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.

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29 thoughts on “Visit to Spring Creek Park

  1. Hi Bob – This is a gorgeous photograph – beautiful bird, great composition and I like the tree as well! Wondered why I was getting cold sitting here and suddenly realised there was snow falling across your post! Great effect! I’ve only actually seen a woodpecker once in my life, Bob!

    Cheers

    John

    • Thanks, John. But I can’t take credit for the tree. 🙂 It is a mesquite, by the way.

      The snow effect is a feature added by WordPress for the winter months. Very cool, (cold, snowy). 🙂

      I appreciate your comments very much, John.

    • Thanks, Davis. That is what I like about Canon L series lenses. Even with the 2X, giving me 1000mm focal lens, I still was able to crop and get a sharp image. I appreciate you comment. 🙂

  2. Bob- I’ve a decent Canon body and want to buy glass to shoot birds. My shots will be used as references for my carvings. My budget (I’m writing a grant) will be $1500 – $2000. I often buy used equipment. Any suggestions or recommendations?

    • David, if your Canon is an EOS model, which I am certain it is, you can’t go wrong with Canon’s 100-400mm. Absolutely perfect for birds. It is the one that I keep permanently on one of my two Canon 7D cameras. Tack sharp images. Sells for around 1800.00, at B&H Photo. They are the absolutely best on-line camera store that I know of.

      It is nice that you are thinking of upgrading you lens instead of the camera. Most people don’t think about that. Having a great camera is no good if you don’t have great glass too. Thanks for writing.

  3. Further proof that fruitful things can be achieved on a Sunday when our Dallas Cowboys aren’t playing.(And any Sunday that the Cows aren’t playing is a Sunday that they aren’t ripping our hearts out with disappointment and gloom.)
    Nice pic, Bob.

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