Posted on January 3, 2015
My wife said she saw a Bald Eagle along Griggs Reservoir not far from our home two days ago. Given that the forecast was heavy rain all day today, we thought we’d better look for the eagle before the rains came. So yesterday we did check out the reservoir and the Scioto River below the dam. New arrivals were seen but no Bald Eagle. Some birds seen but not photographed included Golden-crowned Kinglets, Black Ducks, Ruddy Ducks and some of the usual suspects including; Ringed Billed Gulls and Great Blue Herons.
Compared to last winter which was much colder and drove the birds to open water further south into our area, interesting migrating waterfowl have been much harder to find this year. That could always change as the winter progresses.
We were excited when a Kingfisher let us get a little closer than usual.
A Red-bellied Woodpecker posed briefly for my wife.
Then flew away.
Along the reservoir Bluebirds were enjoying the sunshine in Griggs Park.
We saw Hooded Mergansers along the river for the first time this winter.
Ice was just forming on the reservoir and the Mallards seemed to be enjoying it.
Thanks for looking in. In the coming week we hope you have an opportunity to enjoy nature in your neighborhood.
Posted on December 28, 2014
A few weeks back a deal by one of the major internet retailers of $297 for a Panasonic FZ200 prompted me to pull the trigger for two. One for my wife and one for myself. It’s a camera I’ve been looking at for some time due to a fast 2.8 lens throughout it’s zoom range. My wife’s FZ150, even with it’s slower lens, has consistently produced pictures of higher technical quality than my Canon SX40. The Canon has produced some very good images but it’s just not quiet a match given the type of shooting we do given it’s slower focus speed, difficulty focusing in shady areas, and sharpness issues at full zoom.
Why a super zoom rather than a DSLR you might ask. Generally it’s because we often do rather long hikes and lugging my DSLR “bird camera”, in addition to our always mandatory binoculars, not to mention extra clothing, food, and water, would take away from the experience of being there. Also, our pictures only need to be good enough to tell a story on this blog. To date no one has offered to compensate us for our “photographic excellence” so spending large amounts of money in the pursuit of image quality is hard to justify. The FZ200 gives up some reach over many of the other super zooms, including my SX40, but I haven’t found a longer zoom coupled with the EVF of most super zooms to be particularly useful for small critters that move fast. Having said all this, it goes without saying that super zooms aren’t for everyone. Modern DSLR’s offer image quality and control that’s not easy, and in most cases impossible, for a super zoom with it’s small sensor to duplicate and that say’s nothing of the ability of a DSLR coupled with a good lens to get the picture when high ISO’s and fast focus are required. So we have to accept that with our super zooms some pictures will always be out of reach.
So far theFZ200 has been a joy to use. Below are some initial photos from the last few days. Still working on a few adjustments to get the most out of the camera.
Whatever camera you use I hope you find time to get out and enjoy nature in your neighborhood.
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