why, but the birds have totally deserted my feeders for more than a month now. I can still hear them in the woods around my house and see them fly overhead, but not even the Cardinals, Titmice, and Chickadees are coming to the feeder, much less the woodpeckers. Your nuthatch photo is really nice.
Thanks! At the Nature Center, they were saying that they felt that the activity at the feeders had been pretty low, but not from what I was seeing. I've got shots of 5-6 Goldfinches on one small feeder at the same time, and almost constantly had a choice of 3 or 4 shots at any given time, which is unusual in my experience -- and there were more than the usual number of people wandering about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keltech View Post
Very nice photos Scott. I like the classic pose of the Nuthatch the best.

Sorry to hear about your Achilles tendon. I had a badly inflamed AT and found that a heel lift worn in my shoes gave the most relief.

Like Paul I have had a drought at my feeder this fall.

Yesterday a female Hairy Woodpecker showed up. I have had lots of Downey's. My first Cardinal since late August came yesterday as well. It seems that the birds are around as I hear them but they are not frequenting the feeder.

I will be taking part in the Christmas bird count this year and will be interested to see what the results will be.
Hi Lou,

You're right about the heel lift. I started wearing heeled shoes instead of the usual sneakers and it really made a difference.

It should be interesting to see if there's any significant difference in the bird count. I've noticed a lot fewer of the usually most common winter birds this year -- House Sparrows and Starlings. I'd be interested in hearing an explanation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Knight View Post
Scott

Sorry to hear about the Achilles tendinitis. I also have AT problems , both legs.

Great bird shots. I especially like the shot of the young Male Cardinal.

Also like Keltech and Paul. Traffic at my feeder has been down alot from last year. I have no Clue why!!
At least i am not alone.
Hi Phil,

Thanks!

I've had occasional problems with both ATs for about 30 yrs and have never gotten a definitive answer to what goes seems to be going wrong, so I just deal with it now, knowing that it will go away eventually.

I've heard that there's been some discussion about certain species altering their usual migration habits in recent years. I just hope that this isn't a sign of some widespread ecological problem.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mtngal View Post
Nice pictures and I'm sorry about your tendon problems. I have chronic trouble with one of my AT, it's such a bore. Most of the time I can control it, but it does flare up on occasion, making life more difficult. I like the goldfinch pose, that's a fun shot. My favorite is probably the screech owl.
Hi Harriet,

I'm surprised that others have AT problems, I've never known anyone else that experienced this type of thing. . .

I really was hoping that the Goldfinch shot would turn out well. Its body is almost a perfect circle from this angle, and you can really see the beginnings of the black cap. The Owl is a welcome addition to the Nature Center for me since I've never seen one in the wild. At least I'll have a lot of opportunities to photograph this one -- I'm sure it'll get annoyed with me quickly. . .

Scott
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Old Nov 23, 2009, 5:54 AM   #7
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Scott - some wonderful, clear, sharp & well-composed photos. I especially like the nuthatch - such a typical pose, so very sharp, and great background too.
Sure do hope the AT problems are gone for good!
Our feeders continue to be very active here - sure do hope these trends are not part of some larger ecological problem.
If you ever want more captive raptor shots, just come on down to TN - I've got 5 raptors currently as permanent captives (and my screech owl has 2 eyes!).
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Old Nov 23, 2009, 6:46 AM   #8
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Sorry to hear of your AT problems. Don't wish that on anyone.

Nice shots of the birdies. I, too, like the owl. He's such a pretty bird. It's a shame about his eye.

We've been hearing birds all over in the woods, too. But, not many in plain site except that one day I shot the woodpecker.

Patty
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