Visit to Spring Creek Park

On Sunday afternoon, Ann and I realized that it was going to be a beautiful time to go for a short drive around Spring Creek Park, out near Lake Nasworthy here in San Angelo.  The Dallas Cowboys were off, so I wasn’t obligated to stay around the house.  🙂

Anyway, I thought I would practice up using the 2X converter on my 500mm lens.  It is a heavy sucker, and difficult to hand hold.  But with care and patience it can yield great results, as you can see from this photo.  We saw several of these Golden-fronted Woodpeckers (Melanerpes aurifrons).  Most of them were too far away, or flitting around too much.  Finally we came upon this one that was intent on trying to get something to eat from that hole in the tree.  It was in good shooting distance for the lens.  I steadied it with a new SafariSack that I recently purchased from L. L. Rue.

The SafariSack is a bit larger than my Puffin’ Pad, but I think it is also a bit sturdier.  It is like a bean bag, but with the use of little straps, it can be folded a bit to fit over the car window sill.  I turned off the car engine to lessen any vibration.  I might mention that when I use the 2X converter, because of the smaller aperture it gives, f8, the auto-focus is dis-abled.  However the image stabilization still operates and so it was easier to manual focus.

Golden-fronted Woodpecker - female

Exposure was 1/800 sec. @ f8 plus 1/3 EV compensation.  ISO 400, partial metering at aperture priority.  Lens focal length 1,000mm.  Distance to subject about 120 feet.

Click image to see an enlargement.  Enjoy.