Mourning doves are quite common in this area, but I chose this photo to share because, as a beginner, I thought it was the best photo that I took on that day. This bird allowed me to get quite close so I did not have to use my zoom much at all. One of my favorite things about these doves is that although they appear to be a drab gray/brown all over, they have hidden surprise colors. In flight, you can see deep blue/purple feathers on their wings and white feathers all around the edges of their tails. At rest, like in this photo, you can see a subtle lavender iridescence on their head and neck feathers.
This shot and the one below are blurry, I know, but this Common Yellowthroat was a new bird for me so I thought I'd share it anyway since I was so happy to have captured it at all.
This bird was extremely skittish and so very fast - hopping almost non-stop among these reeds! I had to use maximum zoom to get anything and every time I even twitched, it took off. Of course, once I sat down at a picnic table to change the batteries in my camera, he popped up at the very top of a reed and stared at me for a good 30-40 seconds in what would have been the PERFECT shot...had my camera not been out of action. The moment I had the batteries back in and was ready to go - he took off again. About 10 minutes after that, it started to rain so that was the end of bird watching for the day!
As a newbie to both bird watching and photography - I'd love any constructive commentary...especially about cameras as I am on the verge of upgrading and am trying to decide between a more powerful digital with longer zoom capability (like the Canon SX50 HS) or an entry-level DSLR (Nikon D3300).