The winter in Palo Pinto county is slowly coming to a close. We missed a lot of the hard stuff. It was a bitter sweet victory. Missing the white stuff and most of the hard freezes; means a surplus of bugs for the upcoming camping season. Good for the birds, not so good for the campers. Desi and I love our white stuff when we get it… though, we like it to be in short doses.
We are preparing for the upcoming Backyard Bird Count and heading west with friends. Palo Pinto Mt. State Park will be a new venture and challenge for us. The count at the site will be an all new area for us which means new birds. This weekend should be a fun one.
As for now, I am happy for every feathery friend I see. The Finches, Cardinals, Nuthatches and Dove are emptying the feeders at a pretty good rate around our place. Sharp-shins, Red-tails, Red-shoulders, Marlins and Kestrels are all over the county. Meadowlarks, European Starlings, a variety of sparrows and Eastern Blue Birds have every inch of Fort Wolters accounted for and inhabited. Blue Jays and Starlings are spattered throughout the Northwest part of Mineral Wells. Many will stay during Spring migration but I will be sorry to see the Finch and Nuthatch move on.
I bought a new 650mm-1300mm Opteka lens as a toy. Very inexpensive at 260.00. The lens has rec’d a ton negative publicity. It does eat up your light, distorts any imperfection and has to be manually focused; I love it. For the price… the capture above and below were both taken with this lens. At nearly 75 yards for the Meadowlark and 50 yards on the dove… no tripod… 260.00 vs. thousands… you be the judge. May not be National Geographic level but it works fine for identification. The Meadowlark shot was on a heavily overcast day.
- Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
- Taken: 7 February, 2013
- Focal length: 50mm
- ISO: 200
- Shutter speed: 1/1000s