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#376 amberjack1234

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 03:44 PM

Thanks for the pictures of the bluebirds Mike.   The reason that they are so tame is that about 35 years ago they were almost extinct and folks down south started a campaign of building bird nesting boxes for them.    Me included.   So most of them are raised in peoples yards.   There was one problem with the box project and it was that folks were putting them to close to the ground (they wanted to peep in and see the babies) and the snakes (which are always a danger) had a feast.   It took me a couple of years to get it all figured out but when I did I was one of the most successful ones at raising them.    My neighbor tried for several years to attract them but finally gave up.    He just was not paying attention and was to proud to ask why I was doing so well.   The ancestors of the ones that I have now were my first ones.   They are very faithful once they find an ideal location they will return year after year.

 

The project worked as it saved them and the population had increased.   Glad to see that you guys up north are taking care of our babies.    I use to worry about them in the winter until mine started staying all year long here.   They eat insects and earth worms mostly.   They love the earthworms.   I would rake leaves and of course rake up earthworms and they would swoop down and get them.   I had to be careful sometime to keep from raking over them.   I don't think that I have ever seen one at a feeder.   They will drink water and take a dip in the bird bath.

 

I also have a group of chimney swifts that have been coming for just as long.   They annoy the wife at night with them beating their wings to keep their babies cool so she is not to fond of them.   I can't hear them but they do create some dust that does produce a little residue around the outside of the fireplace. 



#377 True Blue

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 08:36 PM

For those into birding, what do you think of this new Sony all in one camera - pricey at $1,700 but has some great specs. Sony RX 10 IV
The zoom Range is an equivalent 24-600 mm, has almost 400 focus points, takes 24 frames per second all on a 1 inch sensor which is larger than most super zooms.

#378 Randy W

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 10:52 PM

I'm convinced that Sony is definitely the brand to go with for digital cameras. I just bought a Sony α5100 (smaller and much cheaper at $3990HKD ~ $510USD). They do a LOT of technical research into their products and it definitely shows.

 

Some of the firmware they have in cameras these days (other brands included) is just incredible, especially what they'll do in full auto mode, including HDR and night time shots (no more 8 minute exposures).



#379 amberjack1234

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 05:22 PM

I bought a Cannon EOS 850 a loooooog time ago and absolutely loved it but it weren't long before digital came out and killed the film print camera market.   Now, there are just a few place that I know of that process negatives.   None locally where I live.   My lens cost more than my camera.   At my age I don't think that another camera is on my wish list.   The wife hates pictures anyway so no sense in taking it up again.   The new digital stuff is amazing.   I have a little digital $35 camera from ebay that eats AA batteries like candy.   I use it about once every two years and the software is not upgrade able.  I even have to use an old laptop to download the images that has Windows XP on it.    When it breaks I'll just buy a new cheap one I suppose.   It does actually take pretty good pictures but no fancy shots like stopping bird wing in flight or anything like that.



#380 MikeandRong

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 07:56 PM

Halloween was a clear and very bright warm day, temperature swings at this time of year can vary 40 degrees from one day to the next.
These Goldfinches have lost all their summer yellow color now and are a much more pale tan. In a couple more months they will change from tan to almost white, then as spring approaches they will once again change to their bright yellow breeding colors.

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With most of the leaves having dropped from the Locast trees the sun really shines strong and seems to either dull out the birds colors or brighten them up. This House Sparrow that was landing appeared pale yellow on his belly and made me look twice to see what he really was, while the Male Cardinal appeared an almost drab red instead of his usual bright red colors that makes him so easy to see.

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Later on in the early afternoon with the sun at a little lower angle, everyone was back to their normal appearing colors.

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#381 MikeandRong

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 08:06 PM

It was only a matter of time that my arch enemy made her appearance to eat up the spilled seed. She looks like a big pregnant female as she was about 12 pounds and not afraid of me at all. She's trying to pack on as much weight as possible before taking her winter nap and having her babies. This will force me to pull the food once again until the colder weather forces her underground till spring thaw. My wife tells me that there are no Skunks in China and she had no idea how bad they could smell when they spray or get hit by a car.

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#382 MikeandRong

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 08:26 PM

The black thistle seed does not fall out on the ground when the Goldfinches feed on it, so I let that stay up until it gets too wet from the weather, as only Sparrows seem to eat at it then. Having six Goldfinches on this little feeder at the same time was neat to see as only during the cold weather months do they seem to group up and feed together without fighting.

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After two days of raking up seeds and the Sparrow and Juncos eating the smaller remains this yearling Red-winged Blackbird showed up to scavenge any leftovers. I have not had any more nighttime visitors but I'll give it a couple more weeks just to be sure.

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The two Blue Jay brothers and this yearling Red-bellied Woodpecker easily spot us now when we're out in the backyard and fly down and wait for us to toss a peanut their way. I don't mind doing that kind of feeding as they carry it away to eat and they don't leave a mess behind for the night crew.

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#383 True Blue

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 10:24 PM

Still doing more research on the Sony R10 IV superzoom camera which just came out.  At 1,699 the price is too high for us to afford now so decided to wait until Black Friday 2018/2019 as price is steep on new cameras and won't be any discounts for a couple years.   I still have 3 more years until I can retire anyway so I can wait ti out.   Although I am not a birder, I could be with this camera and some time to learn to use it.  It's very fast (24 fps) has super focus (over 300 focus points) 24mm to 600 mm and pretty automatic so I won't need to be an f stop geek to use it.

 

I found this thread re: photos taken by birders and thought you might like to have a look - I love the in flight shots that the 24 fps can get.  

 

https://www.dpreview.../thread/4217988



#384 MikeandRong

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 08:34 PM

Still doing more research on the Sony R10 IV superzoom camera which just came out.  At 1,699 the price is too high for us to afford now so decided to wait until Black Friday 2018/2019 as price is steep on new cameras and won't be any discounts for a couple years.   I still have 3 more years until I can retire anyway so I can wait ti out.   Although I am not a birder, I could be with this camera and some time to learn to use it.  It's very fast (24 fps) has super focus (over 300 focus points) 24mm to 600 mm and pretty automatic so I won't need to be an f stop geek to use it.
 
I found this thread re: photos taken by birders and thought you might like to have a look - I love the in flight shots that the 24 fps can get.  
 
https://www.dpreview.../thread/4217988


Those are some great freeze action shots that they showed. That looks like quite the camera and very capable too. Mine has more features on it than I am capable of understanding or even using thus far. I think somewhere down the road I'll enroll in a photography class down at the community college. It's one thing to read the directions that came with the camera or watch a YouTube video about some technique and quite another to take a real teaching class with hands on experience together with a teacher and other students too. I feel that would open me up to much more experienced people it's a vast array of knowledge and tips.

#385 MikeandRong

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 08:50 PM

After on and off again rain for the past 10 days it has stayed just around freezing overnight, with ice forming but then melting in the daytime. Huge flocks of Sandhill Cranes were migrating overhead today and that is a sure sign of the cold weather on the way. It snowed a bit again yesterday, yet there are still some green leaves on the trees and bushes. These Sandhills were flying up so high that if you looked at the direction of the calling they were doing, they would already be past being overhead. These flocks of Sandhills were in groups of 50-100+ birds at a time, and this lasted for hours upon hours all day long today as there was a strong North wind that they were using to fly South for the winter.

Last year they arrived on December 8th, and the year before was November 13th, so I guess this is going to be and average year as far as cold weather goes.

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#386 True Blue

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 06:33 PM

I love the Sandhill Cranes.  They come in groups of 2 or 3 and stay together on the roadsides here in Florida.   A pair has adopted the local Staples/Office Depot Parking lot for over 5 years and return each year (I'm assuming it is same pair).

 

This meme is certainly appropriate...

 

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