The view from my perch on the mountain

Up with the sun


Even though I dearly love sleeping in, there are rewards for getting up early. Sitting in my Adirondack chair with my morning coffee and camera with Sam the Wonder Dog at my side may become a regular practice, at least until the snow flies.


Several days of high winds and rain have stripped most of the leaves from the Burd Town maple.


That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Now the burds are easier to spot.


The goldfinches seemed to be posing for me.


The male purple finch Frankie first spotted last week has become a regular visitor.


Yesterday I spotted a female purple finch perched high in the maple.


I’m really loving my 55-300 MM image stabilized lens. If the burds will stay still long enough for me to focus on them I can really get some tight shots.


While researching purple finches on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology web site I learned that this female is putting on a display of agitation as she stretches her neck and points her beak towards this goldfinch intruder.

Wow; I learned something and my head didn’t explode!

When I first became interested in photography as a hobby I found that I began looking at the world around me differently. It’s almost as if I’m always framing a shot and I realized that I was noticing a lot of things that I had always overlooked. One of those things was song birds and I shoot a lot of them, especially around Frankie’s feeders.

Blogging about the birds I photograph led to Internet research and I now have a shortcut folder containing a wealth of information on ornithology and backyard birding. In case you’re interested, these are a few of my favorite references:

Peterson’s (I have a hard copy of the Birds of North America in my camera bag)

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

National Geographic Backyard Birding

The National Audubon Society

Wild birds Unlimited

The National Bird Feeding Society

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (I carry a copy of their field guide, as well)

Virginia Society of Ornithology

Virginia Outdoors


6 responses

  1. “It’s almost as if I am always framing a shot..” YES that happened to me too.. except I don’t have the fancy lenses. You do tend to look at nature and almost everything else differently it just sort of happens without you knowing it. Love the birds you have there.. we seem to have the same ones here all the time and they are brown and red and blue mostly. So glad Sam is by your side again and acting more like himself. : )

    November 1, 2010 at 3:45 PM

  2. I too see things in a different way and notice more of the sights around me, the camera really does open your eyes to a whole other world.
    I love these little birds, if I put my finger to the screen it is almost as if they hop out to sit on it and I even found myself telling the Purple finch what a lovely boy he is, out loud!

    November 2, 2010 at 3:50 AM

  3. i have always seen the world differently than most people i know. perhaps its a combination of being nosey/curious. my friend from work is always saying ‘oh kïrstin, only you would see that!’ having a good camera has helped me share what i see.
    i also share your interest in birds. learned to like them from my grandma.

    November 2, 2010 at 7:53 AM

  4. Hiya Chip,
    So nice to see your birds again.. isn’t that purple finch a beauty?
    Look forward to catching up.
    Eileen G

    November 2, 2010 at 9:54 AM

  5. Hey, Chip! By now you already know I was visiting Va Through My Lens, lol, but I always have to come over here, too. Always a little something I may have missed and I hate missin’ anything!
    I went back through a BUNCH of posts and of coursed gave a hug to Sam right through the monitor as usual. Your “burd” pics are the best bird pics on the entire web as far as I’m concerned. I think I’ve told you before, but I’ll say it again: You should give SERIOUS thought to doing a coffee table book of nothing but your photos. I can guarantee that I’d be first in line at the bookstore and that your book would be in the place of honor in my living room. So think about it, ok? I really love both your sites 😀

    November 3, 2010 at 5:45 PM

  6. Viewing these photos on a PC screen so they’re huge! Beautiful pics I love those burds the top ones look so soft and cuddly! lol…but that “purple” finch looks decidedly red to me! That orangy morning sky is lovely and there’s something very pleasing to Wolfie about the contrast between yellowy autumn leaves and deep blue skies! Hugs to Sam and hope he’s back to full health very soon…Wolfie would like a hunting companion! 🙂

    November 4, 2010 at 1:39 PM

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