A New Backyard Bird

sm4him

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Fair Warning: This post is heavy on story, and light on photos. If you hate that, skip to the photos...but you'll miss out. :D
I've had precious little time to get out and shoot lately, and when I have gotten out, I've had mediocre results--not BAD, just nothing all that interesting. I just keep picking the wrong spots--I go to what is usually a good place and get nothing, and then come back and hear all about what everyone else saw much closer to home. I've been about ready to give it up for a bit, honestly.

But TODAY was a good day, and I wasn't really even trying; hoping that's a good sign.
After work, it was so beautiful, that I just decided to drive by our local pond. It's about 3 miles from my house, and typically is the home of several dozen domestic geese, mallards and mutt ducks. But once in a while, something interesting pops up. Mostly, I just wanted to see if maybe the Wood Ducks that have been hanging out there this spring have had babies yet. Didn't see any, but...

As soon as I pulled up, I saw something right in front of me at the shoreline--a Sandpiper (Solitary Sandpiper, I think). I've never seen a shorebird there before, and it was closer than I've ever been able to get to a Sandpiper. Grabbed the camera and fired off a couple of shots from the car, then got out and got a few more, before another passing car caused it to take flight.

That's when I discovered a little problem: This morning, I'd been taking pictures of a spider with my macro lens. On the way to the pond, I'd changed lenses, but didn't quite remember that my aperture was set at f/22, and my ISO was still on 100 (I'd used flash on the spider)....do you know what a sandpiper looks like at 6 p.m., 1/250 sec. at f/22, ISO 100? Neither do I, because you can't SEE it in the photos I took! :lmao:

Determined to get a second chance, I sat by my car, in the dirt and gravel, and waited...and waited. Thought about giving up a couple of times. I caught sight of FOUR sandpipers, total, but none of them would come close enough for a decent shot. Finally, a runner on one of the side streets flushed one of them out, and I got my second chance!

1. Solitary Sandpiper
April24_6738editweb by sm4him, on Flickr

I got plenty of other shots, but haven't processed them. Once it wandered off again, I left and came home. Decided to sit in the backyard and take pictures of the "regulars" for a few minutes. I saw a little hint of red behind some branches next to one of my feeders, and assumed it was my Red-bellied Woodpecker, but it turned out to be...

2. Rose-Breasted Grosbeak! A "lifer" bird for me, and brings my backyard total to 35 or 36, I think.
April24_6815editweb by sm4him, on Flickr
They are stunningly beautiful birds!

Oh, and just for fun: Here's the spider I was taking pictures of this morning, that caused me to miss the first shot at the Sandpiper. Found this guy in my kitchen, so I took him outside and grabbed a couple of pictures before letting him go. I really wanted to put him in a more natural setting, but he refused to cooperate, and I was already late to work, so I set him on a storage container and just took a few shots.

3. Itsy Bitsy Spider
April24_6568editweb by sm4him, on Flickr

Okay, you can wake up now; the story's over! As always, C&C, general comments and witty banter all make me feel loved and appreciated. Well, at least appreciated. Well, okay, maybe not even that. How about at least "not ignored?" :lmao:
 

JacaRanda

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I rather enjoyed the story. First, I often forget settings usually blowing something out with a crazy high iso.

Each of your shots got better and better for me. The Grosbeak really cool to see, but your spider excellent!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

manicmike

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That spider creeps me out.
 

DarkShadow

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Today was your day and I read the whole thing. It pays off to revisit the same place over and over. Nicely done:thumbup:
 

Raj_55555

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do you know what a sandpiper looks like at 6 p.m., 1/250 sec. at f/22, ISO 100?
Something like this I guess:
$what a sandpiper looks like at 6 pm 250th sec at f22 ISO 100.jpg
:p:p:p:p:p:p:p:p:p:p:p:p:p

Honestly though, great shot. I know how good it feels when you wait it out for a subject to show up, and it works out well in the end.

However i don't understand why so much hate for the cuddly little spider? They are more harmless than a squirrel really, and I just find them fascinating. But then again, I find all arachnid & serpents cute :lol:
 

mmaria

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nice, and easy to read. enjoyed ;)
 

baturn

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Interesting story with great photos of beautiful critters. Win. Win.
 
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sm4him

sm4him

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Thanks, all!

And for those that are creeped out by the spider--it only LOOKS big and scary through the macro lens. It was just a tiny, cute little thing!!

do you know what a sandpiper looks like at 6 p.m., 1/250 sec. at f/22, ISO 100?
Something like this I guess:
View attachment 72295
:p:p:p:p:p:p:p:p:p:p:p:p:p

Honestly though, great shot. I know how good it feels when you wait it out for a subject to show up, and it works out well in the end.

However i don't understand why so much hate for the cuddly little spider? They are more harmless than a squirrel really, and I just find them fascinating. But then again, I find all arachnid & serpents cute :lol:


HEY!! How'd you get my photos?!?!? :lmao:
 

b_twill

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Glad to see I'm not the only one who flubs the settings! You're a lot nicer to spiders found in your house than I am, if they are outside they are allowed to live, inside, it's a death sentence. Really like the Grosbeak. We're still waiting for them to come back for the summer.
 

pondball

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You're a lot nicer to spiders found in your house than I am, if they are outside they are allowed to live, inside, it's a death sentence. r.
Ditto... Daddy long legs and rain spiders are the only ones that get to see another day.

Btw... Love the red head shot... We had two woodpeckers hammering away at a dead tree yesterday and I'd manoeuvred into a decent position when a coupe if local walkers inadvertently scared them off 😔
 

BillM

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I've been about ready to give it up for a bit, honestly.

I've been at that point for a couple of weeks now, I've been seeing the shots and missing them or seeing that I should have turned left just after i turned right. Frustrating to say the least :banghead:

Glad you had a good day :thumbup:
 

annamaria

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Enjoyed the story and liked the photos. I have not seen the grosbeak in my yard yet. Several different birds visit my yard. I love em.
 

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