This Is For The Birds

This Is For The Birds

Monday, June 25, 2012

FAVORITE PHOTOS: 120610 (continued)

Below are one dozen other photographs of birds (in the time line order that took them) that I include in my favorite birding photographs from June 10th, 2012.

Mallard Ducks (07:54AM)

Blue Jay (07:56AM)

Great Blue Heron (08:28AM)

Great Blue Heron (08:29AM)

Great Blue Heron (0829AM)

Great Blue Heron (08:29AM)

Common Grackle (09:02AM)

Blue Grosbeak (10:15AM)

Blue Grosbeak (10:15AM)

Indigo Bunting (10:34AM)

Indigo Bunting (10:34AM)

Blue Grosbeak (11:18AM)

In closing, the Great Blue Heron's eyes were bigger than its belly. It did not even try to swallow that fish in regular fashion. It took it back in a corner of the lake that is thick with aquatic vegetation and put in down into the water, seemingly pinning it with its huge feet while taking a few chunks out its gut.

The Blue Grosbeaks were a first time for me, and getting photographs of them were like icing on the day's cake. I had gotten the female with the male, from a rather long distance, at approximately 10:15AM, but as I was calling it quits for the day, the female seemed to follow me to my car, lighting in the grass within a couple of feet from me several times while collecting insects and such. She really put on a show and did not care that I was watching. I guess that's the way it is when birds have young ones to feed.

All in all, it proved to be a great day of birding.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


On the night of Saturday, June 9th, 2012, I vowed to get up earlier and get to Long Run Park earlier on the following day. The old expression, “The early bird gets the worm,” kept looping in my mind, because there would be a chance of rain by noon, and as the day wears on and more and more humans inhabit the park, the shyer birds leave the area or retreat to more isolated areas.

As stated in FAVORITE PHOTOS: 120609, there were three species of birds that saw, but did not manage to photograph. Those three species (in order of my degree of desire to get a photograph of them) were a Green Heron, an Indigo Bunting, and a Great Blue Heron. I figured that to even get a chance at the herons, I had to be there with the sunrise.

Well, I did not make there with sunrise, but whereas I took my first shot on Saturday at 10:18AM, on Sunday, I took my first shot at 07:38AM. To my delight, when the day was done, I had gotten photographs of a Green Heron, an Indigo Bunting, and a Great Blue Heron. I was also got gifted by a couple, a nice couple, the male and female of a species I had never seen in real life nor photographed before: Blue Grosbeaks.

The following are my five best quality photographs from June 10th, 2012. As fate would have it, the best quality photograph of the day was not that of a Green Heron, an Indigo Bunting, nor a Great Blue Heron; it was of the little lady pictured immediately below.






From my point of view, the photograph of the Downy Woodpecker is of better picture quality than either of the Green Heron photographs. Granted, I was only twenty feet from the woodpecker, whereas I was over one hundred feet away from the heron.

Just to give you some perspective, I will use my fourth best photograph of the day to show you how the Green Heron looked through my viewfinder as I gradually zoomed in. Keep in mind that the Green Heron was perched on a limb of the straight standing of the two crisscrossed saplings at the right of the Great Blue Heron.

Note also that I am designating following four photographs according to the focal length assigned to each by my editing software, and in no way am I asserting that I actually know what those numbers mean.

Again, I have no real idea as to exactly what those numbers mean. In fact, I find it all somewhat confusing when I consider that may fourth best favorite photograph of the day ( a very close up photograph of the Great Blue Heron) was also assigned a 150.50 millimeter focal length by my editing software, and I know full well that I zoomed in much closer than I did for the photograph directly above.

Be that as it may, the point is such that the Downy Woodpecker photograph turned out better than either of the heron photographs simply because I was much closer to the woodpecker than I was to the herons. Having said that, though, I personally like the Green Heron photographs more than the woodpecker photograph, because I've only seen the Green Heron on one day out of the year in each of the past three springs since I started taking pictures. Below is my best shot of it (or one) from 2010 and my much better photograph of it (or one) from 2011.

Before I started taking pictures of birds, I had never saw nor heard of  a Green Heron. Now I look forward to seeing and getting a photograph of this bird every spring.

See one dozen of my other favorite photographs from my June 10th, 2012 birding venture on FAVORITE PHOTOS: 120610 (continued).

Monday, June 11, 2012


On Saturday, June 9th, 2012, I went to my favorite place to take pictures of birds. That place is called Long Run Park, which is located near Louisville, Kentucky.

When I tell people I like taking pictures of birds, they often somewhat enthusiastically ask me where I go to take the pictures. Once I tell them where I usually go, the enthusiasm quickly disappears. It’s as if they expected me to say Ecuador or Indonesia. Once they realize that they are talking to an amateur, once they understand that I go to take pictures of birds like some people frequently go to some nearby lake to fish, they then proceed to tell me about all these other local and not-too-distant places where I could go.

Early on, I checked out some of those places, and invariably came home disappointed. Perhaps it’s because I fell in love with the place the first time I laid eyes on its beauty, way back in the seventies, but the Long Run Park terrain, its amount and density of the trees, the character of its paths, its topography in relation to the sun’s arch across the sky, and its total acreage seem far more inviting to me than any of those recommended places to which I have ventured.

More importantly, though, concerning people’s lack of enthusiasm for Long Run Park as a frequent destination for a bird photographer—be they amateur or be they pro—I just listed seventy-five different species of birds of which I have a photographic account of having seen them there.

My favorite photos from 06/09/2012 include eleven species. The following are my five best quality photos of the day.

(Click on the titles for a full view, see all the flaws, and feel free to copy any of them that you want for whatever reason you have in mind.)






Those were my top five photographs with regard to photo quality. For the overwhelming majority of my shots, I use the Canon Power Shot SX40HS: a bridge camera, something between a point-and-shoot and an SLR. Like I said, I’m an amateur, and the unedited quality of most of my bridge camera photos won’t let me forget that fact.

Nonetheless, I employ editing tools and press on.

What follows are one dozen other photographs ( in time line order) that, for one reason or another, made the drive, the bath in Deep Woods Off, the heat, the walking, and the waiting well worth the effort.
Barn Swallows (11:27AM)
Summer Tanagers (11:41AM)
Northern Mockingbird (12:46PM)
Blue Jay (01:23PM)

Out of the three hundred and twenty-nine shots I took between 10:18AM and 02:18PM, I kept one hundred, forty-seven of them. The preceding photographs were my seventeen best catches; and like that person who goes fishing a lot, I threw some back and some got away. I saw a great Blue Heron, but didn’t catch it. I saw a Green Heron, but didn’t catch it. I saw a male Indigo Bunting as I pulled in to park, but never saw it again. Maybe tomorrow if the rain holds off.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Again, I present a bad picture. This time, the birds and the sun were separated a roof.

I like what it means: a chance for more Barn Swallows.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


This is a bad pic of a young (I think it's a male.) Northern Cardinal (Double right click on the pic.) with a beak birth defect.

Although a fledgling cardinal at my feeder is the main reason why I maintain a feeder, I wonder whether their (my Northern Cardinals) reliance on the diet I provide could be causing the birth defect. This is a second beak birth defect I've seen since mid summer of 2010. (The first one was more certainly a male.)