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You just never know..what a Bozo I can be....edited

Discussion in 'Birds' started by Retief, Sep 13, 2005.

  1. So, you go down to your spot, where you know you always can find something of interest to shoot. For the folks in our area, Juanita Bay Park is just such a place. Went there last Thursday and met Jim Thiel. For the next 3 hours, it was simply amazing. We talked about Katrina, estate planning, taxes, yada-yada-yada, because not a ding-dang thing was going one. I think I pressed the shutter once to be sure it still worked. Horrid and depressing, but the weather was nice.

    So about 6PM tonight I went to the kitchen to microwave last nights dinner, Nancy was at work :smile: . My designated chore for the day was to be sure to fill the bird feeder, and as I know that I wear the pants in our family I did as instructed.....and while I'm feeling the feeder a female Downy Woodpecker lands near me on the fence and watches. Sits there until I turn to go back to the house and then flies off. I get into the house, turn around, and what do I see? The Male Downy Woodpecker sitting on the fence. Grab the camera which is sitting on the couch at the moment, still rigged for the High School Football I shot all weekend, with the Sigma 120-300mm lens. Shot a couple handheld and then figured I'd pray the bird stayed while I changed to the 500mm and tripod, and here is the result:


    He hung in there for a few minutes, then took off. Not 30 seconds later what do I see?


    The female comes back. This is the first time I have tried Fill Flash, distance was about 35 feet or so. Flash didn't bother the birds, and as it was approaching dusk with a partly overcast day, I think it worked well. One more thing now to learn to do better.

    By the way, do you see that blue/purple spot next to the male woodpecker? That is not paint, the finches in our area apparently eat a lot of some type of berry which gives their droppings this nice, pretty color :smile: :smile: :smile:

    The "lesson learned" from this is to always be ready, because you never know, you just never know.......

    An now for the "Bozo" part of this story. I posted these when I was rather tired, and there was something that just seemed "off", but darned if I could put my finger on it. Meant to go back last night and re-process, but went to sleep instead. The a "little birdy" flew by and said "WB, Bozo, WB"..now this is twice this year I've done this, and all I can say is the OTHER lesson learned is go look again, and pay more attention. For those who didn't see the "originals", here are links, I won't post them, I'm already embarassed enough :mad:  :mad:  :redface: :redface: :redface: :redface:

    click for image - Male

    click for image - Female
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2005
  2. Oh my that is not fair. Sure beats the talk about estate planning for sure. Next time we should just plan an outing in your back yard. You can even charge an adimission fee if you like. :smile: :smile: :smile:

    I was going to stop by the park on my way home but my last client did not leave until 5:30 so will have to wait for another day. You sure do get some great opportunities in your yard. I don't see a GBH or green one though.

    I sure hope things pick up here soon.

    Oh by the way, nice shots Bill.
  3. PGB


    Jan 25, 2005

    Nice captures. I don't usually shoot birds in my backyard but have plenty. I need to start doing that as its good practice for me and close.

    Thanks for sharing,
  4. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    Hey Bill -

    Nice shots and great story! I think there is a variant of Moore's Law that applies to photogs. If you have your gear, no birds. If you have left your gear at home, they show up in droves and pose for you. :frown:

  5. Hi Bill. Woodpeckers are always colorful and fun to capture. You have done that well in this instance. Nice to have a long lens handy to facilitate the process.
  6. Thanks, all, much appreciated. Jim can attest to my annoyance at Juanita last week, and to make it worse I stopped by on Labor Day with exactly the same results, a ton of time spent, and a nice day out with my dog Scooter, but nothing grand on the photographic scene. Heck, I don't even think the light would have been right for scenics, even if I had a clue how to do those properly :smile: .

    I had commented on an image that Doug Barber, man I love his stuff, posted a while back and commented that I wish I had "his eye", and his reply sticks with me. He said to just slow down, and to use the 2 eyes I have, look around at everthing around me. Too often we ignore our "own backyard" and spend so much time getting prepared that we forget. This was a great lesson for me, and I'm glad it kicked me in the head this way. Almost had the same opportunity yesterday, what I think may have been a different bird as well, but it didn't stay on the fence long enough to grab the gear.

    But just one more example of why it is so important to remain aware, and not always look "over there". This also suggest that the adage "luck favors the prepared/open mind" rings true as well.
  7. you all need to come on down! We've got Osprey, Sandhills, Eagles, and more. Now with migration, it's getting real busy.
  8. drueter


    Apr 24, 2005
    Southeast Texas
    Nice shots, Bill! I can't tell you how often (although my wife seems to have kept count!) I've driven to a new spot and found nothing to shoot. Then I come home and there's lots of action in the backyard or the pond behind my yard. Maybe I should do less driving and spend more time in my backyard. Now -- if the temperature & humidity would just start to drop a little so it's bearable to be outside....................
  9. Great shots Bill as always.

  10. Nice work, Bill! Your story reminded me of my experience looking for deer last summer. Drove all over hell's half acre looking for deer one day and came home and found two bucks half a block away from home. The other day my wife saw a large black bear sauntering down the street so I'm keeping my camera ready and hoping...
  11. Thanks, all, for being so polite....BUT....

    Boy, did I screw up on the WB. I don't know if any of you remember, but a while back, last March I believe, I posted a few GBH shots that were rather heavy on the B part. Someone commented "Hmmm, those seem a tad TOO blue", to which I replied "Yup, we get 'em that way do to diet". Then I went back and looked and much to my embarassment, the old WB jumped out at me. Fixed it up, they looked SO much better. Now, you might ask, why is this of interest here? Well, in both cases I had been shooting football indoors just before the birdy pictures, and some fool forgot to check settings, WHOOPSIE!!!! :eek:  :eek:  :eek: 

    So, to add to the "lessons learned", look before you shoot, and if you don't, certainly look closer before you post....

    I don't know about you folks, but I think they look much better now.....don't you?
  12. We just had, on the news, a story of a man who rescued his daughter from a Grizzly attack. Neither he nor his daughter escaped unscathed, but they are alive and talking. I'd keep more than the camera ready if I were you :wink:

    Good luck,
  13. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  14. The Boy Scout motto Be Prepared nice shots Bill
  15. I even still have my Eagle Scout badge and picture, honest :smile: :smile:

    If I had been a bit better prepared, the first post would have had the WB correct. Pretty stupid, really. Camera set on Auto WB, sitting in family room, woodpeckers outside in back yard, thank heaven for NEF :redface:
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