Hmm… I just realized that things are getting a bit desperate if I’m writing about an “exciting morning at the feeder”. LOL!
I was about to head of to work this morning and looked out at the feeder as usual to see who was visiting. Imagine my surprise to see both Mr. and Mrs. Downy woodpecker feeding from the feeder. Also, there were these little grey birds (smaller than chickadee, with longer tails) that were mobbing my suet feeder. I didn’t know what they were…
“I’ve got to get a quick shot before I head off to work”, I thought to myself.
I zipped upstairs and grabbed the camera, snapped on the 100-400 and zipped back down. My Downies had gone and so had the little grey birds.. all that was left was a finch, and he bolted once he saw me at the door. :(
I went out to the balcony to see if the woodpeckers had stopped in the fir (that would be a good shot too!). No luck. As I was standing there, about 4 feet from the feeder, I heard the distinct sound of claws landing and grabbing metal. I knew a bird had landed very close by. I looked around the feeder and as I circled, I found this little Downy. I couldn’t believe my luck! I picked up the camera to shoot and then realized that the lens won’t focus at 4 feet – you need 6.. Arghh.. TOO close – what a great problem to have! I backed out to where the lens would FINALLY give me confirmation of focus and started snapping away. Drat – 1600ISO was still too dark. 2500 seemed to give me enough light to shoot. She held so still. I was able to walk around and try shooting from different angles. She was a VERY patient model 😉
“Maybe I can get her to eat peanuts from my hand!”, was my next thought.
I ran in and grabbed a couple of peanuts and held them out to her. I could reach my hand to within 6 inches her! She didn’t fly away. Alas, she also didn’t want my peanuts. I went back inside and decided to get the 70-200 because I was sure I could get some great pics at F2.8. Upon my return, she had flown off, and all I could see around was a male Downy off in the maple nearby. She obviously decided to move on to a more “professional” photographer. Sigh – story of my life 😉
My chirping and “Downy Woodpecker calling” seemed to have attracted a Steller’s Jay. They LOVE the peanuts! They are pretty skittish though and don’t particularly like being shot. I did manage to get a nice shot of him/her as it was on the fir tree eyeing me over to determine how much of a threat I was, and was the threat worth it to get the 2 peanuts on the balcony railing.
Here’s the Steller’s Jay:
An interesting morning – I’d STILL like to figure out what the little grey jobbies were… Oh well, that’ll be another day, I’m sure they’ll be back!