Thursday, December 15, 2011

Difficult Subjects

As you'll have noticed, I use a lot of photos in my blog. This is essential because I'm not a good enough writer to do justice in words to the birds and other wildlife that I see! Luckily, modern camera technology means that taking reasonable photos is much easier than it was years ago, even if you use inexpensive equipment like mine. Having said that, though, some subjects are still difficult to photograph. For example, over the past couple of weeks I've been struggling to take recognizable pictures of two species - American Kestrel and Fox Sparrow.

I've seen a lot of Kestrels perched on wires and posts as I've been driving around our area lately. Unfortunately, they normally fly off as soon as I stop the car and well before I can open the window and use my camera.

This week I finally came upon a Kestrel that was less skittish. (Or perhaps it's just that it was early and the bird was still only half-awake!) Since the bird was silhouetted against the sky, the photos I got weren't great but at least you can see the bird's main features.

Fox Sparrows pose different problems. First of all, they are not at all common in our area. Also, they are generally secretive birds that forage mainly in the undergrowth and don't often spend much time out in the open. Then I personally run into a third problem with them: My camera is so noisy that the birds tend to run for cover  the instant that I take my first photo. I then have to wait quietly for ages, hoping that they will re-emerge in more or less the same spot.

So last week I felt very fortunate when I came across a couple of Fox Sparrows that spent quite a while in the open and that didn't seem to be too bothered by the noise of my camera shutter.

BTW, there is another bird that I would love to photograph but haven't yet: Bewick's Wren. Like the Fox Sparrow, it's usually uncommon in our area but is turning up all over the Katy Prairie at present. If I ever manage to get a picture of one, you can be sure I'll be posting it here!

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