A Merry Birdie Christmas to all.


I want to wish all of my readers in 163 countries, the Merriest Christmas and a Happy New Year.  I can’t say it in all of your languages, but I suspect that if you can read this you might be able to translate.  I hope you will forgive me for not being multi-lingual.  For your enjoyment I have put together my best images of the past few days.  I have gotten Ann out of bed early every morning the past week, to help me spot new bird photo opportunities for this occasion.  And if you believe that, I have some nice West Texas ocean front property I might get you interested in.  Actually, we get out of bed early EVERY morning, regardless of the occasion.  So……the fun begins.  Why does a red bird always look good in a Christmasy greeting?  How about this one?

This Northern Cardinal was captured early in the morning at Spring Creek Park, here in San Angelo, Texas.  The low light produced a large ISO number of 5000, but with my Topaz DeNoise software, you barely notice that there was a large amout of noise.  Click on this image, and all others, to see exceptional enlargement.  All of my photos in this post was were captured using my Canon 7D Mark II and a Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Northern Cardinal. 1/800 sec. @ f6.3, ISO 5000.

Northern Cardinal. 1/800 sec. @ f6.3, ISO 5000.

Well, this post is off to a fun start, don’t you think.  Okay, let me pick out another.  Gosh, this is fun!!  American Robins are usually considered harbingers of spring.  Well, I saw this one huddled in the cold early one recent morning in December.  Actually, they are here the year around.

American Robin. 1/800 sec. @ f6.3, ISO 1600.

American Robin. 1/800 sec. @ f6.3, ISO 1600.

There is a spot, on a curve on Red Bluff road that overlooks a large area of wetland.  One particular tree is a popular perch for Osprey, and sometimes, various herons.  I love to check this spot everytime I head for Middle Concho park.  If you were to check my files, you would see many images taken at this same tree.  I’m sorry, I can’t help it.

Osprey. 1/1000 sec. @f f7.1, ISO 800.

Osprey. 1/1000 sec. @ f7.1, ISO 800.

I also can’t pass up a chance to photo one of my favorite raptors, the Red-tailed Hawk.

Red-tailed Hawk. 1/1000 sec. @ f7.1, -0.3 EV, ISO 640.

Red-tailed Hawk. 1/1000 sec. @ f7.1, -0.3 EV, ISO 640.

A Song Sparrow sings in the reeds at Spring Creek Park.

Song Sparrow. 1/800 sec. @ f6.3, +0.7, ISO 800

Song Sparrow. 1/800 sec. @ f6.3, +0.7, ISO 800

A Black-crowned Heron watching for a meal………

Black-crowned Night Heron. 1/1600 sec. @ f6.3, ISO 250.

Black-crowned Night Heron. 1/1600 sec. @ f6.3, ISO 250.

……..While over his head a Belted-Kingfisher also watches for a meal.  Everybody is hungry.

Belted Kingfisher. 1/1260 sec. @ f6.3, ISO 400.

Belted Kingfisher. 1/1260 sec. @ f6.3, ISO 400.

I love these feisty, little hawks.  The American Kestrel is very difficult to photograph as they are constantly on the move.

American Kestrel. 1/1000 sec. @ f7.1, +1.0 EV, ISO 800.

American Kestrel. 1/1000 sec. @ f7.1, +1.0 EV, ISO 800.

The Great Kiskadee is very rare around San Angelo and the Concho Valley.  But, for some unknown reason, during the fall migration, as many as four of them decided to stay.  They arrived in late September and are still here the day before Christmas.  Again, they keep their distance and are difficult to photograph.  This image is from about two hundred across the water at Spring Creek Park.

Great Kiskadee. 1/800 sec. @ f6.3, ISO 800

Great Kiskadee. 1/800 sec. @ f6.3, ISO 800

Sometime, I have to photograph in very low light to get the captures I want, such as this Orange-crowned Warbler.  The difficulty lies in the high ISO numbers that it produces.  High ISOs mean a large amount of noise.

Orange-crowned Warbler. 1/640 sec. @ f6.3, ISO 6400.

Orange-crowned Warbler. 1/640 sec. @ f6.3, ISO 6400.

This Black-crowned Night Heron, was more co-operative.  I was able to get within about 30 feet.  Again, overcast sky produced a higher ISO number.

Black-crowned Night Heron. 1/500 sec. @ 6.3, ISO 3200.

Black-crowned Night Heron. 1/500 sec. @ 6.3, ISO 3200.

This American Robin was photographed just after sunrise.

American Robin. 1/800 sec. @ f7.1, ISO 500.

American Robin. 1/800 sec. @ f7.1, ISO 500.

I saved this Blue Jay for last.  For years it had been my nemesis as I could never get a decent photo of one.  Well, a few days ago, at Spring Creek Park, this one landed on an open branch in a beautiful pose.  Overcast skies reduced the light, and along with that, a high ISO image.  But with the software I mentioned earlier it cleaned up nicely and I think this my best photo of a Blue Jay ever.

Blue Jay. 1/1000 sec. @ f7.1, ISO 6400.

Blue Jay. 1/1000 sec. @ f7.1, ISO 6400.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this holiday post.  Ann and I wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Click on any image to see nice enlargements.  Comments are welcome.  I would love to hear from you.

 

 

 

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22 thoughts on “A Merry Birdie Christmas to all.

  1. Thanks for the awesome gifts! I enjoyed each and every colorful feather, tiny claw, big bill, feisty pose, shiny cobweb and lovely image! Best wishes for 2017 for you and your long suffering mate in the hunt……love and hugs.

  2. Bob and Ann, a very Merry Christmas season to you both and wishing you a prosperous peaceful new year. I love all the photos, you were successful with calming down the noise, impressive considering the high ISO.

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