January 12, 2011

a bird in the hand

bushtit 1

Winter here is great for bird watching. Lots of species stick around during our mild winter, and our large, tree-filled garden is full of deciduous trees who drop their leaves and leave a lot of viewing space. These tiny bushtits are a common sight and are so small they can stick their heads through the wire mesh on the (squirrel-thrashed) suet feeder.

At the opposite end of the size spectrum are the raptors and herons. Yesterday I went out to the Vancouver landfill after I learned that hordes of eagles hang out there. We expect to see corvids rooting around in our refuse but the idea of these totems of nobility hunting rats in mountains of human-generated waste was too much to resist. Unfortunately the powers-that-be were less impressed with the vision behind my photographic field trip and politely told me to go away and make an appointment. Foiled again. Fortunately there were a few outcasts (like this magnificent beast) on the road to the dump.

bald eagle 2

10 comments:

moreidlethoughts said...

Oh. My. God.
Looks just like old Grover (broken-toed eagle at OWL).

nancy said...

Magnificent!

mrwriteon said...

Looks way better here Ms. A. Thanks for the redirection and I hope you had a wonderful b/day.

mrwriteon said...

By the way, your little bushtit looks just like the bluetits I grew very fond of when I lived in England yonks ago.

ValGalArt said...

The little bushtit is the sweetest thing! The eagle so regal :) Incredible photos and i love this post :D

Hayden said...

I'm awed by the eagle - amazing picture.

I'm REALLY impressed, though, by the photo of the bushtit - such amazing, accurate color, the lichens on the branch.....

May I ask what kind of camera you use? I'm shopping cameras - dropped mine on the cement porch just after christmas and twanged the case big time. It was old. I've never had a "good" camera and have lusted for one for years....

andrea said...

Thanks everyone and Hayden -- I use a Nikon D70. I bought the body (well) used about 2 1/2 years ago (and bought a new 70-200 lens for it at the time) and have used it almost every day since. It is a real workhorse but there aren't a lot of bells and whistles. It is strictly made for taking good photos. If you don't want to invest in something brand new getting a used Nikon or Canon DSLR is a really good option. I probably paid 1/3 of what I'd have had to pay for a new setup.

Hayden said...

not a lot of bells and whistles sounds good... so does less than full price! Thanks for this, it gives me a toehold to start shopping.

andrea said...

Oops. 55-200 lens. By the way, this camera is now 7 years old and I just read this: "A year in digital cameras is equal to 25 regular years. A camera introduced 2-1/2 years ago may as well be 62 years old. It's completely obsolete. A new D90 for $999 has far better image quality than the old Nikon D2Xs which sold for thousands the year before".

Hayden said...

well, that may be, but your pictures are amazing. I'll be watching the used market. such a struggle for me to decide if it's "worth it" since I've never had a good camera. But I do know that what I see isn't what my cameras have seen, and that is probably why taking pictures has never interested me much.

that, and my x who spent so much time looking through a lens or at a map that he seemed to miss most of what we were passing through....

but I'm in a quieter mode of life now - not 'passing through' much as a tourist anymore, more interested in recording the special moments right here on the farm, and that changes my attitude. And Jake. It was nearly impossible to catch him on film with my old camera. Maybe 1 in a 100 shots, and none of those that caught his sense of intense alertness because he is too much 'in motion' at those times.