Pic for today: Pied Puffbird
Pied Puffbird: La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica — Maybe the best bird, or at least best bird sighting, of our visit to the Organization for Tropical Studies, La Selva Biological Station, was this Pied Puffbird, that came down and sat for us at about 15 feet and eye-level. They almost never perch that low, and this one gave us quite a show. Sony Rx10iv at 468mm equivalent. Program mode with Multi-frame Noise Reduction (not because I needed it for this shot, but because I was shooting mostly under the canopy where it was needed). Processed in Polarr, Pixomator Photo Pro, and Apple Photos. Equivalent ISO 640 @ f4 @ 1/500th
Yellow-headed Caracara: Hotel Bougainvillea, San Jose, Costa Rica — I don’t know how much wifi I am going to have over the next days, so here is an early post for tomorrow. I was surprised to see this Yellow-headed Caracara perched (more or less) on the air vent of the building next to the hotel. It seemed to be attacking its reflection in the silver metal. I hope the survival of the species does not depend on this individual. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr, Pixelmator Photo Pro, and Apple Photos. (Enlarged for image scale in Pixelmator Pro for the equivalent of perhaps a 1500mm lens.) ISO 100 @ f6.3 @ 1/1000th. + 1 EV.
Lesson’s Motmot: Hotel Bougainvillea, San Jose, Costa Rica. — I may have inadvertently used up my whole allotment of Motmot mojo for this two week trip to Costa Rica, right here in the gardens of our hotel on my first morning here in Costa Rica. I got out just as the sun was rising and walked the paths of the 100 acre garden at Hotel Bougainvillea in the hills above San Jose. I thought the bird of the day might be the Squirrel Cuckoo I had clear shots at early on, or what I think might have been a Yellow-headed Caracara balancing on the vent of building next door…but on my final before breakfast turn around the parameter walk in the garden, this Lesson’s Motmot flew up from the ground into a tree. I could still see it deep in the branches so I cautiously approached and worked my away around the tree until I had a clear shot. Not much light of course…there is never enough light under the canopy in the tropics…but it turned out to be a pair of Motmots! They were super cooperative, giving me lots of poses on one side of the tree and then the other, and even on the ground. One of them was still in the same tree when I finally realized I must have enough photos of this particular Motmot in this particular place and walked on and back to breakfast. Maybe rather than using up my Motmot mojo, I can take this encounter as a good sign for the rest of the trip. I can hope.
Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent (a bit wider on the pair). My special low light Program modifications, using Multi-frame Noise Reduction. That is pretty much my go to setting for under canopy shots in Costa Rica. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Multi-Frame Noise Reduction takes several rapid shots at a lower ISO and stacks them for the correct exposure. It works surprisingly well, even with active subjects. Equivalent ISO 6400 @ f4 @ 1/320th. +.7EV.
Brown Creeper: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — We rarely see Brown Creepers in our yard, and they are even rarer on our deck. This one has been coming for several days now, foraging among the suet crumbs on the rail of the deck under the suet cage. Of course the light was marginal and I had to shoot through the double-pane glass of the deck door, but still…every Brown Creeper is worth celebrating. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr, Pixelmator Photo Pro, and Apple Photos. ISO 3200 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Mallard: York County, Maine, USA — There are always Mallards, and Mallards will always do something interesting if you watch them long enough. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 573mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos and assembled in FrameMagic. ISO 1250 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Mallards, York County, Maine, USA — Mallards are hard to impress and this male, peeking into the frame on the right, is going to have to try a lot harder. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 573mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 400 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Wild Turkey: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — It is perhaps a bit ironic to celebrate Thanksgiving with an image of the main course…but just look at these well fed birds! They are certainly a symbol of the bounty and abundance of the natural harvest this year. And, of course, none of these birds are headed for the oven, for which I am sure they would be thankful if they were that self-aware. And it is good to fall into the nostalgia of the season…to let the feeling of generations of thankful pilgrims all across this continent well up once more in us. For many of us, for most of us, it is not hard to find something to be thankful for, and good to have a day that demands it of us…that encourages us to pause and consider the bounty and abundance of blessings in our lives. So be thankful. Keep safe, in this our second thanksgiving of the pandemic. The blessings of the creator and sustainer of all be on us all today! Sony Rx10iv at 144mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 400 @ f4 @ 1/320th.
House Finch: Timber Point, Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, Maine. — I stopped by the newish Timber Point section of Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge on my way back from Biddeford Pool, when I was out looking for Snowy Owls the other day, and found a mixed feeding flock working the sumac between the parking and the entrance proper. I managed to catch this colorful specimen in all the feeding activity. Not a trick shot, but a tricky shot for the auto focus to manage. I am always amazed at how well it does. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f5.6 @ 1/1000th.
Wild Turkey: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — The Turkeys are forming large herds again…it is the season…or maybe it is in honor of Thanksgiving…safety in numbers? I encountered a small group right next to the road and pulled over to roll down the window and take a few shots. This is full frame at 600mm equivalent. The light was not the best, but even here you can see the deep iridescence in the feathers…blues and greens and purples…making the humble turkey a rainbow bird. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 1250 @ f4 @ 1/500th. And a happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
Red-breasted Merganser: York County, ME, USA — though not nearly as rare as even the Red-throated Loon posted yesterday, I am always happy to find a Red-breasted Merganser in Maine waters. Such a perky water fowl. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent (enlarged and cropped for more like a 2400mm field of view). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr, Pixelmator Photo Pro, and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/640th.