Well, here it is the 29th of December and another year of blogging is about to come to a close. I had threatened to stop with my final post of the year, but because of much encouragement from friend and readers, I will continue on. This will be my 940th post, so maybe I can make it to 1,000 in 2017, and I will re-evaluate again when that time comes.
I must boast a bit about my success with this blog which is now in it’s 7th year. Of the top 1,000 birding blogs on the web, I am number 190 as of this date. I have had 209,856 hits by 46,707 viewers. Of those, 2,318 have actually subscribed, where they will get an e-mail notification when I publish a post. You can be a subscriber by clicking on ‘sign me up’.
But enough about me. Let’s mention you, my loyal readers, that keep me encouraged by your likes and comments. I love comments. Feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts and feelings.
I can’t write a post with including a few photographs, which, I believe have improved greatly over history of this blog. Of course that probably comes from practice, improved equipment and techniques. Her are a few that I captured since Christmas day.
My favorite of this bunch is this Common Yellowthroat. A very tiny, shy and elusive bird. In my previous post, I had mentioned that Ann and I were getting up early to search for birds. I can admit now that looking for the yellowthroat was our real reason. Our persistence and patience paid off. We parked every morning near a wet, reedy area, and watched and waited. On the day after Christmas, he decided to gift us with a two minute viewing, early, right after sun-up. Click on this and the following photos to see beautiful enlargements.
In the same area, this marsh wren was scurrying around. I captured him a bit earlier than the yellowthroat, so the light was a bit darker. That resulted in a high ISO number of 6400. I used some software to decrease the color noise so the image is not great quality. But I like the composition so here it is for your critique.
Across the water, this Black-crowned Night Heron looks like he is watching for a bus to come along.
I can’t resist trying to get photos of any Ruby-crowned Kinglet that I come across. This one at Spring Creek Park.
Near the entrance to Spring Creek Park here in San Angelo, we spotted this Belted Kingfisher in a tree overlooking the water. There were several twigs, etc, blocking him, but the spot focusing on my Canon 7D Mark II came through.
Another image of the always popular Northern Cardinal.
As you have probably noticed, I love trying to photograph the tiny birds. This one an Orange-crowned Warbler, scratching in the grass and weeds.
Out at San Angelo State Park, we got lucky and saw two raptors. The first is a beautiful Red-tailed Hawk, that co-operated and posed for this nice image.
My last photo before heading home, turned out to be one of my best images of a Merlin. It wasn’t easy, and I almost deleted it when I saw the original in the computer. Have a look:
He was about 300 yards away, and he looked tiny in the viewfinder. With the naked eye it looked impossible to get a photo. Fortunately, with my camera sitting solidly on my window sill, I was able to get that lone single focus dot on the breast of the bird. I got home and loaded it into my computer. First, I lightened it up. I was surprised that the image was very usable. This is what I came up with after really tight cropping, sharpening it up a bit, and adding some contrast. Not bad, if I do say so myself. 🙂
Okay, that’s it for this, my final post of 2016. I want to wish each and every one of you a fantastic Happy New Year of birding and shooting.