Thursday, February 19, 2009

Another Weekend in Mio - 2/15/2009

With a sticker on my camera that reads "AV not M" I packed up my camera gear - loaded up the truck minus the kittens this time and headed up north. Saturday on arrival I head out and load up all the feeders in the area. I sit out in my blind to see if anything comes to check them, darkness falls and no one has ventured out so in I go til morning.

8:00 a.m. Sunday morning I put on the coffee, grab my gear and head out to my blind. After sitting for about an hour and a half I find myself praying to God for even a Nuthatch. It never fails, once these guys get out there the whole world knows there's food. The usual players are out there: Red and White Breasted Nuthatches, Black-capped Chickadees, Tuft Titmouse, the Brown Creeper is keeping it entertaining flying from one tree to another and the squirrels are a riot. I've always been told that the black squirrels are the nastiest so I find it kind of funny when I watch a little Red Squirrel chase these guys through the woods.

Around noon I head in for lunch and head back out afterwards. The feeders are now filled with Pine Siskins. All together on the feeder to the side of me, ahead of me and on the ground I have a total of 24. It's getting close to 3 p.m. and it's time go in and pack up to go home.
Til my next post.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Mio, Michigan - 02/01/2009

The start of my weekend began leaving work early on Friday. I stopped off at home to grab my camera and head over to the boat launch behind Speedboat in Wyandotte. There were your usual Mallards and Mute Swans, a couple of Redheads and two Ring-necked Ducks (male and female). In the distance over by Mud Island I could see an Eagle flying so after capturing enough pictures of the crowd I headed over to the overlook at Southfield and Jefferson. The river there had Common Golden Eyes, Hooded Mergansers and Common Mergansers, if there were others they were too far for me to make them out. In the trees on the island however, I spotted two adult Bald Eagles and three young ones. These too were too far for me to photograph, so I sat and watched for awhile and then headed on home.

Saturday morning I headed up north with kittens in tow. We hadn't been up since the week of Christmas so naturally there were no birds around when we arrived. After getting everything unpacked I headed out to get the feeders filled - after a couple of hours the first birds on the sight were the White-breasted Nuthatches. It seems that as soon as they send out their slightly nasally "what, what, what" it won't be long before all the other birds show up. Unfortunately (I think they weren't around because it was cold) no one came running.

Sunday morning after putting the coffee on and grabbing the camera bag I headed out to my blind. The bird activity had already began so I sat for a while just watching unpacking the camera slowly so not to distrub (not that they would have noticed) the feeding. The lighting was great and the weather cooperative - what a great day to photograph. The feeders brought in the White-breasted Nuthatches, Red-breasted Nuthatches, the Black-capped Chickadees and the Tuft Titmouse. On the trees to the right of me was a Hairy Woodpecker and on the tree to the left a Downy. The Brown Creeper made several appearances on a different tree everytime except for one visit - there were four at one time and all on a different tree that I couldn't seem to get a focus on.

Later in the morning a couple of Pine Siskins made an appearance which was great - these guys seem to be fearless, I say that because in watching the birds come and go these guys no matter how many birds flew in to the feeder they never left their post. Not even the Nuthatch could chase these guys off. After about three hours I head back to the house so we could go into town and grab something to eat. On the feeder behind the house were 6 Pine Siskins and 4 Goldfinch on the branches waiting. I grabbed a few shots and then went to eat. When I returned I headed back out to the blind where activity had picked up, my couple of Pine Siskins were now four and my Goldfinch were now six. This is where I'll continue to sit until it's time to pack up to go home.
Now this would sound like a good weekend - good weather, good lighting, good subjects to photograph, and for me it was a great weekend until I got home to take a look at what I had photographed (couldn't wait), as I started to look at my photos I had noticed that some were dark and I had almost expected the first shots of the morning to be that way (especially in the woods) but then I noticed a lot of the pictures were over-exposed. My next step - check the camera and sure enough some how I had changed my setting from AV to M, I didn't shoot just half of my photos on that setting - I had taken all of my photos on that setting. Approximately 1600 photos taken - 53 that were not deleted after going through all of them.
My thanx to my friend Jerry who took a look at my salvaged photos and did his magic that made posting my pictures possible. Til my next post.