Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ice Storm Digiscoping

The icy grip has lessened in the Ozarks and we now face a windy, warm Thursday, following by a return to the deep freeze on Friday. For the past three days, I've spent hours watching the persistent birds with ice-covered tail feathers scratching in hopes of dislodging a morsel of food from the one inch thick layer of ice that covered everything. I managed to keep a few of these these high metabolism creatures stocked with high calorie food for the duration of this storm. It was not uncommon to count 75-100 birds in my subdivision yard.

This weather event gave me a chance to work with my new camera, a Panasonic DMC-TZ3. I have been pretty impressed with some of my son's photos with the same type of point and shoot camera over at The Drinking Bird, so I'm hoping to figure out what I'm doing wrong and what he's doing right. Of course, the fact that I'm using a Bausch and Lomb Discoverer and he is using his new Kowa scope could account for some of the difference, but not all of it. By the way, the siskin and woodpecker below were close enough to take without the scope, and the ducks were taken through my binoculars.

I've already posted my Rusty Blackbird and Harris's Sparrow photos, but here's a few of my other feeder visitors during this week's icestorm.

Northern Cardinal: Check out that ice!A real treat! Our only Pine Siskin during the stormOur favorite, the Downy WoodpeckerFox SparrowMale Purple Finch and Female House Finch Canvasback, Ring-billed Duck and Mallards
at Southern Hills Lake when I finally ventured out on Wednesday


Lisa Berger said...

Greg...You're the devil. Wonder what I mean by that?

I recall a SNL skit with Mike Myers and Nicole Kidman. They were children. Mike was harnessed to a jungle gym (presumably hyperactive). Nicole had a chocolate bar and offered it to him. Fade to next scene, Myers' face is smeared with chocolate, and he is dragging the jungle gym. He says, "You're the devil".

Anyway, I've started reading blogs...yours, others'... I think it's addictive. Maybe I want to blog.

Nah, it's the birds; the chocolate in my life.

Greg said...

You have so much to offer to the bird blog world! Get it going! It's as easy as id-ing a Rock Pigeon!

You'll find a great bunch of people that are very,very knowledgeable birders.

Just think, you can join the ranks of former and current Southwest Missouri birders at Search and Serendity, The Drinking Bird, and here at Conservation Conversations.

We can collectively introduce and promote the birds and birders from the forgotten bioregion of our state!

Set it up today!

Greg said...

Oops, that Search and Serendipity! Sorry, David!

marvin d said...

Hey Greg, supergreat pictures! I'm starting to feel competitive. Your pictures up at the ponds are terrific.


Greg said...

Now wait, these pictures are no where near the quality of yours.
I'm just having fun trying to make my new camera work and getting photos on my blog. Most of the pictures were within 20-30 feet, with all the time in the world to get it right.

On the ducks, I'm just happy to be able to take pictures through my binoculars, because it opens up a new world of possibilites.

Greg said...

Did you notice that the Canvasback is either 1)a different bird than we saw a week and a half ago, or 2)its breeding plumage has emerged. I suspect it's a different bird.
Can't imagine that it would change appearance that rapidly.