Mr Downy Woodpecker

30 11 2008

It was wet and miserable today, but Mr and Mrs Downy Woodpecker came by at different times this morning. The lighting was abysmal… Had to shoot at 3200 just to get 1/250 Mr. Downy hung out in a reasonable location for some photos once he had visited the suet feeder:


3. This time with flash (ISO 400)

Hopefully he’ll visit again on a nicer day and I’ll be able to get a better shot of him and his wife. Thanks for visiting!


Purple Finch!

24 11 2008

My first ever purple finch came to visit yesterday!  Not only did he visit, but he was good enough to pose – Mohawk haircut and all!

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Shot with the Canon 50D and the 100-400IS lens.

Snow Geese!

24 11 2008

Mrs D. and I went down to Richmond today to shoot the snow geese.

Every year thousands of snow geese come down to the south coast of BC to avoid the harsh winters in their breeding grounds up north. They have found that the well kept soccer and baseball fields make great buffets of grass. They are very pretty and when the flock takes flight it’s magical.

The whole series of photos can be seen here:

Here are a couple of shots.

Balancing Act:

Hey – You look familiar

Almost like it was snowing!

All taken with my Canon 50D and the 100-400L IS lens.

Get out and enjoy them while they sit in the urban fields… soon they’ll move to the farm fields and be much less accessible.

Jet-pool anyone?

20 11 2008

This quote from the Senate committee hearing the plea’s of the big three North American automakers as they beg for part of the bailout money.  Senator Ackerman asked them the following:

Couldn’t you all have downgraded to first class or jet-pooled to get here? It would have at least sent the message that you do get it.

Classic!  You mean EVERYONE is supposed to give up the high life to keep the company in business?  What a concept!


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10 11 2008

Last week, as usual in Vancouver, it rained.  It rained a lot.  I had noticed that my visitor count to my bird feeder seemed low and that I wasn’t going through bird seed as quickly as I had been in weeks past.  Previously I had been going through a feeder’s worth in a day and a half.  Now it was taking almost a week.  I figured there had to be more to it than just the rain.

I put on my coat and looked around to see if I could see where the birds were.  They didn’t seem to be at my feeder or my nearby trees.  Then I saw “IT”.  It was slender and sleek, with a nice big catch tray on the bottom and large clear plastic cover to shelter from the rain.  The birds were flitting in and out, and all around.  THE COMPETITION!

Our neighbours had put up a feeder as well.  In the rainy weather the local avian population definitely seemed to prefer the sheltered dining environment.  What to do?  I though about putting out little bird sized chaise lounges.  Perhaps a bird-focused Starbucks.  I was at a loss.  I ran to Mrs D and said “We have to upgrade!”  We’re losing business.  Surprisingly – she laughed… Someone clearly didn’t understand the cutthroat nature of birdfeeding. 🙄

We headed out to the local Backyard Bird shop and sized up the covers.  “Too expensive” she said.  Sigh.  I did, however pick up some suet and some new seed to hopefully entice more and different birds over to our eatery again.  Once you lose customers it can be pretty tough to bring them back. 😉

With the suet in place, it wasn’t long before we had a male downy woodpecker come by… I was so excited that I probably scared the guy off with my dash to get my camera!  Oops.

This past weekend was different.  We had Mrs. Downy come to visit.  I stealthily grabbed the camera and got a few shots.

Here’s Mrs Downy… one of my first bird shots with the Canon 50D.  Shot at 400mm through the door glass at ISO1600.  I’m pretty happy with the result – all things considered.  I hope that they will become more comfortable with me being around and give me a chance to get some better shots.

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