This past weekend I drove to a few places to photograph Yucca Plants for the previous post. But, as luck would have it, I also photographed other stuff. Stuff which I’ll present over a couple of posts. First up . . . birds.
By the way, before I forget, people should check out this website. Very neat. And you can zoom in, too.
Why do I share this link? Because many of these photos were shot while the wind was something else. Well . . . I mean, it was still the wind, but gusts to 60mph and a steady wind in the mid-30mph made for difficult shooting. Combine that with the fact I’m still without my 70-200mm f/2.8 super-sharp lens, and the result is that some pictures are less than they could have been.
On the other hand, I got four fingers and a thumb . . . and they hold up my 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 lens. It’s not as sharp, but it’s no slouch, either. Some of the on-the-wing shots of Cliff Swallows were taken at quite a distance, and I am pleased with the results.
Anyway, here we go . . .
I should point out I went back to shoot this a few days after the subsequent photos. I did so because I tried to describe it. I gave up trying, went to photograph it, and here it is.
These birds were disturbed by a jerk who drove through the tunnel and leaned on his horn. To be fair, at this point the birds were also a little leery of the idiot with the camera.
It’s actually a hazardous place for them, as some of the people who drive this road go through the tunnel pretty fast. There is evidence of many birds not having survived their encounter with total jerks who, unfortunately, are members of my species.
I theorize one of the reasons this tunnel is so popular is that near the other end of it there is a small pond, and these birds like water. I made my way to the pond, hoping there would be something of interest to photograph.
As I mentioned, the winds were swirling something fierce, and there were many aborted attempts.
After fifteen minutes or so, I hopped back in my car. I like to hop; it fills me with joy, and keeps people from getting to close. I hurried, as this small pond detour made me late for my Yucca Plants photo shoot. Alas, I was to be further delayed.
As I watched the pond recede in my rear-view mirror, I caught a movement on the fence flanking the road. A Bullock’s Oriole pair, male and female, sat on the fence, watching me drive by. I hit the brakes, and grabbed my camera . . . as they flew to a tree about a hundred feet back.
I really don’t know why I doubt this lens. Sure, not always . . . but sometime it really surprises me.
I am frelling impressed with these shots. I’ve not used this lens much in the last few years, and had forgotten just how good it can be, especially considering on a DX camera it’s the equivalent of a 600mm zoom.
The next four photographs were shot that same afternoon at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge. Still high winds, only the temperature had shot up to the mid 90s.
Back home, I interacted with my local Tree Swallows.
I noticed an interesting behavior while photographing them flying about. One of them dived down to the yard, and picked up what looked like a fragment of paper. It then flew up about fifty feet or so, let it go, and then chased it to catch it. It repeated that a couple of times. To me it was either playing, or practicing catching insects blown about by the wind. Either way, it was neat.
These next two movies give an idea of what these swallows sound like, and how windy it was.
The ringing is a bell I have hanging in a protected area of the deck. It lets me know when it’s windy outside. This second movie was shot a little closer.
Finally, this next shot is a straggler. The photo, not the bird. This was actually shot on June 1st, so it does not really belong here . . . but it’s too cute to leave out or wait until the next bird update.
As usual, all these shots, and a few more, can be found in a SmugMug album. Click HERE if interested in checking it out.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my stuff.
Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not personally hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.
. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.