A Little Chirper for Your Sunday Afternoon

I sat out in the yard this afternoon with the 70-200 lens and took pictures of the cute little tweeties who are very much enjoying the bird feeder I put up a couple of weekends ago.  Last weekend I saw few birds…just a very fat grey squirrel…swinging from the bottom, the sides, the top of the feeder. I was not impressed.  But, yesterday and today I’ve seen no squirrel and the birds have been hitting it hard.  Makes me happy.  Drives the cat crazy. He’s spent much of his day chirping at the birds.  He says he can taste them.

I continue to struggle (in my opinion) with the 70-200.  I’m beginning to wonder if I’m over-estimating it’s zoom capacity.  Or, if the shady and/or grey Washington winters, which demand a higher ISO than I would like and a lower aperture in order to keep the shutter speed up, is resulting in less-than-tack sharp photos.  I just posted a number of pictures in an online photography community that I’m a part of seeking advice.  We’ll see what they have to say.  If any of you fellow-photographers have a 70-200 and have thoughts please feel free to share.

Anyways, here’s a little chirp for you.  Even with the photographic struggles, it was fun to sit outside and watch and listen to them.  They tended to wait in line to go to the feeder, but if one took too long another would sweep in, chirping impatiently.

Also, if you know what kind of birds these are…I don’t…so let me know.  🙂

A Little Chirper, cookdrinkhike.wordpress.com

17 thoughts on “A Little Chirper for Your Sunday Afternoon

  1. yay that the birds are there instead of fatso squirrel! I have wanted to get a feeder near the house, too. It’s so calming to watch them. I’d be interested to hear what the folks on the forum where you posted the shots have to say. My guess is that your shutter speed needs to be faster.


    1. I’ve received no responses, thus far. I’ll let you know. I suspected that the shutter speed might be low, but I have other photos taken on other days with shutter speed of 1/2000 and they’re still not clear. Of course, in those instances a heron was a bit distant from me. I’m suspecting a bit of shutter speed, a bit of ISO (in some instances) and a bit of expecting more of the lens than it is capable of giving. Maybe I’m wrong.


    1. Chickadees! You know when you’re told what something is and you think to yourself, “I should have known that!”? They’re a happy, fluttery crowd. The rufous-sided towhee was more the strong, silent type and primarily stayed on the ground under the feeder, which fits with what I just read about the breed. Thanks, Karen.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’ll get to know the chickadee by their distinctive call (chickadee-dee-dee-dee!). Look out for nuthatches, too, funny little things that have a penchant for hanging upside down.


  2. Did you get some helpful feedback at/on your photography forum? IMHO, sharpness isn’t the issue on these. At least to my eye, it appears you’re whiffing a little with your focus (e.g., not getting it in the right spot). You can be shooting 1/2000 but even the best autofocus could have a pretty tricky time with a spot like the chickadee behind the suet feeder. What kind of focusing mode were you using here?

    I’m a novice photographer myself so feel free to plop a pile of Nisqually Wildlife Refuge mud on my head if I’m somehow insulting your intelligence.


    1. I got some questions from them, but kind of dropped the ball so just responded a couple of days ago. There seems to be general agreement about the focusing, some of which I’m seeking clarification because I still get a bit lost in the jargon (front focusing? back focusing?). Someone also asked about how high my ISO was vs my shutter speed…and I was in shaded conditions…though I’ve also shot in less shaded conditions out at Nisqually with similar results. But, I do have to remember to keep the SS up on that lens. I was using spot-metering on the focusing…which is what I was taught on my manual exposure class this summer and, frankly, I’ve used no others since. Someone also asked how closely I cropped (close), which may bring us back to the capacity of the 70-200mm. Not insulting my intelligence at all. It’s a lot to noodle through.


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