Saturday, January 3, 2015

New vagaries in bird photography

Today began with freezing rain that degenerated into all day rain.
I set up the camera on the tripod under the front door overhang, 
after I saw the red bellied woodpecker on the safflower block.
It left, of course, but at least I had the tripod to keep the camera steady. 

A chickadee and a nuthatch.
I noticed the birds sharing the feeders today, no adverse possession.
I wonder if it was the foulness of the weather that fostered sharing.

The nuthatch.
Several of the bold little chickadees were around my feet on the porch,
cleaning up stray seeds from the seed cans.
I couldn't manipulate the tripod down, so they went unphotographed,

The little piggy finch.
They always share the feeder.

Last year the finch used mostly the mesh niger feeder, and if full to the top,
the feeder was invisible for finch.
This year the girls are putting the niger/cracked sunflower mix in this feeder and it has a lot of finch at the plate.

A female cardinal.
With the camera on the tripod the initial framing was not too easy,
and once framed, the birds might not cooperate.

I've also noticed that while the camera makes no sound to startle the birds,
they are very attuned to the big lens, as if, 
"My god, if the eye is that big, how big is the preditor?!"
and off they fly when I move the lens.

 A sparrow I do not recognize.
Or perhaps a female purple finch.

A purple finch and a male cardinal.

A cardinal. I see them seldom, perching at a feeder.
They prefer being flat footed at a tray feeder, or ground feeding.
However, the seed on the ground is pretty wet.
Or the doves and the blue jays already cleaned it up.

Peace among birds.
The cardinal, the purple finch, and a chickadee.

 And, a female cardinal.

For all I moaned about waist deep snow last year,
it made a better background.

No more pictures from the porch.
The birds are too aware of the BIG EYE.
They all are comfortable with cars coming and going in the drive, and
I can hold my elbows steady on the window ledge, so
back to bird pictures from the car window.
Also a warmer venue.


  1. They are all so colorful. I know when we had a bird feeder, the birds tended to eat hearty right before a storm, maybe that is why they all got along together at your feeders.


  2. We saw a male cardinal the day we moved in here 11 yrs ago..not one has been sighted since.He must have been the welcome committee.
    Jane x

  3. You remind me I want to get a feeder this year. Maybe tomorrow, thanks

  4. I love seeing all your birds and the feeders. I've sometimes thought of a tripod for myself, but carting one around on the bus might get tricky when I usually also have a trolley and my handbag.

    1. Just a monopod could be adequate. No bulk to carry around and deal with setting up, and you probably could leave it on the camera to stick on your chest when you need to steady the camera.

    2. ....that's exactly what I do!!! Love my monopod... YAMxx

  5. oh the sweet chickadees singing at the bird feeder at their surpurb luck of food so readily available

  6. Oooh and ahhh. And repeat. I love your avian visitors.

  7. Joanne, I absolutely love your photos...what joy and beauty! Thanks so much for sharing.

  8. We've got freezing rain predicted for tomorrow. Good thing about being retired is that I won't need to go anywhere. Your birds are so colorful. Ours all seem to be the common brown variety...or those darn magpies.

  9. How lucky you are to have cardinals. Of all your birds he is the one I envy you for the most.

  10. Hari Om
    Adorable survival detente, well captured. The car as 'hide' sounds like a good plan! YAM xx

  11. What lovely bird pictures! I hope your new year is a good one, and I suppose that freezing day long rain is better than snow? Or is it? At least snow is picturesque.... although one can get awfully tired of it.
    The only thing to do is to think that the next season is Spring :)

  12. You get a nice selection at your feeders.

  13. Makes me homesick for my Ohio birds.... especially the nuthatch. I'm feeding grackles, house sparrows and cowbirds here.... not what I'd like, for sure!

  14. My brother has always wanted to put something in our yard to invite birds over. This is a great idea. And aren't those birds lovely? Beautiful rare colors.

  15. I moaned about the snow non-stop last year. Now I really want to shovel. There is just a dusting out there.

  16. Great shots, Joanne, and of course the cardinal's red is the eyecatcher! To our balcony come tits - after the zillions of sparrows (all German sparrows seem to move to the capital Berlin) have thrown out the sunflower seeds (they are really very selective about their feed). I always have a bad conscience when I sit at the window at a little table in the morning for breakfast (when husband is in Hildesheim) and eat an egg - I think they look a bit accusingly :-)

  17. Great shots of the cardinals and you're right, they like our flat feeders best.

  18. That cardinal certainly is a smart bid.

  19. good shots. I still have a constant parade of cardinals, titmice, and chickadees coming to the tea cup with an occasional curious wren or sparrow.

  20. I love the way your finches are just a bit different from ours and the Nuthatch too. You can see their relationship but cousins rather than siblings!

  21. You've done such a great job in capturing the birds' colours! Lovely.

  22. just returned from Upstate New York and had to deal with the freezing rain. Did drive through the Montezuma Wildlife reserve at the head of Cayuga Lake when the Snow geese are in such abundance that there is open season on them. Expect my nephew will finish filling his freezers (nearly full of venison ) with goose. This is an area of open farm land and much wildlife and a population which eats what it hunts. Hunting out there is not so much for fun but for food.Seems to be keeping with the Native American tribes who once inhabited the area.

  23. Such gifts of nature---birds. I am impressed also that you know their species and names. My favorite is and will always be the cardinal.

    So good to see your name, read your posts!