Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) Shot from the front porch (range approx. 25 yards), hand held using a a Canon T3 mounted with a Sigma 150-500MM Optically Stabilized lens.
That itty bitty chair THE BOSS uses as a step stool to reach the stuff in the cabinets is an accident waiting to happen!
Said itty bitty chair decided to depart from under my feet this afternoon and I really triggered my back this time!
I blame this on THE BOSS because she was in the same room at the time and was negligent in supervising my actions. (I hope she doesn’t read this)
The meds are kicking in nicely and I will survive .
Man am I ever glad my new La-Z-Boy was delivered a week ago! I’ll be stuck in it for the near future……..in a drug induced haze.
Now where is my little bell? I need it to ring for ice cream and some comic books.
Oh there you are. It’s about time.
Wait…..what are you going to do with that skillet?
Oh look at all the little burdies……..fireworks, too!
I was puttering around in the yard when a sudden rain shower swept through and I took shelter in our backyard shed. This little guy, a male House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus), landed on a nearby branch and I managed to shoot a few frames (My camera bag is ALWAYS close at hand!) before he spotted me and decided to find a more private branch to wait out the storm.
Even though I’m mesmerized by THE BOSS’s Old maid’s Bonnets I didn’t start out to shoot them this afternoon. That said, I couldn’t resist getting a few frames.
Frankie spotted a new visitor to our feeders yesterday, a male Red Breasted Grosbeak, and I was soon at the window trying to shoot a few frames without spooking him. What I managed to get just weren’t good enough to post but I’ll keep trying.
When the grosbeak returned this afternoon, accompanied by a Red Bellied Woodpecker, I grabbed the cameras and slipped out the front door as quietly as I could. I didn’t make it into position without spooking them both but decided to sit quietly at the picnic table out back in the hopes they’d return.
The burds didn’t return while I was out there but I did manage to shoot several frames of another flying critter. I hope you like them as much as I enjoyed shooting them. These were all shot handheld with my Sigma 150-500MM optically stabilized lens from about 15 feet.
The bird in the rear of this group is a Herring gull
Hunting for dinner on an overcast day.
Sea gull checking out all the control surfaces before take off.
I was lucky enough to be in Virginia Beach when the Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) young were still in their nests high in the branches of dead cypress trees and the tops of some pines in First Landing State Park.
I captured these last two frames late in the afternoon as this bird was hunting along the Chesapeake Bay beaches of the park.
THIS POST CONTAINS ADULT BIRD CONTENT.
PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!
If there is one thing I don’t need it’s to get kicked off Word Press for posting burd porn!
Spring is in the air and the critters is actin’ like wild animals!
This pair of Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura ) landed in the maple just above me and the small horses this afternoon.
“You burds need to get a room!”
“You heard Buddy, get a room! He’s so embarrassed he’s blushing from head to tail!”
* Actually, Molly had a cat treed in this shot and that’s what she was staring at but the expression on her face seemed to fit the situation so…………….
I don’t speak Burd but I could swear this guy was saying “WOO-HOO!”
According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology web page for Mourning Doves it looks like we’ll probably have a few new additions to the flock in the near future………..and that’s all I have to say about that!
BTW: As most of you know I have been known to get into trouble when left without adult supervision. With that in mind I showed this to THE BOSS before publishing it and asked if I should publish it. She said “Yes, most assuredly!” ……so any complaints should be directed to her. I will be more than happy to provide her e-mail address and/or cell phone number upon request.
Our weather forecast is calling for scattered snow showers Sunday and Monday. I’m hoping the weather guessers are operating at their usual efficiency because I usually don’t notice these guys until after I’ve mowed the lawn and they flock in to hunt for insects. Here’s to signs of good things to come!
I got some nice shots of a pair of Mourning Doves, as well. Those will be on my Virginia Through My Lens page as soon as I can get them posted.
It was another nice day, sunny and mild, so I was out enjoying the fresh air and looking for something to shoot. There were plenty of birds chirping behind me but that was to the west, looking directly into the sun. Suddenly a flicker of motion in the trees caught my attention and I snapped this shot of a male cardinal using a 55-150MM zoom lens at about 55MM.
Switching to the other camera, which was already mounted with my long lens, I got much closer without moving and spooking him. This shot is at about 350MM.
This one is at 500MM, maximum zoom for this lens.
About 400MM just before he darted off into the trees.
I’ve spent a little time scouting the woods behind the house and have picked out a couple of likely places for shooting from a ground blind. Both are relatively open, easy to get in and out of quietly and not too far from 2 intersecting game trails a den tree with a large, active squirrel nest and several nearby trees with bird nests in the upper branches.
As spring approaches I’ll be getting my hunting gear ready, including a large spray bottle of odorless insect repellant. I hunt with a camera instead of a gun these days but the principles are the same; equipment, scouting, set up and most of all, patience. It’s too bad they don’t make Frontline Plus for humans……it works great at repelling fleas, ticks and other nasty critters on the dogs!
I spent this evening reorganizing my medium size camera backpack and making sure everything, especially my tripod, is ready to grab and go. Now all that’s left is to pick up a box of snake shot shells for my hand cannon and e-mail my wish list to THE BOSS and Mini-Boss. My birthday and Father’s Day are right around the corner and I have my eye on a pop up bow hunter’s blind and a new scent lock camouflage shirt and pair of pants!
I was out in the backyard, standing on the picnic table when this little critter, a female Downy Woodpecker flew over and landed on a branch about 10 feet away!
I know what you’re thinking…….why was I standing on top of the picnic table in the first place, right? You’ll have to go here to find out.
Mother Nature has lost her mind! The first significant snow of the year, nearly 10 inches, fell earlier in the week. Yesterday the high temperature was in the mid 60s and what snow didn’t melt during the day was washed away by the torrential thunderstorms overnight. Today started out warm and we had a few torrential downpours and a tornado watch until late this afternoon. Then the temperature started plummeting and we have a chance of snow showers overnight!
With the whacky weather in mind I decided to exercise a little common sense for a change and stay close to home. I still managed to get a few frames today. This Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) taking shelter in the brush along the edge of the tree line behind our place was shot through the bedroom window at a range of about 50 yards using a Sigma 150-500MM optically stabilized telephoto zoom lens.
A little color around the feeders as a male Cardinal and a Red Bellied Woodpecker stock up in the face of the first real snow we’ve seen this year.
Nope, that’s not dust on the lens. After giving all of my gear a thorough cleaning I tried again and got the same results. Then I realized it was probably due to shooting through two windows and falling snow. DOH!
No words, just burdz.
The undisputed Boss of Burd Town, the Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) is always the first to arrive at the feeders.
They are loud and fearless, often landing within 5 or 6 feet when I’m filling the feeders and never shy about telling me to hurry up and get out of the way. On several occasions I’ve seen several of them gang up to chase a much larger Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) away from the feeders.
I shot these frames from less than 10 feet while standing on the picnic table behind the house. This little guy tolerated my presence for a while but was soon sounding off at the top of his little lungs.
P.S. Around our house standing on the picnic table to get close to the burds will also cause THE BOSS to yell “If you fall off and break your neck I’m not driving you to the hospital, you big dummy!” More on that here.
No, my lenses aren’t dirty, that’s snow falling past the window.
I’ve seen large numbers of birds flocking around the feeders when bad weather is moving in but never more than one or two cardinals at a time. Yesterday afternoon there were at least a dozen at one time.
This male seems to have gotten his belly full and debating whether to stay or go home.
This female is in bird heaven, sitting in a pile of feed under the metal roof on this feeder.
The ground is still fairly warm so the scattered snow showers didn’t leave much on the ground but all of the birds took advantage of the recently filled feeders, just in case.
Individual images from the slide show can be found below the slide show.
Clicking the thumbnails will bring up the full size original.
Two more shot through the bedroom window as the residual meds in my system none to politely pointed out that they’re not quite finished with me yet.
However, I’m getting back to what passes for normal in my world so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The voices in my head, especially the one who sounds like Elmer Fudd, are starting to make sense and that’s never a good thing……but the results are usually pretty funny.
Male Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) captured at the feeder outside our bedroom window.
Just a few shots from this morning as the dogs and I enjoyed some fresh air and sunshine. All images in the slideshow can be found in the gallery below. Clicking on any frame will bring up the full size image.
Late blossoms on my wife’s Knockout Rose.
We’ve already had our first hard frosts so there may not be many more of these this year.
The leaves are also falling fast but there is still plenty of color to be found if you look for it.
Lastly, a Belted Kingfisher I accidentally captured while shooting the fall foliage along a local creek. I didn’t notice him until I got home and downloaded the images from the SDHC cards. Sometimes you just get lucky.
Just a couple frames I shot while out with the dogs this morning.
I’m still adjusting to the change in medications so I stayed on the porch while Buddy and Molly were “on patrol”.
People often ask what equipment I use. Both of these shots are hand held at about 25 yards using a Sigma 150-500MM OS (optically stabilized) telephoto lens mounted on a Canon EOS Rebel T3 DSLR. I also use a Canon EOS Rebel XS, which was my first DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex).
In addition to the Sigma I have 2 Canon 18-55MM IS (image stabilized) lenses (this lens came with each camera), a Canon EF-S 55-250MM IS Telephoto Zoom Lens and a Canon EF-S 60MM f/2.8 Macro USM for close ups. Both cameras will accept all of these lenses, a very good thing now that my wife, Frankie (aka THE BOSS), has been bitten by the shutter bug as well.
NOTE TO THE READER:
I’m publishing this same post on my Virginia Through My Lens Blogger page. When I left Windows Live Spaces a few months back I couldn’t decide whether I preferred Blogger or Word Press so I tried both. After nearly a year I still can’t decide so I’ve decided to continue posting on both pages with this one focusing on photography and my Blogger page leaning more towards writing.
I hope you have a chance to visit each page and, as always, I welcome comments, tips, suggestions and criticism. That’s how I learn. I still can’t believe how much I’ve learned since I first started blogging and shooting photos in the spring of 2009. Y’all have taught me so much and I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate it. Thank you for your input, encouragement and most of all for your friendship.