Tag Archives: Tufted-Titmouse

Fall Trees in Mineral Wells

Photography and Patience – posting the non-perfect

Most photographers who take themselves seriously will only post their best work online. Many photographers post their captures seeking critiques. In bird photography, I have learned patience and humility and that it is more about the identification, nature, environment than perfection. Birds will not pose nor wait; therefore, I post non-Perfect photos as a rule. Yes, they can be under or over exposed. Sometimes the composition is not perfect. Many occasions I have caught more of a branch than a bird. =) Maybe one photo in a hundred will make it online.

Every so often I create a post that is nothing more than a compilation of images that I personally enjoy. For one reason or another they were not placed in a story posting or used for photo documentation. They simply exist for my pleasure. Here is this quarters package. Yes, they are not my better work but BOOYAH!!! I love it. Each have a tale to be shared.

Failed image – composition, shutter speed and timing (plant was in the way). Still, the color is good and the water coming off this Green-Backed Herons feet added drama. The real enjoyment was watching the long hunt. These guys are incredibly sneaky birds.

Green Heron
Green Heron
  • Aperture: ƒ/9
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 1 September, 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/500s

Another reason for posting the non-perfect photograph? Vegetation and the elements. The other option is NOT to POST the capture but then I would not have this photo of the Lesser Goldfinch. It is my ONLY photo of a Goldfinch. Not enough for a story posting but I save them for these compilations. This shy guy will come NOWHERE NEAR the feeders if we are outside. I have to be quick in locating him within the tree to even grab this single photo.

The Hidden Goldfinch
The Hidden Goldfinch
  • Aperture: ƒ/7.1
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 28 November, 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter speed: 1/400s

It’s Fall in Mineral Wells, Texas as it is in many areas. I dearly love the change of seasons and the cooler air. It means migration and relief from the oppressive heat. The colors are enough to call for a camera.

Fall Trees in Mineral Wells
Fall Trees in Mineral Wells
  • Aperture: ƒ/11
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 21 November, 2012
  • Focal length: 260mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/60s

Every now and then I actually get one or two right – Destructor and Sammy on a wire are two of my favorites for one reason or another. My brain forgets.

Sammy Squirrel on a wire
Sammy Squirrel on a wire
  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 25 November, 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter speed: 1/1250s

Great Destructor of Clark Garden
Great Destructor of Clark Garden
  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 6 October, 2012
  • Focal length: 55mm
  • ISO: 800
  • Shutter speed: 1/40s

Tufted - Titmouse

Yard Sitting and Medicinal drinking

Hi Guys! I spent the night in the hospital, courtesy of an over-active blood pressure and high cholesterol. Yes! Hospital stays always make for a fun time. Fun! Fun! Fun! Kind of like a cruise. Same constant unwanted attention; yet, minus the big body of water, food and ambiance.

I managed to capture several massive flocks of Egrets flying Southeast from the window of my Palo Pinto General Hospital jail cell. Probably running from the fires at Possum Kingdom Lake. Not much else flew by. The nice ladies in the colorful shirts finally got me to stay in bed and I stared at the walls for several hours. Anyhow, after a long night of playing (being) human pin cushion, I attained my freedom and left for home. It is a positive thing that the Charge Nurse, doctor and staff were sad to see me leave the floor and the premises. =/

Captain Morgan and I yard sat in the yard and communed with nature for a few hours. Nothing more calming than sweating profusely while waiting on something of interest to fly-by( BIRDING – gotta love it ). It is starting to cool off now, but I lost the light under our canopy of trees. So here I am once again.

The return home – While I sat on the porch step, a House Finch came by to say hello and duck for cover. A Mississippi Kite was hunting just overhead. The Finch heard the camera but did not move. Once the Kite passed, the Finch hauled himself over to the nearest tree limb to watch me at a distance. The mighty Titmouse and and the usual Mockingbird came by. I believe these roost nearby cause I KNOW THESE TWO BIRDS. That sums up my day of relaxation. Sleepy and buzzed… Hey… don’t judge! Medicinal purposes until I see a cardiologist. Missed items include a few sparrows, wrens and a beautiful set of Cardinals. The tinking of my glass as it was placed next to me must have – hiccup – scared ‘em off. PRO HINT – don’t drink margaritas while birding. The mixer WILL interfere with your successful outcome. Just sayin.

Enjoy the photos! I sure enjoy taking them. The move from the XS-1 over to the T3-i was a good decision.

Tufted - Titmouse
Tufted - Titmouse
  • Aperture: ƒ/6.3
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 14 August, 2012
  • Copyright: {@ZABINSKY} 2012
  • Focal length: 180mm
  • ISO: 800
  • Shutter speed: 1/320s

Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird
  • Aperture: ƒ/7.1
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 14 August, 2012
  • Copyright: {@ZABINSKY} 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 800
  • Shutter speed: 1/160s

House Finch Hiding
House Finch Hiding - Kite overhead
  • Aperture: ƒ/7.1
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 14 August, 2012
  • Copyright: {@ZABINSKY} 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/250s

House Finch in tree
Kite gone - Finch makes escape
  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 14 August, 2012
  • Copyright: {@ZABINSKY} 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 800
  • Shutter speed: 1/250s

Mississippi Kite
Mississippi Kite - Kite hunting overhead
  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 14 August, 2012
  • Copyright: {@ZABINSKY} 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/2000s

Mineral Wells – Sunday Birding List

The short, it was a great Sunday for birding in my little Mineral Wells neighborhood. I checked off four more birds on my list. Wren, Raven, Bunting, Finch. For me to check off… I must capture clear photo documentation. Keeps me honest! Shameless, non-paid plug… The Canon T3i has made that part of this hobby so MUCH EASIER. No more XS-1 for birding. It is now serving as the designated Macro camera. The T3i was purchased last week along with the Canon 70-300mm IS USM lens. The auto focus is stellar for the fly-by’s. Enough of the plug but I do love the new toy.

My First Bunting:

Indigo Bunting - female
Painted Bunting - female
  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 12 August, 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 800
  • Shutter speed: 1/200s

I owe a debt of gratitude to Jim Peterson from nctexasbirds.com for helping identify the little green looking thing. Birds can be tough even for serious minded folk. Thanks Jim for your incredible guidance.

Painted Bunting - female
Painted Bunting - female
  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 12 August, 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 800
  • Shutter speed: 1/200s

This weekend I changed out the feeders from Black oil seed to nuts and fruits. The change in bird scenery was instant. Blue Jays, Cardinals, Wrens, Buntings, and Finches. Prior to this weekend, it was sparrows, doves, Titmice, with a light spattering of Chickadees. So, I caught my first House Finch, Carolina Wren, Painted Bunting, and Blue Jay in the yard. The food change worked quick. Prior to this weekend, these guys have avoided my yard like a man avoids an ex when past due on child support. Bad analogy – but so true. Prior to this weekend, I had no idea that Buntings were so tiny. The do remind me of the mighty Titmouse. Good Night! It is late and I have to be up in 5 hours, so this completes the short.

I love this photo – Bit characters in a play.

European Starlings
European Starlings - conventional roll call
  • Aperture: ƒ/10
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 12 August, 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/125s

Sunday yard count and the Mineral Wells, Texas neighborhood list: European Starling, Northern Cardinal, Carolina Wren, White-Winged Dove, House Sparrow, Northern Mockingbird, Tufted-Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee, Great-Tailed Grackle, House Finch, Painted Bunting – female, Raven(?), Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture and Mississippi Kite. Only the Chihuahuan Ravens, Vulture and Starlings were not directly in or over my yard at the time of the photos. Have no clue about identifying one black bird from another. Grackle, Raven, Crow… only the vulture is easy to pick out. – That bunting was something else. Great fun to watch.

The Kite in the neighborhood is starting to visit less regularly.

Northern Mockingbird on birdbath
Northern Mockingbird on birdbath
  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 12 August, 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/250s

Tufted-Titmouse on top of feeder

Tufted-Titmouse -The mighty mouse of the bird world

The Tufted-Titmouse is one of the four primary birds at our feeders right now. I added a Cardinal mix with black oil seed to draw them in to the feeders. This variety was another early discovery for me. When a Titmouse finds a large seed, you will see it carry to a perch and crack it with sharp whacks of its bill. It will perform this duty again and again. They are eternally entertaining to watch. They hang sideways at times while on the feeder. The Tufted-Titmouse have large black eyes and a brushy crest that cannot be missed.

We are looking to add color at the feeders but if I had one feathery fellow to choose for pure entertainment value, the Tufted-Titmouse would be it. They carry on and argue with one another. Spend more time running each other off than they do actually eating.

Updated July 15th, 2012, several new photos. The House Sparrows moved aside for the return of the Tits. These little guys dart in and out so fast, one has to be quick with the shutter.

Tufted-Titmouse on top of feeder
Tufted-Titmouse on top of feeder
  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: X-S1
  • Taken: 15 July, 2012
  • Focal length: 90.4mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/280s

Tufted-Titmouse on large feeder
Tufted-Titmouse on large feeder
  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: X-S1
  • Taken: 16 June, 2012
  • Focal length: 132.3mm
  • ISO: 500
  • Shutter speed: 1/500s