Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Pheasant Branch Birding in early March


(click on image for larger version)

My intent was to spend several hours in Pheasant Branch Conservancy this morning to digiscope, but I bumped into a couple of people and did more talking than digiscoping. Hey, that’s all right. I get a lot of enjoyment from pointing out what birds I’m seeing to other folks, both birder and non-birder. The highlight of the morning came when I pointed out a Carolina Wren I had heard earlier to a birder who had never seen one before. We got a nice view of it just across the stream perched right out in the open – oh, what a grand digiscoping opportunity I let pass. There’s always next time, right?

The Tufted Titmice were very active with some foraging on the ground and others singing away in the upper-story – the most vocal of all the birds in the corridor. A few days ago I was experimenting with the various image quality settings on my new camera and inadvertently left it on .TIFF mode (a very large file format). I followed one Tufted Titmouse with my scope as it foraged and took a shot…and the camera began to record the image to the media card…

recording…

recording…

recording…

Wow - it really takes a long time to write those 24 megabyte files – it seemed like an eternity as I continued to monitor the titmouse’s activity. It ended up being the only picture taken for the entire morning – a one shot deal. By the time the file was finished writing to the media card, the titmouse was further back up the hill. It’s not the best image of a Tufted Titmouse, but it accurately portrays what the bird was doing and isn’t so much “a bird on a stick” as Cindy likes to say. Nevertheless, I’ll have to go back and try to obtain a better “portrait” of one some other day.

Here are the birds that were present this morning:

Cooper's Hawk (fly over)
Killdeer (fly over / heard call)
American Crow
Blue Jay
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren (what a singer!)
American Robin
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
American Goldfinch
Pine Siskin
House Finch

Tufted Titmouse image © 2006 Mike McDowell

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