Sunday, July 10, 2016

Brown Thrasher - new neighborhood breeding bird

I have had Brown Thrashers make rare and brief appearances in the yard, usually early in the breeding season when they are still moving.

However, for the last several days, Brown Thrashers have been regular, with signs that they are nesting very close by. The one photographed here is a fledgling - rather quiet, but still hopeful of being fed, with occasional attempts at begging from any likely bird in the vicinity.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

New Camera Body

Thursday my new camera body arrived - Canon 7D Mark II (upgrading from the 7D).

Miserable gray weather, so trying it out has been limited to the back porch. But so far I am pleased.

20.2MegaPixel (versus 18MP) and a better processor means I can crop without loosing resolution. Better sensor means I can shoot at higher ISO without noise. Most pictures here were taken at 1600 ISO - previously I rarely went above 800 and preferred 400.

Lighting and weather today have been dreary, but the camera has responded well.

Many features still to work with, but the spot focus option and spot metering is great for birds which often hide in the leaves. Several of the pictures here would not have been possible with my previous camera. Second 2 photos below cropped about 25% of original.

Gray Catbird
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Northern Cardinal (fledgling)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
 Spot focusing makes possible a sharp image even though it is partially obscured by foliage.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak
In the dreary light, the camera is still able to capture detail of this fledgling as it begs to be fed ...

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (fledgling)
Fledgling Rose-breasted have one of the sweetest begging calls of any bird - not at all harsh, or noisy - the opposite extreme of the very loud and noisy Blue Jays.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak fledgling fed by its father.

Daughter Downy wanted dad to keep feeding her, but he refused, and eventually she figured out that she could get the food for herself ...

Downy Woodpecker (adult male) with fledgling female
Another spot focusing example ...

Northern Cardinal (fledgling female)
And finally ... just because there are so many of these creatures which do not understand "bird feeder."

Eastern Chipmunk
BTW, lens used is Canon 100-400 L. Most photos are 400mm focal length.

Monday, July 04, 2016

... and things with Wings

.. other things with wings often don't become obvious until morning birding has finished. I have had even less time to shorten focus onto the insects than I have had for morning birding. But there have been some.

(Caveat - please jump in if you think butterflies or dragonflies have been mis-ID'd.

From Putney Wetlands on May 30 - Eastern Least Clubtail and Common Baskettail ...

Eastern Least Clubtail

Common Baskettail

From Somerset June 30 -  White Admiral and Red-spotted Purple look distinctly different, but are actually the same species - Limenitis Arthemis. White Admirals were common. The second photo below is an intergrade between the two forms of the species ...

White Admiral

Intergrade between White Admiral and Red-spotted Purple
Red-spotted Purple - Philadelphia, 8/29/12

Additional photos from Somerset, June 30 ...

Chalf-fronted Corporal - male

Chalk-fronted Corporal - female
Elegant Spreadwing (?)

Common Whitetail - female
Enjoy the Outdoors!

Beaver Pond along Forest Route 71, Somerset, VT

Friday, July 01, 2016

Grout Pond

I finally got out yesterday morning for some birding. Headed into the Green Mountains in Somerset and the Grout Pond area.

Magnolia Warblers were vocal, busy, and common in the upper elevations. Require patient (as always), but one hyped up male finally came in camera range ...

Magnolia Warbler

Speaking of hyped up, wandering slowly down a remote lane, I ambled through the territory of this pair of Common Yellowthroats. They were agitated just by my presence. When I pished, they went bonkers. I love these masked rogues ...

Common Yellowthroat - female

Common Yellowthroat - male

Along the road, this Ruffed Grouse hen was clearly agitated when I stopped to take her picture. I suspected she had young about, and sure enough, a very young chick finally, and suddenly, scurried across the road. Mom and chick quickly disappeared.

Ruffed Grouse - hen

Good Birding!


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