Saturday, July 10, 2010

Camera Critters: A Far Encounter And A Close Encounter

For today's post we feature two photos, one taken at extreme distance and the other at quite close range. I spent most mornings last week looking for bachelor groups of large bucks.  This involves being in a likely area at daybreak and remaining until shortly after sunrise when most whitetail activity ceases.  This particular morning was already hot with a promise of scorching heat and humidity to come.  I did see three bucks shortly after dawn, and two were very large for this area, but it was early in the morning and they were extremely far away, so I used the Canon XL-H1 video camera to record this action.  When I was leaving the area I came to a creek cliff overlooking a distant creek bottom.  I was pleasantly surprised to see three hen turkeys with several young feeding at the edge of a barley field as the first rays of the morning sun bathed the countryside in a warm glow.

Distant Flock Of Hen Turkeys With Young
At first I videotaped the turkeys with the 500mm attached to the XL-H1 which gives an effective focal length of over 3,600mm in 35mm camera terms.  With that completed I mounted the Canon 7D and 2x extender on the 500mm which gives an effective focal length of 1,600mm in 35mm terms. What is impressive about this photo is that the birds are about 300 yards or 900 ft. away.  The photo is slightly cropped to give a more balanced composition than the original.

While it is satisfying to take a passable shot at extreme long range, it cannot compare to being extremely close to the subject as the next photo of a Rufous Sided Towhee demonstrates.  I have seen these birds all of my life, but have not been able to get acceptable photos of them until lately when they began using the natural backwoods bird feeder

Male Rufous Sided Towhee
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19 comments:

Dina said...

Sweet bird pictures.
I never saw a young turkey. Guess I always think of them, well ..., oven-size. (Sorry, Willard) ;)

Linda (PA_shutterbug) said...

I never saw any young turkeys either. There's quite a few of them there. Great shot of the towhee!

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Willard: Love the turkey flock and a sweet photo of the Towhee. I was lucky enough to see one this year.

Feral Female said...

Lovely shots Willard!

We saw a mixed flocks of brood hens the other day hauling hay. 3 hens and close to 30 poults between the mothers. Very encouraging to see so many poults!

Gallery of the Mountains said...

Great turkey shots - never see the young birds.

Lindsay

Living In Williamsburg Virginia said...

What a great find and beautifully shot.

Darryl and Ruth : )

eileeninmd said...

Cool sighting of the turkeys! The Towhee shot is excellant.

ladyfi said...

Love the delicacy of the bird in that last shot.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

The Towhee is perfect.

CherylK said...

You do have a gift for photography! Those turkeys are beautiful. I've never even seen a towhee so this was a special treat!

srp said...

I love the towhee... they live in the preserve behind our house and routinely hop about next to the woods. This year they have been more regular visitors to the feeder next to the house. I think the snow was unexpected so we provided them with needed food. I rarely snows on the coast of Virginia.

Marci said...

Willard ~ Great post! I have never seen baby turkeys in person. Nice photo!
Only see Towhees in Benezette. There's a pair that live at the Hideaway. Never saw them around here. Wonderful close-up! One of the best I've seen.

Steve Borichevsky said...

Nice shot of the Towhee. The bird-nerds have split the Rufous-sided Towhee into two species. Above it our Eastern Towhee with the western specied being the Spotted Towhee.

Poetic Shutterbug said...

Oh I love the closeup with such beautiful detail.

JimB said...

Great job on both photos. Those turkeys came out well with that 2X.

Jim

Bird Girl said...

You sure said that well and I feel the same way - the turkeys with their little ones is a wonderful catch - but that second shot of the towhee just takes my breath away, Willard!

Shelley said...

Nice to see those baby turkeys, I liked the lighting in that photo! That towhee was beautiful - great clarity!

Ricepatty said...

How neat that the whole family was together like that.

lv2scpbk said...

Great photos as usual. Hope your doing well.