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Posts Tagged ‘Tamron 150-600mm’

A Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) really seemed to be enjoying the poison ivy berries that it managed to find on a frigid morning earlier this month at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

This little bird was so focused on finding food that it was not disturbed by my presence, which allowed me to capture a series of images.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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I don’t often shoot landscape images, but I was so taken with the stark beauty of the ice-covered world that I encountered on New Year’s Day at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge that I decided that I should attempt to capture a sense of the moment. I used the wide-angle capabilities of my Canon SX50 superzoom camera in the first two images below and shot the third one with the Tamron 150-600mm lens, the lens that I use on my Canon 50D for a significant number of my the photos featured on this blog.

icescape

icescape

icescape

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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The berries looked dried up and unappetizing to me, but to the male Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) that I spotted last Friday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, they provided much needed nourishment on a frigid winter day.

Northern Cardinal

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Some birds may seek shelter when the weather is inhospitable, but sparrows seem to be active and busy all of the time, like this White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) that I spotted in the snow this past Friday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

It is a bit of a challenge to get a proper exposure when so much of the frame is filled with white snow. As I understand it, the camera would like to render everything to a neutral gray, so it is necessary to overexpose the image or adjust it in post-processing.  In my initial RAW image, the sparrow was very much in the shadows and the snow had a grayish-blue tinge to it. I cranked up the exposure to the point that most of the snow turned almost pure white and I was left with soft bluish shadows that I really like. I am also pretty pleased with the sparrow’s pose as it paused for a moment to survey the landscape.

White-throated Sparrow

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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One of the basic rules of portrait photography is that you should try to be at eye level with your subject. That’s a bit tough to do with raptors, but this past Friday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge I encountered a juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) that was perched very low on a tree and I managed to capture a number of shots of it. The wind was blowing strongly at the time and my guess is that the hawk was trying to shelter itself from the wind by perching low and from the cold by fluffing up its feathers (as you can see in the the second image).

Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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It is always a joy to see the bright red color of a male Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), especially during the winter, when the world seems almost monochromatic. I spotted this one yesterday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge as he pecked about in the drifted snow. We have had only a small amount of snow, but the weather has remained steadfastly below freezing, so it has stayed with us for an extended period of time.

Northern Cardinal

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Sometimes when a bird fluffs up its feathers, its appearance changes enough that identification becomes more difficult than usual. That was certainly the case with this little Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) that I spotted on New Year’s Day at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The head and the tail looked normal for a Carolina Wren, but I had never before seen spots on the back of one.

Once again, experts in a Facebook forum came to my rescue and reassured me that this was normal behavior for a Carolina Wren. When they fluff up their feathers to roost at night, the spots are visible too, although in this case I suspect that the wren was merely trying to retain body heat in the bitter cold weather that we have been experiencing the last couple of weeks.

Carolina Wren

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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