Brown Creeper – revisited

In the birding community, if a person sees a rare bird, it is customary to get a picture of it to prove the authenticity of the sighting.  When we saw the Brown Creeper that I mentiond in my previous post, I got out of the car to try and get some shots of it.  It was scrambling around, moving fast through the trees.  I tried to get it in my sights and when I was able to, I fired off what shots I could get.  Some went wild, and my shots went off in the air, so to speak.  A few made “contact”.  That was why I said that none of my images were publishable.

However, yesterday, I pulled up one of the images to see if I could salvage something.  This one below looked promising, so I opened it in Photoshop.  I kicked it, stomped it and cropped it.  I used FocusMagic on it then ended up over-sharpening it a bit, but in the end it was a pretty identifiable photo of the bird.

Brown Creeper - pre-edit

Brown Creeper

Also, after screening my other images from that day, I liked this photo of a female Ring-necked Duck, (Aythya collaris).  One of the oddities of this specie is that you will be hard pressed to make out the ring around the neck.  But both the male and female have white rings on the bill.  Go figure.

Ring-necked Duck - female

Both photographs were taken with my Canon EOS 7D and Canon 100-400mm zoom lens.  Spot metering with aperture priority.  Hand-held.

Brown Creeper:  1/500 sec. @ f11,  ISO 400.

Ring-necked Duck:  1/500 sec. @ f11, -0.3EV,  ISO 500.

40 thoughts on “Brown Creeper – revisited

  1. Great Photoshop skills, Bob! The Creeper came out really well! My mother-in-law and sister-in-law are birders but I don’t think they have ever heard of taking a photograph as proof of what you see! The rest of the family are therefore left sometimes rather sceptical when they suddenly turn and say, “Look there’s a ——“! We turn and see this little speck in the distance, which really could be anything at all! Thanks, Bob! This has given me a good excuse to wind them up something silly! Oh, what fun!



    • I like to have pictures, especially when the bird is exceptionally rare. So for the reasons you mentioned, I have proof. Birding is really fun, John. I think that you would really enjoy the hobby. It goes hand in hand with my passion for photographing birds.
      My wife always reports our sightings to the Cornell Ornithological Lab, too. They keep these records so they can analyse bird migrations, etc.

  2. Looks like you have some mad skillz in Photoshop, Bob! That brown creeper looks pretty darn good to me. I’ve noticed you mention being able to take hand-held shots with your 100-400mm lens. Do you need to rest it on anything to get a clear shot? I’m considering renting one for our vacation in April, but I most definitely will not be able to bring a tripod along.

    • The 100-400mm is heavy, but pretty easy to hand-hold. I hand-hold it all of the time. I very rarely feel the need to rest it on anything. I think you will do just fine. It does have IS (image stabilization), and that certainly helps also.

  3. Hi Bob..being a curious artist and painter off birds, I checked up on the Brown Creeper and we do have them here in Colorado..although I have not seen them which I am surprised at since we cut our fire wood, etc. You have a roused my curiosity so will contact the Wildlife Division here and find out more info. They apparently are like nuthatches according to Cornell Labs. Thanksa again for sharing…have a great evening and a fabulous Friday..Yes, our weather is fair decent right now, but snow flurries expected over the week end..God Bless and take care

  4. The Brown Creeper is certainly an interesting and from what you described a very busy little bird. Shot is great..and the ring necked duck is so detailed. I agree, names are sometimes not quite right..should be the ring billed duck..Have a great day..

  5. Beautiful images yet again – the photo of the Brown Creeper has turned into a cracking shot. Well done, Bob! PS. Send us some sunshine if you have too much – it’s foggy here.

  6. What a strange looking little fellow that Brown Creeper is! Glad you “…kicked it and stomped it” for publication here because I have never seen one before. 😉 ~ Lynda

  7. Bob a while back you blogged about selling your work, in this page you gave us a link for the plastic sleeves that you can slide a card or image into, I cannot find the page. Would you be so kind as to pop a link to the page into your reply so that I can find it. i would be very grateful.. thank you so much.. c

  8. This is where kicking and stomping is very, very good! 🙂

    I often wonder if non-fitting names might be due to the combined factors of the illegibility of scientists’ handwriting and bored or hurried typists…”ringed…it’s 4 letters…must be neck”

    • You are probably right, Cindy.

      About the kicking and stomping, I remember the great golfer Lee Trevino once bought a new putter in the pro shop. He promptly went to his hotel room and kicked, stomped, and bent that putter to fit his own stance. Of course, this is one of his tales, so you can believe it…….or not. 🙂

    • Mia, I completely agree with you. Sometimes I wonder about these people that name the species. What are they thinking. 🙂

      Thanks for the compliment and comment about the Brown Creeper. I sure would like another chance. 🙂

  9. I loved the photos, Bob! First one with all the tree and the blue sky, and second one with the focus on the Creeper. It’s a beautiful bird. 🙂 And, the duck is cute too with the neck-ring. 🙂

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