Beyond the Backyard

Blue-Headed Vireo at Circle B Bar Reserve

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Ever since Cole Fredericks, a noted birdwatcher in Central Florida, commented in the Circle B Flickr species list discussion that the list was missing Orange-Crowned Warblers and Blue-Headed Vireos, I’ve been on the lookout for those birds. Last week I got the Orange-Crowned Warbler. I’ve gone up and down Alligator Alley several times in search of the vireo, but not seen it. So imagine my surprise when I flipped through my Lightroom catalog last night and saw a Blue-Headed Vireo! I took his picture on January 7, 2011, in the tall trees at the start of Heron Hideout (coming from the parking lot). I remember Herman and I paused to photograph some American Goldfinches, and I thought this bird was a White-Eyed Vireo. Now that I look closer, the face is nothing like a White-Eyed Vireo!

Beyond the Backyard

Cold Sunset at Oakland Nature Preserve

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I couldn’t resist the itch to try out my 500mm lens any more!  It was pretty windy today, so rather than going to Circle B, Rich and I went up to Oakland Nature Preserve at sunset. Maybe I’m just very spoiled by Circle B, but Oakland doesn’t seem to have as many birds as it used to.  We used to see dozens of Ospreys sitting high in the trees, usually with fish.  We didn’t see a single one today.  But we did see little birds, especially at one point in the boardwalk.  There were tons of Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers, several Ruby-Crowned Kinglets, one Black-and-White Warbler, and a White-Eyed Vireo. I used my 500mm lens plus my 1.4x teleconverter today.  With my 7D body, that makes an effective focal length of 1120mm!!  I didn’t have any trouble locating birds with just the 500mm, since I’m using to using my 400mm plus my 1.4x teleconverter.  But when I added the 1.4x teleconverter to the 500mm, I did have a bit of trouble finding the birds in the frame.  I’m sure I’ll get used to it.  :) A Gray Catbird hopped in front of me and started to devour some red berries.  I didn’t […]