Monday, May 22, 2017

Male of the species

MALE GOLDFINCH, GREEN, MICHIGAN, MAY 20, 2017

Pentax K-3
Pentax-F* 300mm f4.5 with Pentax HD 1.4x extender (420mm)
1/320 sec. f8
ISO 200

Our back yard feeders are assaulted by dozens of goldfinches of both sexes all the time, cheering up the recent gray, rainy and drab days a great deal.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Downy woodpecker

DOWNY WOODPECKER, GREEN, MICHIGAN, MAY 21, 2017

Pentax K-3
Pentax-F* 300mm f4.5 with Pentax HD 1.4x converter (420mm)
1/200 sec. f6.3
ISO 1600

Not the best angle (from an open kitchen window) but at least it's a reasonable rendition of the female downy woodpecker that haunts our neck of the woods. We haven't seen the male yet.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Female goldfinch

FEMALE GOLDFINCH, GREEN, MICHIGAN, MAY 13, 2017

Pentax K-3
Pentax-F* 300mm f4.5 plus Pentax HD 1.4x converter (420mm)
1/320 sec/ f8
ISO 400

Compared to the male of its species, the female goldfinch's coloring is dull and drab. Some individuals, however, are brighter than others, and this is one.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Purple Finch

PURPLE FINCH, GREEN, MICHIGAN, MAY 13, 2017

Pentax K-3
Pentax-F* 300mm f4.5 with Pentax HD 1.4x converter (420mm)
1/500 sec. f8
ISO 400

In summers past we would see only one or two purple finches on our feeders, but this year at least half a dozen have taken up station in the woods nearby. They stand out among the hordes of goldfinches and pine siskins that jostle for birdseed.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, GREEN, MICHIGAN, MAY 13, 2017

Pentax K-3
Pentax-F* 300mm f4.5 plus Pentax HD 1.4x converter (420mm)
1/320 sec. f8
ISO 400

Every year a few examples of this spectacularly colored species visit our feeders in the back yard of our cabin on Lake Superior, and the first one arrived May 15.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Red-bellied Woodpecker

RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, GREEN, MICHIGAN, MAY 13, 2017

Pentax K-3
Pentax-F* 300mm f4.5 with Pentax HD 1.4x converter (420mm)
1/800 sec. f8
ISO 400

Why they call it "red-bellied" I have no idea. This gorgeous male of the species—the first one we've ever seen here—lives in the woods close to our cabin on the shore of Lake Superior and pays frequent visits to our feeders.



Saturday, May 13, 2017

Pine Siskin

PINE SISKIN, GREEN, MICHIGAN, MAY 12, 2017

Pentax K-3
Pentax-F* 300mm f4.5 plus Pentax HD 1.4x converter (420mm)
1/160 sec. f8
ISO 200

These peppy little finches are swarming with their close cousins, goldfinches and purple finches, on our backyard feeders. In the past they seemed to be relatively rare but this summer almost outnumber the others.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Portrait of a heron

GREAT BLUE HERON, CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN, APRIL 23, 2017

Pentax K-3
Pentax 55-300 at 300mm
1/500 sec. f8
ISO 400

The garden's Great Blues are rarely where you want them—they tend to feed way across the lagoon out of effective photo range—but this one obligingly stalked through reeds just ten yards from a path along the western edge of Evening Island.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Red-winged Blackbird

RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN, APRIL 23, 2017

Pentax K-3
Pentax 55-300 at 300mm
1/1000 sec. f8
ISO 400

It's mating season, and the red flashes on the wings of the bird are at their brightest. These blackbirds are common all over the Botanic Garden and the trick is catching them when they're at rest, which is not often.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Great Blue Heron

GREAT BLUE HERON, CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN, APRIL 23, 2017

Pentax K-3
Pentax 55-300 at 170mm
1/400 sec. f8
ISO 400

Finally broke a long drought of good wildlife photos with this shot of a Great Blue along one of the Garden's lagoons. Only the obvious man-made edge of the lagoon, visible just beneath the surface of the water, spoils the picture, but not too much.