Saturday, August 30, 2014

It Felt Like an Eternity

This morning I went out into the backyard photoblind to do some bird photography. My goal was to photograph some Steller's Jays. Before heading out my first objective is always to find the cat. My daughter's cat Papaya often times finds a way to disrupt my bird photography. Naturally she was nowhere to be found. After setting up I settled into the blind and the birds started coming. After I had been photographing for awhile a small covey of quail could be heard coming up the hill. I immediately stopped everything I was doing and froze. They are extremely nervous birds. Soon a little head could be seen over the edge of the patio. Hesitantly a Mountain Quail stepped out onto the flagstone. It stopped and looked around then boldly walked under the bird feeders and started feeding. The others soon followed. All the while I didn't move a muscle. One of the quail hopped up onto the feeder. It walked all over the board holding the feeder pecking at seed that the other birds had knocked down. I waited and waited for what seemed like an eternity. Round and round it walked. Finally after making some sort of decision it hopped up onto the perch by the feeder. It stayed there feeding for quite some time allowing me to create a nice selection of images. The spell was broken by the excited calls of the quail. Something was up! They all crowded up as a group and came towards the blind. Looking past the feeder I could see Papaya crawling on her belly towards the quail. Not wanting the cat to get the chance at the quail I slapped the side of the blind with my hand sending the quail into flight with a flurry of wings.I was happy the quail were safe and that I had gotten some really nice quail images. What a wonderful way to start off the day. Thank you Lord. My new book "Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography" is scheduled to be released on Sept.11th. Please check it out on Amazon and other fine book sellers. It is perfect gift for an early Christmas present for birders or photographers wanting to learn how to photograph birds in their backyards or just get it for yourself as it is available as a preorder. This image was created with a Canon 7D and a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens at 210mm with a Manfotto 055XB tripod and a Bogen 3055 ballhead. Camera setting used AV mode ISO 400 F5.6 ,shutter speed of 1/80th of a sec.

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