Armed with my new lens and converter, I set out just after sunrise on day two, August 27, to get photos of birds along the shore of Crescent Lake. Lisa and Lori had been out the day before and reported scads of warblers in the shrubs along the water. So I paddled across the lake and parked myself nose-in at the waterline, and waited for something to fly by.
I wish that I had done two things first--figured out how to get my tripod into/onto my kayak, and put the polarizer on my lens. The first would have helped with camera movement, the second would have helped reduce the blinding glare off of the birds. Ah well, live and learn. The more time I spend trying to get really good shots of birds, the more impressed I am with people who are able to actually do it.
The first bird to show itself was a Nashville warbler. Another first for me, I didn't know what it was until I got back to camp and dragged out my Sibley's.
As you can see, I also have a problem focusing. Shooting into a mass of sticks and twigs, one's auto-focus is nearly useless--it can't pick the bird out of that jumbled mess. The problem is, I can't either! My manual focus point seems too often to be just in front of the bird. I may have to play with the diopter adjuster and see if I can't fix that shortcoming.
The second bird to come by was this Black-throated green warbler.
Canada warblers were plentiful (go figure!) and small groups of them would work their way along the shore, picking off bugs in the shrubs and Joe Pye weed.
Cedar waxwings were everywhere too. I like this shot looking up at their bellies.
This one looks like a Christmas tree topper.
This little bird looks to have had a rough night! My best guess is a Lincoln's sparrow. Its companion stayed hidden in the shrubbery. She danced around on a dead log for a few minutes, warming up in the morning sun.
Later in the day I walked the camp road again, and saw many young juncos working the underbrush. From a distance, I watched as they would hop into the air and grab at some unseen goodie about a foot or so off the ground. I assumed they were catching bugs. Then I came across one in a more open area, and I watched as it fluttered up and grabbed at grasses. It brought the business end down and nibbled the seeds off, as in the shot below. Watching this I remembered that the juncos that come round here in the winter are seed eaters, so this made perfect sense.
I am looking forward to the day when the juncos make their return to our home. Remember, I actually like winter!
Next: Pictographs at Agawa Bay