Sunday, November 30, 2008

Many pixels ago

It's been a raining day, not good for birding. That got me to thinking. There's all this fuss about how many megapixels to a camera and what's the best quality lens. "He who has the most megapixels wins".

Wrong! I just went back into my files, the 6 megapixel camera body, the dinky lens that all the big boys sneered at. For the next few posts I'll show images taken with that "inferior equipment". The best equipment is the gear that lets you do what you want to do.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Saturday feasting

It seemed that no matter where I looked food was being consumed. The titmice love seeds and acorns. The towhee loves acorns and blends into the dried leaves while dining. The squirrels are still gobbling up osage oranges, shreddng them apart and enjoying the fruit. The only one I didn't see eating was the hawk,... on the hunt....., the 30 second hawk, there and then off after ??????

Friday, November 28, 2008

Roaming and experimenting

It was relatively quiet in the park, surpringly so. I would have expected to see more titmice and nuthatches, but they were hidden maybe because the hawks were on the hunt, so this made it a good day to try and compare the performance of two different cameras. If these images "show" better than last five entries done with a newer camera body, then the new camera goes back. This is a birding experiment,- hermit thrush, cardinal, sassy mallard and a swarm of grackles- a test for camera resolution.

A different kind of bird

No comment necessary.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Greetings from the Central Park Turkey.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


We'll have feasts tomorrow. The squirrels are feasting today.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pleasant observations

There's an owl somewhere in the pines, but it couldn't be found yesterday. I was checking the ground for pellets. No pellets. No owl. But there were sweet things to watch. One of the birders explained that grackles with white feathers are "albino". Neat. It was a warmer day, so TAnner Spring was no longer iced over. More birds would have stopped to bath, but there were three hawks hunting in the vicinity. I was very surprised to spot a brown thrasher, thought they had already migrated. It was a glimpse and then the bird burrowed into the leaves and was perfectly hidden from view. This is very good, because the birds that toss leaves, head down are easy pickin's for the ever watchful hawks.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cold, but happy

It's not comfortable outside when it's cold and windy, but if the birds can stand it so can I. Nothing special, but I didn't expect to see a female towhee. As I watched her I didn't realize I was standing in the acorn patch. The grackle didn't mind my presence. Normally they're skittish, but obviously not when there's food at foot.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Frigid fun

Some day I'll figure out how to carry a heat pack, but even being park-frozen it was fun today. The trick is to not stand still too long. For today- pretty cardinals, well fed blue jays, posing sparrows, red belly woodpecker and a curious downy. I did see a female towhee,.. very hard to photograph.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The What's its...

I've seen hundreds of grackles, so I know a grackle when I see one, but every once in a while there's a totally weird grackle in my space. This first grackle may have been hen-pecked in the nest or scalped by a heron. The second grackle may just be getting adults feathers, have a vitamin deficiency, have parents that cross-bred, planning to blend in for when it snows, or a punk-rock grackle since he was hanging out in Strawberry Field.

Bad "hair" day

It was frigid in the afternoon. The poor cardinal was getting blasted from the rear.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cold feather friends

Happiness is when you go strolling and see one friend after another. Sometimes I hear them before seeing them. Who's there? Show yourself.

Once again there was a swarm of grackles, Hitchcock Alley. Out on the Point the chickadees and titmice were picking at the same kind of seeds. A hermit thrush showed up. We stared at each other. "Haven't we met before?" I'm used to seeing this bird on the ground, not up a tree. And then there's the nuthatch, one of my favorites, a space-walker.