Sunday, January 25, 2015

Birds on a Sunday afternoon

It’s been a mild Sunday here in Maryland and I think it just may be the calm before the storm. I spent the day getting the feeders ready, buying more bird seed and adding another feeder or two to the dogwood tree so that I could shoot pictures out the kitchen window. I was down to one old feeder out there and I hadn’t filled it until just last week. But I always keep the back patio feeders filled so it didn’t take long for the birds to arrive to the new ones.

These were all shot through my kitchen window, which faces west, using my Nikon D7000 and the 70-300mm lens. I chose manual mode to get the light just right. Unfortunately, in manual mode, the 70-300 lens doesn’t autofocus very well, so I had to resort to manual focus. And if you know anything about birds, they move fast.


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Not that I’m complaining, because I did manage to get several decent captures. But you shoulda seen the ones that got away . . .

Above: Carolina wren.


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This female cardinal sat and posed for a good 10 seconds or more.


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This little sucker, however, was jumping all over the place.

This is a tufted titmouse. Don’t you love the little blue feet?

And that dreamy bokeh in the background?

Bokeh is pronounced bow-kay or bow-keh and it refers to that lovely out-of-focus light and all the different shapes and colors you see in the background of photos taken with a digital camera. It is created by light and and the glass in your lens and distance and wind and focus. It's a Japanese term for the subjective aesthetic quality of out-of-focus areas of a photographic image.


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Even faster moving is the White-breasted nuthatch.

They like to walk along the branches upside down.


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The house finches, however, are content to sit and relax and have their photos taken.

They don’t mind, like the cardinals do, if they see me moving from the window.


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That’s the old feeder on the right. I bought a new double-suet feeder today, on the left.

It was half price at the feed store.


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When I was younger, I never would have believed that sitting by a window and photographing birds would have given me this much pleasure. I would have laughed long and hard had I been told this about myself. But then I got older and life slowed down a little more and now this is something quiet and simple that I can do on a weekend afternoon. And if I am lucky enough, I may even glean an image that is good enough to add to my etsy site for sale.


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Black-capped chickadee.

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For dinner, I’m making {this} and enjoying it with a nice salad. And for dessert, I’m heating up one of the pain au chocolate delicacies that I made for yesterday’s breakfast. Made up the recipe myself and you can get it {here}, on my old Picture A Day blog that I haven’t updated in years. Hey – one blog is enough.

And I’ll be watching a movie that came in the mail yesterday: This is Where I Leave You. I hope it makes me laugh. I could use a good laugh. Hell, we all could. Right?

Enjoy your Sunday. And to those in the path of the impending storm systems . . . be safe.


Your friend,

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Cloudia said...

Love you and your little friends, Chickadee!

ALOHA from Honolulu

joeh said...

I love birding...but am strictly a novice.

jinxxxygirl said...

Just love your birdie photos. always. You have such a talent. YOU be safe with that bad weather coming. I hope you've stocked up on necessities. Here in CA we are finally enjoying a little sunshine after being socked in with fog for a couple weeks. The fog manages to burn off to give us a peek of sun just before nightfall...geesh.... Hugs! deb

Hilary said...

You sure captured some beauties, Kate. This makes me smile. And it also reminds me to clean my windows if I want to do likewise anytime soon.

Country Gal said...

Beautiful photos Kate ! I have always been a bird watcher and now I love photographing them to like you do , I have my camera a D3100 on manual and my 55-300mm telephoto zoom lens on auto focus as your right the birds are fast and do flit around a lot lol ! Oh supper sounds good and desert YUMMY ! Hope your movie gave you a giggle or two always good for the soul laughter is ! Thanks for sharing , Have a good week !

Country Gal said...

I also like bokeh backgrounds in my photos some times with the right light it makes the subject just that more interesting depending on the lighting !

Kerri Farley said...

Oh I DO LOVE your birdie pics!!!
Stay Safe and warm!!!

A New England Life said...

I still remember when you weren't much of a bird person, Kate. Lovely shots. The cardinals are not easy to capture!

The Furry Gnome said...

They look like terrific bird pix to me!

Rain said...

Oh Kate you take the most beautiful photos! Those birds are beautiful ! Going to try the quinoa bake- live quinoa and this sounds fast and east!!--Rain

Sabrina Steyling said...

All your little birdie friends are very nice to see, but that cheeky little tufted titmouse, however, that bugger knows how to mug for the camera even if he IS flitting all over the place! He's looking Right. At. The. Camera! Too cute. I need to hang a feeder from our magnolia tree (since it's the only tree on the property) and see what happens next!

Jill of All Trades said...

Just love your birds. I've taken to painting a lot of the pics I've taken at our cabin lately. They are just so sweet and fun. I need to get better at the photo part though because I'm running out of snapshots. Love, love, love the birdies!

thecatalanway said...

I have learned about so many new birds from you - the chickadee, the cardinal, and my favourite the tufted titmouse. I can even recognise them now.

One blog is enough! Yes!!! I have/had three and it was way too much.

How is your January going? Not too cold? I am busy with my new look blog and almost overwhelmed by it but also enjoying the challenge. I'm doing a blogging course but sometimes all I need to is to come here and see what you do so naturally, so well and with so much love. Have a lovely day Kate x

Daryl said...

all those images are perfect .. not that it compares but i wanted to get some shots of Annie playing with her favorite toy but she moves too fast for the iPhone and the D7000 insists on a flash .. grrrrrr

happyone said...

Nice seeing all the pictures of all your bird visitors. My part of Maryland was snowy yesterday and more of it today.

Karen said...

The soft lighting in these is awesome, love it.

and I saw the movie, what did you think? We watched LUCY the other night... bizarre. I had hoped for better because I love the actors.

Debbie From Illinois said...

Gorgeous birds! I love to sit and watch the birds at the feeders outside. I tell my husband it's free therapy.

Hope you have a great week and not too much snow. :-)

thotlady said...

Lovely photos Kate.

Deb said...

Oh, I just love that female cardinal shot. It's just lovely. I feel the same way about myself now that I'm older. I think it's kind of funny how I like to watch the birds now. I never paid any attention to them before. Enjoy your movie. Deb

sharon said...

Love your bird feeders. We have a couple of squirrels that think they really need to get to them. So far they haven't succeeded. Bwhahahaha.

beth said...

i love how you love your birds and how you make sure they keep fed!!!


what did you think of the movie???

ps….holy cow, the storm is heading your way

linmil said...

I can't believe it. I just realized I hadn't checked your blog for TWO months! (It's been a BUSY 2 months.) I was afraid I might not still find you. THANK GOODNESS. Catching up was like visiting with an old friend. Glad to know you made it through the holidays okay and are doing well. Wishing you a happy new year.

TammyGMiller said...

I love your bird photos. Thank you for sharing what type of lens you used. Now, I'm inspired to move my feeders closer to my breakfast room window so I can get better photos. It's difficult with my dogs though. When they go out they run all the birds off. Do you have that problem with George?

Bluebird49 said...

Oh-I think Mrs. Cardinal--(well--she should be proposed to if not!) is a real winner, but then every one of them is. Can't think of any birds (well, starlings!) I'm not amazed and amused by.
And hell yes! We all can use a good laugh--and some chocolate, too, babe!


GailO said...

I was thinking of you today as I sat at my desk and admired a photo of a female cardinal in winter that you have been taking beautiful bird photos for a while now:) So I was happy to visit here and see that you still take gorgeous bird photos and that you find such joy in doing it:)

I haven't been visiting blogs much lately...I have been limiting myself to Instagram for the most part... so it is good to see you enjoying yourself:)


(GBS) NewsFromTheHill said...

What lovely photos as usual!! We finally got a pole up with some feeders and though it took a few weeks, we've got birds!! So much fun to watch1 Stay warm!

Stella said...

Wondering where you are. Missing your blog. Happy Valentines Day.