Monday, May 18, 2015

New Camera Test - Wild Bird Wednesday

It stopped raining long enough on Friday afternoon for me to get a few test shots done.  Took a while to get used to the weight of the new camera and the differences in settings and functionality, but I think I'm going to like it! 

This is at the extreme end of the zoom range so it is not as crisp as I would like, but I thought it was still pretty amazing considering I was all the way across a street and half a parking lot from this Eurasian Collared Dove.  In fact, I had assumed this was a Mourning Dove until I got home and downloaded the pictures.

Here's my little friend, the Cassin's Kingbird, enjoying his customary lunch spot in the mini-vineyard.  I'm shooting from inside my car about half a parking lot away. 

I think he's spotted something...

...and yes!  Mmm...a delicious bug.  He's quite the expert hunter - I wish he'd come to my yard and make a dent in the bug population here.

Now...what about dessert?
That was it for my lunch hour - clouds rolled back in and it started to look like rain again.  However, later in the day, I found the grounds clean up crew out in the field at my son's school: 

The crows were out in force and they were chasing most everyone else away...including the I couldn't get any shots of the blue birds or swallows.  Every time I'd get one in my sights, a crow would chase it away!  That's one of the many reasons I'm not normally a big fan of crows, but this is such a quintessential crow pose that I had to share it.

I was shooting from about two thirds of a soccer field away and from that distance, I thought these were maybe juvenile crows because they just looked like black blobs to the naked eye.

When I got home and looked at the photos, I realized they were European Starlings.
They even brought their kids along!

I actually had to ask for help identifying this bird - never occurred to me it was a juvenile.  Duh.
The only other birds that stuck around in spite of the crows were the House Finches.

"Do you MIND?  I'm trying to eat dinner in peace!" 

While the boys were out at the snack bar, the ladies were arriving to take their seats for the game.  The goal post works perfectly! 

Although keeping your footing on the net when the wind is blowing takes some practice!
Okay, everyone is seated.  Let's get the game underway!
All in all, I'm pretty happy with my first test run.  There's definitely some room for improvement, but considering that I'm still figuring out where all the buttons are and what they do, not too bad!



TexWisGirl said...

really great shots of lots of variety! great crow photo and cute sparrows, too! love the kingbird!

Creative Haven said...

Those are fantastic. You may have said this already, but what are you using to identify the birds?

Adam Jones said...

I really like the Kingbird.


Excellent....and not only the birds/photos, but I also loved reading the narration.

eileeninmd said...

Wonderful variety, my favorite is the Kingbird!

Phil Slade said...

All these European birds you have! Yes, the juvenile Starling can cause a few problems to ID, even over here in England. Please don't let those Collared Doves take the place of Mourning Dove.

mick said...

A great series of birds. I am sure you will keep on enjoying your new camera.

Marie C said...

Great photos of a nice variety of birds! I am glad you are liking your new camera!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

You did great! Juveniles are so hard... They mix me up all the time. I think your new camera is going to be wonderful. And it makes great funny captions ... Or maybe that's the talented operator ;)))

Margaret Adamson said...

What a wonderful variety of lovely images.

Laura said...

Lovely variety of birds!

Stewart M said...

Great set of pictures - all the buttons can be a bit of a head ache at first - but its much better to learn them than just leave everything on auto!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Carletta said...

What a great series! Sure wish my camera had that kind of zoom range. :)

Kristi Bowman said...

I'm so happy you're having fun in your new birding obsession. The first pic is a crow but the ones after are all European Starlings including the juveniles. I don't see that anybody pointed that out to you. Keep having fun!!!