Monday, January 05, 2009

"Birds of a feather..."

I put up a couple of new bird feeders this winter and have been enjoying the "winged ones" coming around and discovering them. In warmer months I would sit outside at a distance to photograph them, but winter is not my first choice for that (except for the die-hard photographers making a living at it!).

The suet feeder of interest here is close to a window, and I figured I'd remove the screen, clean the window, and try my hand sitting on the sofa inside using my bahama mama zoom lens on a monopod (my robust tripod has a broken leg at the moment). Shooting through glass has it's own issues, but I was shooting at an angle which helped kill some reflection problems.

And patience. You can't forget the patience needed to do this...these pics came from a 3-hour stretch one day late last week.

(click on pics to enlarge)
White-breasted Nuthatch
Sitta carolinensis

(These birds spend a lot of time going head-first down tree trunks!)

Black-capped Chickadee
Poecile atricapilla

I love the native Lakota word for the chickadee:

Pretty much the sound it makes. And speaking of one of my favorite birds is a p
ic of one of my keeper flutes, a closed-end Mahogany in A#, holed in a Mode 4 minor pentatonic fingering pattern (hardly enlarges so don't bother...old pic from 2004). I realize that brief explanation left you going 'huh?' but I'll explain in a blog soon...maybe I'll even make a video to explain it in person with sound added...hmmmm.....:

The Titmouse is the second to arrive in the pre-dawn hours, just behind the Juncos which don't feed on this feeder. Setting aside the 'visual', I recognize these birds by the fluttering 'whoosing' sound their wings make when they fly nearby...rather distinctive...

Tufted Titmouse
Baeolophus bicolor

The Downy Woodpecker pair didn't visit during this first glance they look a lot like the Hairys below, just about a third smaller. Too, a Common Flicker has come before, but I haven't seen it for several days at the feeder. However, this pair of Hairy Woodpeckers below fed, and quite a bit...

Hairy Woodpecker - female
Picoides villosus

Hairy Woodpecker - male
Picoides villosus


So much for Round #1 of new photography efforts. I'll be filling in this week at News 14 for the evening shift for the Triad weather forecasts, and have been dusting off the cobwebs. Seems like ages since last I was on-air, though it's been nothing more than a few weeks.

Always good to get back in the saddle for a limited run to make sure I remember how to ride...or at least fake it!

No comments: