Sunday, August 7, 2016

Purple finch

PURPLE FINCH, GREEN, MICHIGAN, AUGUST 5, 2016

Pentax K-3
Pentax-F* 300mm f4.5 with 1.4x Pentax extender (420mm)
1/500 sec. f8, handheld
ISO 1600

I had been trying to use the 420mm lens-and-extender combination on a tripod for sharper shots, but training the bulky rig on a moving target was just too difficult. Handholding in the shade became possible at a high ISO that allowed a fast shutter speed to avoid motion blur. In-camera shake reduction, a feature of Pentaxes, helped as well.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Nutch

RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, GREEN, MICHIGAN, AUGUST 5, 2016

Pentax K-3
Pentax-F* 300mm f4.5 with 1.4x Pentax extender (420mm)
1/500 sec. f8, handheld
ISO 1600

The white-breasted variety of "nutch," as it's often called in the Upper Peninsula, has been more common than the red-breasted in the last couple of years. It was nice to see a specimen of the latter at our feeders. They are just as snatch-and-grabby as their cousins.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Upside Downy

FEMALE DOWNY WOODPECKER, GREEN, MICHIGAN, AUGUST 5, 2016

Pentax K-3
Pentax-F* 300mm f4.5 with 1.4x Pentax extender (420mm)
1/500 sec. f8, handheld
ISO 1600

I've taken lots of shots this summer of this Downy Woodpecker on the suet feeder in our back yard, but only today did it assume a fetching pose.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Orange Hawkweed II

ORANGE HAWKWEED, GREEN, MICHIGAN, JULY 4, 2016

Pentax K-01
Tamron 90mm macro
1/180 sec. f8
ISO 1600

Another usable shot emerged from the file of hawkweed photos taken in the back yard of our cabin on Lake Superior on the Fourth of July.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Orange Hawkweed

ORANGE HAWKWEED (PILOSELLA AURANTIACA), GREEN, MICHIGAN, JULY 4, 2016

Pentax K-01
Tamron 90mm macro
1/500 sec. f8
ISO 1600

The orange hawkweed, or devil's paintbrush, is a member of the daisy family, It used to be considered a decorative bloom in American gardens until it got loose and spread, and is now considered a noxious invasive species in some states. In upper Michigan it starts to bloom in late June.


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Female purple finch

FEMALE PURPLE FINCH, GREEN, MICHIGAN, MAY 29, 2016

Pentax K-5
Pentax F* 300mm f4.5
1/800 sec. f5.6
ISO 1600

This specimen is likely pregnant and slow-moving, hence allowed me to get close enough to fill the frame with the 300 millimeter lens. Any closer and the photo would have been out of focus.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Indigo Bunting

INDIGO BUNTING, GREEN, MICHIGAN, MAY 23, 2016

Pentax K-5
Pentax F* 300mm f4.5
1/400 sec. f6.3
ISO 1600

Looking just like a goldfinch dipped into a pot of Washable Blue, this little bird is a rare visitor to our feeders. I hadn't seen one for two years when he paid a brief call to get some nyjer seed late one evening when the sun was low and gave his color a special glow.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Song sparrow

SONG SPARROW, GREEN, MICHIGAN, MAY 17, 2016

Pentax K-3
Pentax-F* 300mm f4.5 with Pentax 1.4x converter (420mm)
1/1600 f7.1
ISO 1600

This ground-hopping little sparrow crept right under the feeders while I was photographing finches and paused nicely for its portrait.