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.
Common Yellowthroat – 1/800 sec. @ f6.3, +0.7 EV, ISO 5000.
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.
Marsh Wren – 1/500 sec. @ f6.3, ISO 6400.
Across the water, this Black-crowned Night Heron looks like he is watching for a bus to come along.
Black-crowned Night Heron – 1/1000 sec. @f6.3, +0.3, ISO 2500.
I can’t resist trying to get photos of any Ruby-crowned Kinglet that I come across. This one at Spring Creek Park.
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – 1/500 sec. @ f6.3. +0.3 EV, ISO 3200.
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.
Belted Kingfisher – 1/1000 sec. @ f11, +0.3 EV, ISO 2500.
Another image of the always popular Northern Cardinal.
Northern Cardinal. 1/500 sec. @f f6.3, +0.3 EV, ISO 3200.
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.
Orange-crowned Warbler – 1/1000 sec. @ f6.3, +0.3 EV, ISO 2500.
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.
Red-tailed Hawk – 1/1000 sec. @ f7.1, +0.3 EV, ISO 160.
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:
Original merlin photo
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. 🙂
Merlin – 1/1250 sec. @ f7.1, +0.3 EV, ISO 250.
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.