Tuesday, April 03, 2007
At the end of our street is an old landfill site that was covered over in the early 1970's. It has naturalized as a meadow with some swampy areas and each year I have noticed more birds and other wildlife making the area their home. My father just bought a new camera and I decided to give it a try, as the sun was out and the birds were active. Becka and I took the dog (not the best birding assistant) and explored the swampy centre of the field.
There are many Red-Winged Blackbirds nesting here and they topped the shrubs, trees and rushes in spite of our proximity. Dakota had a wonderful time exploring the swamp as I took pictures. This female never left her perch while we watched her quietly from a distance.
We noticed Dakota rolling in something and found the remains of a Red Wing Blackbird who likely met his fate with a hawk, his bright red wing prominent in the pile of feathers on the ground. Becka was not happy with the dog's behaviour, or our discovery, but we had to remember that we had eaten chicken for dinner.
My dad's camera is a Kodak Z650 Zoom with a 10X optical zoom. It was reasonably priced, and is lightweight and very user friendly. I have been using a small HP PhotoSmart R818 for the past year and like the size and convenience it affords. It takes great macro shots and is good for landscape scenes. My newest camera is a Canon PowerShot S3 1S and I am still figuring out the various features it offers. It is a little big and heavy to carry around with me all the time, but the 12X optical zoom is great for identifying birds.
The Kodak camera has an excellent lens and I was pleased with the pictures taken this evening. I have posted three of them on my Flickr page.
Whatever digital cameras are choosen, they offer the user almost unlimited opportunities for that perfect shot.
I went back to the swamp this afternoon and saw this Red Tailed Hawk flying above the spot where I took the photographs. I have no doubts about what happened to the bird in the last photo.