Background Switcher (Hidden)

Warbler Photography, Quick and Dirty

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A migrant white-crowned sparrow hops amongst the dandelions and spent lilac flowers.

It's here, that time of spring when everything happens too fast. There were still migrant blackpoll warblers singing this morning, sounding, as Jeff Gordon points out, like a bike wheel out of true: tsit tsit tsit tsit tsit.

I look at my spring bird photos and know I must post them before they go bad.

We won't go bad. We stay around all year.

One of the cuter tufted titmouse displays--presenting the fluffy butt. Good thing they're both presenting at the same time. Nobody gets insulted.

A cardinal sits with a white-crowned sparrow. That little crown stands out like a logo--you can identify this bird at a ridiculous distance.

This pair of cardinals is always exchanging sweet seed kisses.

Meanwhile, the blue-winged warblers are making our old decrepit orchard a wonderful place to be. Part of the courting razzmatazz of the blue-winged warbler is spectacular chases, looping in and out of low prickly vegetation.

Most of the looks you get are like this:

and then they're off again. But sometimes you get a clear look at the warbler's disappearing tail.

or its back as it pauses to catch its breath.

And then sometimes, if you stand around in the briar patch for an hour or so, waiting and taking dozens of pictures, one pauses long enough for you to fumble the manual focus onto it before it wings away again. Autofocus is not an option, with so much bramble in the way. The camera will pick an extraneous twig and focus on that instead of the bird. Maybe I'm weird, but I absolutely love trying to get my lens on a warbler and manually focus him into a decent image. Maybe because it's almost impossible. I love a challenge.

This isn't publishable, but it's good enough for me, and a heck of a nice way to spend a morning before the bus comes.


Manual focus, your fingers are more nimble than mine and your eyes are clearer.
It's auto focus and 100s of deletes to find 1 good photo.

Beautiful images!

Wish we could grow big beautiful lilacs here in NC--they make me think of my childhood in NY.


Beautiful images, by the way--I am amazed at what you are able to capture!

Looked through more of your archives yesterday and learned a lot about box turtles. They're starting to cross the street here.

[Back to Top]