Sunday, December 1, 2013

Today's walk report: 120113

Bird games.

I've been trying to make better efforts at ID'ing, especially with birds because I've had some stuff I've needed to correct and there's probably more. I like to be accurate. A couple of things I was better at when I was a kid than I am now, one analog electronics and two, birds. Today however, I swear a couple of birds saw me coming.

Not this one, this is a mature female Selasphorus rufus. I thought it looked cute, like a Christmas tree ornament. I'd get a Christmas tree if I could have a hummingbird sit up top like this although I don't think Lucy T. Cat would react well.

But then there was this little guy. I was almost sure when I took this that it was the American Kestrel (Falco sparverius), sometimes colloquially known as the Sparrow Hawk, I keep trying to get a close shot of. I was absolutely blinded here by glare from the sun so things weren't real obvious. It is in the photo but it wasn't when it was "live." I was also about 45 meters away. It flew away as always once I got a little closer so I figured I'd check again on the way back. This bird is always in one of two places around sunset.

As I went further down the road I saw the campus had been hard at work on Christmas decorations.

Then I found this lovely pink glove. If only they made these in my size.

This particular road is just shy of 1 km, I go to the end as it takes you off campus, push the walk button at the traffic light there just to stop traffic after I'm already 50 meters away turning around and heading back in the direction I came. Why? Because I'm an impudent child at times. Anyway, as I approach the tree again I see the Kestrel is back...wait a minute... this doesn't look right.

Realize with my naked eye this is all a lot smaller than with a 300 mm lens. So I think OK, it's a Cooper's hawk, my bad. The Cooper's hawk is another one that won't let me get too close. But this time I got a show from the sky once I spooked it. Its still got its eye on me too, can you tell?

The hawk circles overhead a few times and eventually flies off...

and I'm thinking did I get this so wrong? Where's the Kestrel? Then I see a bird perched almost two lampposts away in front of me. Ah-ha! (Lampposts are separated by about 42 meters by the way. Yeah, I know all of this stupid shit by now.)

I'm still 21.7 meters away here. The bird takes flight as soon as I take my next step and goes back across the street. Would you believe 21.7 meters away? What I'd like is a good shot without stuff confusing the autofocus from about 12 meters.

That's about it. I went up the hill to sit, have a soda and watch the sunset. Thanks again for coming along!

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