Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Trying to Improve

I set a few goals for 2014. The first is to concentrate on improving my photography so I bought the Canon 7D guide to learn about my camera.  So far, so good. Barbara and I sat on the deck yesterday and reset some of the settings on the camera. I think it helped. Here are some photos from today.

The first few are from the yard. The day started out foggy but the beggar birds were happy to pose for me. One of the Great Egrets in in breeding plumage. They get flowy feathers off the back. I crept around to the this angle so that I got a clear black background against the white bird.

Great Egret
This is the same photo cropped so that you can see the other breeding bit which is the green facial patch.  It is really bright.
Great Egret - breeding
Here is another one of the birds that hang around the dock - Little Blue Heron. I cropped this to show the reddish head.
Little Blue Heron
Most of the Nerds went out on the boat again today. Connie and I decided to go birding at Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management Area and then meet the girls down by Pine Island for a shorter ride. It was a great decision for us. Some photos from Babcock-Webb. The first photo is Common Gallinule which used to be called Common Moorhen. I like Moorhen better.  Check out that big red front on the bill.

Common Gallinule
We went in searching for Bachman's Sparrow which I have been trying to see for a long time. I thought we had it but after reviewing the photos, the sparrow turned out to be a Grasshopper Sparrow. The photo is not very good, but I learned how to switch between Manual and Autofocus which allowed me to get this shot.

Grasshopper Sparrow
We left Babcock-Webb and headed south to Pine Island to meet the girls. They picked us up in the boat and we rode over to Cayo Costa for a picnic lunch and hike out to the beach.  We were pleasantly surprised to find this Bald Eagle sitting on a piling in the harbor. What a beauty!

Bald Eagle
Here is the same photo cropped to just show the Eagle's head. I can't believe that the photo above was so clear that I could crop it and still get the photo below which is pretty sharp.

Bald Eagle - head shot
It allowed us to get pretty close before getting spooked. Here it is just after take off. I call this one "Peek-a-Boo" because you can see the Eagle's head through the wing feathers.
Bald Eagle - Peek-a-Boo
Not to be outdone, this Osprey posed pretty well on another channel marker while eating a fish. He posed for us as we floated by on our way back to the dock. You can see the half-eaten fish under his feet. Eeewww, gross. 
Osprey eating fish
I think these shots are much better than I would have had last week due to the changed settings. First, I set the focus point to be more precise. I also set the focus to follow the object (in this case, the bird) if it moves. We shall see if this success continues. . .


Anonymous said...

Really great stuff. Keep 'em coming!


Ernie Allison said...

Great shots! I am looking forward to the next post. I was hoping to get a hold of you but couldn't find any contact info. I hope to hear back from you