Posts in Category: backyard photo-blind

Lincoln Sparrow v.2021

Lincoln’s Sparrow: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — you have to be alert or lucky…or even better, alert AND lucky…to catch a Lincoln’s Sparrow passing through Kennebunk on its way north. The past two springs we have had a few (only one this year) for a few days. And, of course, they are not easy to photograph as they are “skulkers”…always low in the brush and half buried in leaves. Still, it is fun to try! Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent from my backyard photo blind. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 800, 250, 250, 640, and 250 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Purple Finch. Superzoom.

Purple Finch: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Nikon B700. I bought a back-up camera last week…and a camera smaller and lighter for taking on my trike when I don’t want to pack my Sony Rx10iv. I found that, while it is very hard to find from US dealers, there seems to a flow of “used, like new” Nikon Coolpix B700s coming out of Japan via Ebay. The B700 was the last upgrade Nikon made to their 60x zoom bridge camera. Basically a P610 with the sensor upgraded to 20mp, and 4K video added. I owned the P610, but gave it away when I got my Sonys. I kept the P900, but that is too big for a back-up camera. I don’t know what I was thinking 🙂 Anyway, I am putting the B700 through its paces, exploring its strengths and limitations. The image quality will never match the Rx10iv, but the longer zoom is nice to have (1400mm equivalent vs 600mm on the Sony). This is a full frame shot in not great light from yesterday afternoon. I really enjoy Purple Finches. 🙂 Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Shutter mode at 1/500th. Auto everything else. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. One thing I miss from the Sony already is the ability to pre-set a higher minimum shutter speed in Program without resorting to a fixed shutter speed in Shutter 🙁 But then all cameras have their limits.

fledgling Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird fledgling: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — It is hard to believe that it is that time of year, but I saw our pair of Eastern Bluebirds feeding fledglings on our deck and at the feeding station out by my photo blind yesterday already. Bluebirds do at least two broods a year, so this is their first nest…they fledged two. The fledglings will often “park” themselves near our feeders while the adults go out to forage, and the adults do take mealworms from the feeders when they return, even if they have other food for the young. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 400 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

insistent Pine Siskins

Pine Siskin: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — The past few days I have seen a female Pine Siskin hanging out with our flock of Goldfinches. Yesterday a pair of them were actively dominating the flock…demanding first serve at the feeder, and generally making a nuisance of themselves. I had no idea they were so much more aggressive than Goldfinches. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 400 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Grey Catbird

Grey Catbird: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Another bird that has been a rare visitor to our yard until this year, is the Grey Catbird. This one came very close while I was in my backyard photo blind waiting for the Eastern Towhee to come out of the deep brush under the feeders. We have two Catbirds this year, and, as well as the spilled seed under the feeders by my photo blind, they seem to like to forage for spilled seed in pansy planter on our deck rail. 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. +.3 EV exposure compensation.

Eastern Towhee

Eastern Towhee: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — When I was out filling the bird feeders by my backyard photo blind yesterday morning, I heard an unfamiliar “chink and titter” call. I simply could not place it, but I knew it could be an interesting bird. Later I took a look out the deck doors in the kitchen, just to see what was out under the trees, and saw the leaves hopping up and down as only a Towhee can hop them. Got my binoculars and sure enough it was an Eastern Towhee…a first for our yard. I had been fooled because our bird was singing the “dink, ic,ic,ic,ic,ic,ic” variation of the song rather than the more familiar “drink yur tea tea tea tea tea” version. I went out with my camera, but if you know Towhees you know how hard they are to photograph when feeding in dense cover and heavily leaves. Most of the time they are well buried. He did hop up on the fence and sing once…this time his traditional tea song, but he was still obscured by the brush in the corner of our yard. I saw it again, mostly still buried in brush, several times during the day, so, late in the afternoon I set the blind out and sat there for an hour waiting on the bird to show itself. I have, as you might predict, a great many photos of pieces of Towhee, and an equal number of shots of focused foliage and brush and unfocused bird. I even played his song for him, hoping to strike a competitive streak and inspire him to hop up somewhere and sing. He was not having any of my tom-fool-ery. Eventually I did get some photos I was happy with…if not the full frame, full body, field guide quality shot I might have wanted. 🙂 I am hoping he will attract a mate and that they nest in neighborhood…but I am happy just to have had one in the yard. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 2000 @ f4 @ 1/500th. +.3 EV exposure compensation. The high ISO called for some extra processing in Polarr.

Dynamic Purple Finch

Purple Finch: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Another dynamic pose, this time a male Purple Finch. This particular bird shows a lot of white on its under parts. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent, from my backyard photo blind. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 400 @ f4 @ 1/500th. +1 EV exposure compensation for the backlight.

Dainty Downy!

Downy Woodpecker: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Compared to our visiting Pileated Woodpecker, the Downy Woodpecker that frequents our yard is indeed dainty…but oh so handsome. I caught the male here in a dynamic pose as it was on the way into the suet cage in front of my backyard photo blind. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Apple Photos. ISO 320 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Hermit Thrush

Hermit Thrush: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I have not seen the Hermit Thrush (s?) that visited our yard for a few days last week, so maybe I should share a few more shots of this beautiful bird while it is still more or less current. We heard a few songs, coming from the denser woods across the street, and I had some hope we might have a nesting pair…but maybe not after all. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm from my backyard photo blind. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 1600 @ f4 @ 1/500th. +1 EV exposure compensation.

Cardinal comes calling

Northern Cardinal: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Though they are definitely becoming more common in our yard, year to year, I still celebrate each visit of the neighborhood Cardinals that I manage to catch. I see them often enough now to be assured that they come every day, at some point in the day, probably several times a day, mostly when I am not looking. I was in my backyard photo blind for this visit, and though the shots are not without foreground obstructions, they are still satisfying. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo using ML Super Resolution and a preset I developed for my bird shots. Finishing touches in Apple Photos. ISO 800 @ f4 @ 1/500th. +1 EV exposure compensation for the backlight.