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on Jan 9, 2014 in Wildlife Photography

Hitting the Cycle Just Right


As the bewitching hour edged closer, I got ready. I had just brought the rig Df/800mm out and set it up when I looked out the window to see the Townsend’s Solitare sitting on the bird bath looking directly at me. Busted! It was the third time it had made an appearance at the birdbath since the 1st, at least that we saw but he had the best of me this time. I was simply too late to make the click. I watched him and once he had his drink and flew off, I opened up the door to shoot.


Well, just a few seconds later the flock of Evening Grosbeaks appeared. There was about twenty hitting the feeder and the birdbath. It was one helluva a commotion as they went back and forth between the two. The Mountain Chickadees, Pygmy and White-breasted Nuthatches came in as well as a lone Pine Siskin. And for about five to seven minutes, the feeders looked like the normally would, full of activity. And then, swooooch, they are all gone and it’s dead quiet again.


The photos I’m after are the approach to the feeder or the birdbath. This morning I set up on the couple of pine boughs they alight on prior to jumping to the birdbath. This is because as this moment in time, the light was the best at this one spot. I prefocused on the branch and waited for them to land. Ya, you could chase them about with your lens as they land but the activity is so fast and so brief, this is usually an unproductive approach. I like the light on the first image, like the feel of the second and the attitude of the third. I like best I had some critters to photograph even if it were for only a few minutes. If the cycle holds, I won’t see them tomorrow but just in case there is a change, the lens will be set up and the coffee ready. And of course, need some snow!