Here's your chance to share that "almost" shot, the one you keep looking at hoping that it will magically come into focus or grow a head! I started to post this on the hummingbird forum b/c there have to be tons of disappointing shots there but then I remembered my most disappointing shot from yesterday, an oriole I think, so I'll share that too!
My most recent disappointment was this picture of the Origma or Rock Warbler Origma solitaria. The Origma has a very limited distribution in rocky gullies in New South Wales. I was lucky enough to see one for the first time in March while visiting the Blue Mountains. It was very active and the light was poor . I managed to get three pictures, but 2 were so out of focus that I discarded them and the only sharp picture I got was this one that shows the back of the bird and shows no feature that would confirm what it is.
Here's mine. I saw this hawk as I was on my way to shoot a wedding reception last Saturday, so I only had a 28-70mm zoom and an 85mm with me. (I normally carry my 300mm f/2.8 everywhere I go). Anyway, I ran to the car and grabbed the first camera I saw and shot about 500 shots of this guy in the next 15 minutes. I was hoping he would fly before I had to leave, but he never did. This one was shot with the 40D and a 28-70mm zoom at 65mm. I can only imagine the shots I could have gotten with one of the big lenses.
They are pretty good shots nevertheless. Your shot that shows the birds tongue brings back memories for me. In your photo, you can just see that a hawk's tongue is like an arrowhead, it has two backward pointing lobes (barbs) like an arrowhead.
I used to hold a bird-banding licence and some 30 years back, I was mist-netting birds near my home which was then in Tasmania. I went to check the nets and found a Brown Falcon - Falco berigora at the base of one of the nets. Raptors are not often caught by mist nets, although they well sometimes attack small birds that are caught in the net. This bird was not in the net, but caught by its tongue. The tongue had gone through one mesh of the net and the barbs prevented it from withdrawing. The bird had twisted round many, perhaps twenty times, in its attempts to free itself. It was not an easy task to untangle the bird, having to hold the bird, avoiding talons and beak, and twist it round and round before it was possible to ease the net off its tongue. As far as I could tell its tongue was not badly damaged and the bird flew away strongly when it was finally released. Here is the bird just before it was released:
Your Barred Owl shot is indeed almost perfect! A+ for the attempt! I just wish I could see a Barred Owl! I saw a screech owl the other morning just as a bit of sun was edging up the horizon. He flew away when he saw me looking at him.
Love the hawk shots and stories. I don't think that I've ever seen a hawk tongue before!
The tongue shot reminded me of this one. It's a month or so old. This night heron caught a crawfish right beside me and then ran into the road in front of me where he proceeded to crush it with his beak before swallowing. I took several photos, some with flash, some without, some using a lot of zoom and some less and a video. None of them turned out.
I envy you seeing the Barred Owl. I wanted a better look at your picture, so I tried a bit of enhancement. Here is your picture again, lightened up so that you can see the owl somewhat clearer
I didn't post this one yesterday because I was waiting for Resin to ID the yellow bird. So here is my not quite in focus picture of a Prairie Warbler and a Downy woodpecker. Downy's face is covered by a stick so that adds to the disappointment! Oh well, it was fun to see.
I already know this is my disappointment for today! I was out with the tree butchers from the power company when I heard this hawk. It was perched at the top of my neighbor's Loblolly pine. I have some perch shots but the sun was coming up behind him (silhouette effect), so I'm still playing with them. Here's the shot when he was flying away. I don't really have the expertise or the equipment to get this shot but boy I wish I did! Check out those feet!
Thanks nanny. You know what it needs -- that software they have on the CSI shows where they take a totally fuzzy picture and miraculously develop it into an identifiable face! When is that going to start coming with our digital cameras?
I almost hate to post, as most of your "dissapointing" pictures are ones I would think were great! LOL
I guess here is mine for the day, yesterday. This is the best of the several picture attempts through the spotting scope.
This couple sits in the tree across the lake for hours looking at the ducks and other snacks in the marsh. We see them almost every day. They do not always sit this close together though. This is only the second time I have seen them both so close together. Distance about 1/2 mile.
Ah, the pictures I could take if I had a good camera and some know-how. Ha.
Thanks, I am glad you can enjoy the bad picture. it is a shame. I live in this great area for bird watching and can't take a decent picture.
I take many memory pictures though.
These two sat in that tree from 12 pm till sunset. Every once in a while the larger eagle would make a pass over the water, get everybody riled up and then land back into the tree. Because it was Sunday, we were able to sit on the deck all afternoon and watch the show out front. (didn't get anything done, oh well!)
Thanks again, but wouldn't it have been a GREAT picture?? Sigh...
gotta enjoy the birds now. Sept 1st is the start of (you know what) and the eagles, herons, egrets and other favorites will take off to safer areas. Its nearly the end of bird watching season for us.
Nanny, your hummer looks like Pinocchio! I totally get how hard it is to get a picture of them when they are far away. For one thing, my camera doesn't want to focus on them because they're too small. That's so annoying. So, good shot!
Mrs. Ed, that is almost great. The colors are just beautiful. Can you see his face if you lighten the exposure? Of course, that will bleach out the colors. Darn! Still very pretty!
Mrs-Ed know the feeling. how I wish I could at least see one.
Nanny most of the shot of the hummingbirds I got yesterday ended up like yours, ended up deleting them.
Oh Cpart, don't you just hate it when that happens, Very rare to see 2 sitting side by side.
this is my fowled up pic of the American Kestrel, I was to much in a hurry to get the pic, and didn't wait for the camera to focus.
Burn..I had a Kestrel land right outside my window last winter and I was able to sneak up on it and take several pictures from about 10 feet away. It was so overcast and I was so clueless that they all turned out very bad!
I think the head would have been in focus in this one...grrrr!
lol Great thread!
Dave, That tongue shot belongs on the captions thread!
We were sitting at the wildlife sanctuary relaxing in our chairs like we owned the place and a Chickadee landed on BF's foot looking for the seed that we usually bring but didn't this time. Of course BF wasn't quick enough and Dee realized we didn't have food.
Mine from yesterday...a hummer of course! I spotted this little female while on my walk. Although several didn't turn out great, at least they had been flight shots. In this one she is perched and and low too!
Wow Pelle, that really shows how fast those wings are going.
Shan LOL love those toes, that's a good miss.
Rose, frustrating isn't it?
Marna oh bummer. but do like the contrast. Here's one of an overcast day and a blurred Osprey in the nest.
[quote]A bee eater! ... A Roseate Tern? ... Some kind of water fowl????[/quote]
Nope! Smaller still!
[quote]What is the opinion of the posters on brown-headed cow birds?[/quote]
What do you want to know about them?
Resin, the cow birds have been the bane of my being for years. They parasatize the nests of other birds and have practically wiped out our red-eyed vireos. They are terrible gluttons at the feeders, running off the other birds. I contacted a birding group and was told to take up the mixed seed when the cowbirds arrived and replace them with oil sunflower seed in Fall and striped ones in Spring. I've done so since and they soon leave at which time I can put back up the mixed seeds. Of course, they never bothered the niger because of the small slits in the feeders. I know they have a place in the animal world but I so dislike them. Leeflea51
Resin, how about a Marsh Sandpiper? -- should be white underneath though huh? Back to the drawing board! Something small, rare, and dark with long wings -- most perplexing!
Leeflea, Cowbirds...but what are you going to do? If you see one's egg in a nest, you could remove it. I don't have the heart for it personally even though I know they'll push out the others. It's a bad business.
Here's another disappointing shot from last weekend. The boat bobbed at just the wrong time, so I ended up with 1 1/2 pelicans.
Not quite that small! But that's the closest yet! It's a Chimney Swift, first ever record for my county, 2 Nov 2005. Here's someone else's vastly better pic of the same bird (has got a much better camera than me!!).
rntx22, I don't know where we were. We were going in and out of bayous off of Clear Lake. My friend says that he sees them all the time. It was only the second time that I've seen one. The first time I saw one it flew over my car when I was on Beltway 8.
Resin, first ever eh? I guess your photo was pretty disappointing, but like Nanny said about the eagle photo, at least it's proof!
This was my most disappointing photo of the year. It's not a bird. Am I going to get kicked off the forum for that? I was at the Houston Arboretum which is at the corner of Woodway and 610 (Houstonians would say "inside the loop" meaning downtown). I read on their website that there were coyotes in the park but that they were so rare that even the staff rarely saw them. I went out on a pier over the bayou and when I came back this one was only 10 feet from me. In fact, I had the zoom out on my camera and couldn't focus on him until I withdrew it some. Auto-focused on the tree instead of the coyote, but it was proof!
[quote]Resin, first ever eh? I guess your photo was pretty disappointing, but like Nanny said about the eagle photo, at least it's proof![/quote]
Yep! Well, not my pic, can't prove anything from that! As well as the county first, only the 15th ever in Britain. So a very good find!
Well Nanny we must have the same camera, Mine take pictures just like yours do. :) except mine has a purple eye.
Pelle I cut part of the wing off, instead of the head. Yours is definitely much clearer.
I am not sure how you guys even take pictures of the humming birds. The other night on the deck, two males were fighting and buzzing around me and DH in our chairs. It was like being in the middle of a star wars battle with light sabors...zooooom, zooooom.
I cannot even fathom how to take a picture of that. We both just sat there and enjoyed the show.
Hi cparts, I had about the same fight right in front of me the other day. They each had their own feeder but that wasn't good enough. They came down together under the latice roof of the deck where I was sitting and started fighting furiously. Just a foot in front of me and 2 feet higher the sound of their bills clacking together was amazing!
This one took off as the photo was being taken just like that headless cardinal! I still got him in the photo, but he's blurry. It was the only picture that I got of him, so now I'll never figure out what he was -- some cute little yellow thing.
I added a new bird to my lifelist today, the White-winged Crossbill. They were feeding in the tops of old growth Spruce trees, and I could never see them in the sun light. When ever I spotted one it was in the heavy shade.
[quote]This one took off as the photo was being taken just like that headless cardinal! I still got him in the photo, but he's blurry. It was the only picture that I got of him, so now I'll never figure out what he was -- some cute little yellow thing.[/quote]
[quote]in the tops of old growth Spruce trees[/quote]
First one looks like Lutz Spruce (Sitka × White Spruce hybrid), second is Mountain Hemlock.
[quote]First one looks like Lutz Spruce (Sitka × White Spruce hybrid), second is Mountain Hemlock.[/quote]
Resin, much of the area near where I live is in the transitional zone between the coastal Sitka Spruce and the White Spruce of the interior. In this area we have more than simple hybrids, there is a complete gradation of hybrid characteristics. Like mongrel dogs, almost any combination of characteristics can and do occur. Between my house and the house next door, there are 5 Spruce Trees, and each one is a little different from the next.
Yes, it is a Mountain Hemlock in the second picture. The Mountain Hemlock are extremely slow growing trees. I planted a 4 foot tall tree in my yard over 20 years ago, today it is only 8 feet tall. At about the same time a similarly sized Spruce was planted near by, the Spruce is over 30 feet tall now.
Looks to be a Gray Catbird.
[quote]#2 I think this maybe a Rose-beasted Grosbeak[/quote]
[quote]much of the area near where I live is in the transitional zone between the coastal Sitka Spruce and the White Spruce of the interior ...[/quote]
Thanks! Yep, that's more or less what I meant; a 'hybrid swarm' like that is still usually designated with a hybrid name like that.
After seeing Resin's Chimney Swift picture, I dug into my very old pictures and came up with these two shots of a Chimney Swift, circa mid 1960,s. I didn't own a decent camera way back then. This is a juvenile Chimney Swift, nearly ready to fledge. I removed it from a nest inside our toolshed chimney to photograph, though a clean-out port, in the attic.
A pair of Swifts nested in the tool-shed chimney every year. As a teenager, I made numerous trips the the shed roof, to look down the chimney, and check on the nest's eggs and chicks. The Chimney Swifts were always one of my favorites. The property is still in the family, and I have fantasized about going back too Michigan during nesting season to photograph the Swifts, and several other favorites.
That's pretty good, Grasmussen, for an old camera. I took pictures of a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers that were only about 15 feet away from me with my first digital camera and they looked like dark blurry specs on the tree trunk. I kept telling people that they were the size of chickens and they looked at me like I was crazy.
Nanny, I thought of you this morning when I took about a dozen hopeful tree shots trying to get this tiny little gray bird! Didn't get it. Had white spots on its tail like a mockingbird. BTW, cool almost shots of the catbird, towhee and blue-headed vireo.
I saw the towhee again this morning but missed him. I am thinking it may be a migrating one. I haven't heard or seen any of my regulars for 2-3 weeks now. I would have love to add the Blue-headed to my bird list!
This cardinal was very entertaining the other day!
Nice shot of the Gold Finch on the thistle, nanny.
I was working in the yard a few minutes ago, when I became aware, of a lot of motion, a few feet behind me. My blue feathered friend was trying to get my attention. I went into the house for a handful of peanuts, while Jay waited near the door. I returned and fed him in the Golden Sedum again.
Oh, I dream of CSI photo software where I can make any blurry image come into focus. You know, how on TV at least, they take a reflection of someone's face barely visible on a window or in a rearview mirror and miraculously make it whole and clearly identifiable. I want that.
Nanny, that's the best one yet! I heard owls last night but I never saw them, so you're pretty good!
Burn, what an almost gorgeous shot! That foliage is just lovely.
Mrs. Ed, I just watched the season premiere of Bones. I totally love that show. They used a photo from a tabloid, found a reflection in the subject's eye and recovered it to show that the fatal shot came from the house. I know it's fiction but I still want that software!
A pair of Barred Owls seem to be roosting right across the road from the house. They hoot & carry on for a couple minutes every night around 7 or so. So I will keep trying! It just amazes me that when they fly they mak absolutely no noiise! That thing flew right over me!
Oooh, he's a beauty! I like that photo. You clearly have high standards for yourself. I have a male hummer that only comes really early in the morning when it's still gray outside. I wish I could get him too.
Yesterday, I had two hummer disappointments. One was a hummer taking a bath on a leaf under the sprinkler about 6 feet away from me -- didn't have my camera. The other was a hummer drinking from my banana also about 6 feet maybe less. I had the camera but I thought it was turned off and I'd scare her if I turned it on, but no it was on the whole time! I guess those wouldn't be classified as 'disappointing photos' but as 'idiot photographer.'
Nanny, good tries. That one finch has such an interesting mustard color.
Boy do I have some rotten photos to share today! I had a bad day, so I went to the arboretum. The bird watching was amazing! Saw a pair of pileated woodpeckers but didn't get a photo. Cool to see though, and then there was this one -- Great Crested Flycatcher, I think. I have another photo that isn't blurry but there's a stick across the face. This would have been the good shot if only it were a good shot!
Then there is this one which I think may also be a flycatcher. He was in the deep dark woods that even the flash couldn't penetrate. I tried enhancing the photo or just increasing the exposure, but it comes out weird.