Ann and I spent a couple of hours doing some birding at San Angelo State Park‘s bird blind. We saw the collection of the regular birds that stay here year round, but was surprised by this winter adult American Goldfinch (carduelis tristis). We actually spotted two. Also of late, we have seen a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Soon we should start seeing Pine Siskens.
But the target of many of my searches out there continues to evade me. I am speaking of the Northern Harrier. Again, I almost had a great shot of it as it appeared sitting on a fence. But before I could get the camera on it, it was gone. I rattled off a few shots as it left, but they were just blurred streaks. I swear I heard it’s laughter as it went away. I am determined to get a nice frameable photograph of that cotton-pickin’ bird. I’ll get lucky soon.
Information on the Goldfinch photo is, 1/1600 sec @ f5.6, -1/3 EV, ISO 800. Canon 7D with Canon 100-400 lens. Edited in Photoshop Elements, Focus Magic, Topaz DeNoise. Click on the image to see an enlargement.
My secondary quest, besides trying to add to my life list of 218, is to photograph all of those birds. Cindy Kilpatrick, better know to you as “missus76k” in my blogroll, asked me how many of the 218 had I photographed. Well in doing some checking, I think I have gotten about 190 images of that 218. Of course, some of the photos aren’t anything to write home about, as quite a few were just good enough for identification. But, eventually, I would like to have at least an 8×10 of each.
I have not seen a single goldfinch at my feeders this year! I am wondering where are they? Did their migration route get moved?
To be honest, I haven’t seen another Goldfinch since I wrote this post two months ago. I haven’t heard about any deviations in the migrations, but I am definitely no expert on such things. Where do you live?
A lovely picture. A perfectly sharp image of the bird and foreground and lovely bokeh.
Thanks, Nigel, for your kind words. I really enjoy photographing birds.
I never thought of that, Bob! That makes sense! I always thought they were something special because you just didn’t see them that often! Thanks for the nice memory, Bob!
Great shot, Bob! Growing up in Iowa, we would see the Goldfinch often. But, they seemed a little different if my memory serves me correctly. they seemed to have more yellow on their underside. Maybe not. Either way, this is a nice one! Great job!
Thanks. Your memory is correct, Steve. This photo is an adult male winter American Goldfinch. A much duller coat than the usually brilliant summer black and yellow that you are used to.
Steve, when I first saw it I thought it was a Lesser Goldfinch.
I’m glad you liked the article. After viewing your video, I think you have Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets in the early part. Then you have that white bird with the black bill and black legs. It looks like a Snowy Egret. Then of course, there is that Gull, or Tern, but I don’t know which species it is.
Great shot. Your goldfinches are different to ours, but beautiful birds. I tried to capture a shot of a mouse, in the dark, on a cocounnut shell full of bird food outside my door last night. I feel much the same about my mouse as you do about your Harrier!
I think that all photographers have a quest that they have trouble getting. I checked out you web-site. You have some great photos there. I hope you will write again.
Hi nice article. Ithought may be you could identify some of the water fowl around the SanGAgriel River, in Los Angels County, Which I surprised with my camera. Aside from pelicans, and ducks, I would have to research a ornitological website. I just hope you would know them: