Taking up residence

This past year, I have paid much more attention the birds around here.  Most of that focus was brought about as a result of a trip to the Smoky Mountains for a workshop with David Akoubian.  The “bird nerd” in-chief really got me focused on the winged wonders that surround us all the time.  Getting a great long-lens from Tamron also made this a pleasure.

I have been amazed at the varieties of birds we have seen especially as the seasons have changed.  Winter has been a surprise to me.  I guess I expected to see lots of sparrows, chickadees and cardinals but had no idea that the bluebirds and warblers would be so common.  I posted a shot of a yellow-rumped warbler a few days ago thinking that I wouldn’t get a second chance.  Well, now they are around most of the time.  I got this nice portrait yesterday so, I guess they are winter residents now.  That makes me happy!

Yellow-rumped Warbler
(Setophaga coronata)

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AB 100 tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/8 – 1/125 sec – ISO 800

#BirdWatching #birds #YellowRumpedWarbler #winter #Georgia #WithMyTamron

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Carolina Wren

This is one of those birds that is always around but hard to get a good shot of.  Wrens don’t sit still for very long, ever!  The definition of energy, they hop and flit from one place to another constantly.  I was lucky to catch this one in a quick moment when the sun was lighting him from the side.

I certainly wish I could soak up some of the energy that these little guys seem to have.  So far, it hasn’t worked.

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AB 100 tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/8 – 1/500 sec – ISO 800

#BirdWatching #birds #CarolinaWren #winter #Georgia #WithMyTamron

Mourning Dove

How often have you heard doves cooing from the tree-tops or the rapid beat of their wings when startled?  The mourning dove is so commonplace we don’t pay them much attention. Up-close however, this is a beautiful bird.  I am always amazed by the texture and color of the feathers. Also amazing is how the colors they display camouflage them instead of making them stand out.

Once again, nature exhibits diversity and the ability to adapt to the surroundings.  I can hardly believe what amazing sights are always just outside my back door.

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AB 100 tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
460mm @ f/9 – 1/100 sec – ISO 800

#BirdWatching #birds #MourningDove #winter #Georgia #WithMyTamron

Sunshine on a cloudy day

It is amazing how just a small amount of color stands out against the dreary landscape of winter.  With all the plants gone dormant, the scene tends toward washed-out beige.  Around here, we don’t even get the blanket of white to cover up the drab very often so, it is a great pleasure to see a bright little spot of life flying about.

I have to put food out nearly every day because my feathered friends are going through it rapidly but I don’t mind.  There’s nothing else out there that brightens my day like the birds do!

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/10 – 1/400 sec – ISO 800

#BirdWatching #birds #PineWarbler #winter #Georgia #WithMyTamron

Is anybody else COLD?

Nature always had a way to deal with the elements.  In the case of birds, you often see these little guys puff out their feathers for a little extra insulation against the cold.  Obviously, there’s a lot of puffy looking birds out there recently.  Somehow, they continue to hop around and fly from one spot to another as if there was nothing to be worried about.  Still, when I see the wind blowing their feathers out sideways, I am amazed at how they are able to deal with this weather and we live in the South!

It’s a miracle that any animal makes it through the winter in areas where it gets really cold.  Hope you all can find a way to stay warm today.

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/10 – 1/400 sec – ISO 800

#BirdWatching #birds #HouseFinch #winter #Georgia #WithMyTamron

Constant Companion

There are so many birds that come and go around here.  Lots of sporadic visitors that we see once or twice and then they fly off.  This however, is one of the little feathered friends that is always around.  I guess that makes them one of the things that we take for granted and tend to ignore.  It really shouldn’t be that way.

I hope in this new year, to make the effort to appreciate the small things around me which make life worth living.  I’m not saying that I don’t want to see the unusual and exciting come along now and then.  I just want to be more aware of how special my everyday surrounds are and not let them go un-noticed.  Hope you can do the same.

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/10 – 1/100 sec – ISO 800

#BirdWatching #birds #Georgia #WithMyTamron

Female Downy Woodpecker

I love it when we get a variety of birds at the feeders.  It is also neat to see the pairs of male and female coming in so you can see the differences.  Here is a female downy woodpecker waiting her turn for some suet.  The only visible difference between male and female seems to be the red patch that the male has on the back of its head.  I saw her mate (probably eating at this point) but didn’t get a shot of him this time.

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/9 – 1/200 sec – ISO 800

#BirdWatching #DownyWoodpecker #birds #Georgia #WithMyTamron