Posted on June 21, 2017
We often see Cliff Swallows when paddling central Ohio’s reservoirs. While seeing them is not rare, getting a good picture of one is. During a recent outing on Griggs Reservoir we had the opportunity to use the canoe to our advantage. We positioned ourselves so that, sitting motionless, a light breeze propelled the canoe toward swallow nests located on the bridge support structure. By being very still we were able to get much closer than we had previously. Once the paddles were picked up to reposition the boat, the birds flew.
During our trip, which covered the length of the reservoir, there were plenty of things to see. This was a good thing because I was testing a new Sigma 18-300mm lens. The hope is that the lens, mounted on my DSLR, will do most of what my Panasonic FZ200 does, landscapes, close-ups of insects, and to some extent birds, but with more creative control and exposure latitude while still having the convenance of not having to switch lenses. In harsh light DSLR APS-C sensors tend to do better with highlights and shadows (exposure latitude) when compared to the much smaller sensor used in the FZ200. The Sigma lens is a story of compromises given that it goes from extreme wide angle to telephoto. It’s not a macro lens but will take reasonable pictures of “bugs” while at the same time doing a decent job with landscapes and birds that aren’t to far away. Overall I’m satisfied with it’s performance realizing it will never compete with fixed focal length lenses for ultimate sharpness. For those not familiar with sensor sizes see the chart below. I’ve also included the type of camera used for each picture should the reader be curious.
It’s the insect time of the year along the reservoir ensuring that there are plenty of fascinating subjects.
Reptiles and amphibian greeted us during our journey.
Other things also watched our passing.
At the very north end of the reservoir, Kiwanis Riverway Park, we pulled the boat out for a snack break and spent some time checking out the area birds. Hopefully a few more challenging subjects for the Sigma lens would be found.
The below picture is interesting because this Wood Duck duckling, along with three of it’s siblings, was reacting to the presence of our canoe. We never chase birds but these guys shot out of the shoreline brush and took off across the water. Sadly, as we watched them head for another hiding spot, one duckling suddenly disappeared not to be seen again. The victim of a Large Mouth Bass or Snapping Turtle perhaps?
Recent wildflowers seen.
Often we find ourselves enchanted by a new view of something seen before. Such was the case with our close up encounter with the Cliff Swallows. Their nest building and graceful flight, what amazing birds! On the same day the celebration may be interrupted by an occurrence, like the sudden disappearance of a duckling, that is hard to watch.
Thanks for stopping by.
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Category: birding in central ohio, canoeing in central ohio, Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Columbus, Griggs Reservoir, Griggs Reservoir Park, Ohio Nature, Wildflowers Tagged: Black-eyed Susan, bullfrog, Butterfly Weed, Button Bush, Canon 60D with Sigma 18-300mm, Cliff Swallow, Coneflower, Day Lily, Double-crested Cormorant, Eastern Amberwing, Eastern Forktail, Eastern Pondhawk, Familiar Bluet, Fragile Forktail, Great Egret, Map Turtle, Milkweed Beetle, Moth Mullein, Northern Flicker, Panasonic FZ200, Panasonic Lumix G7 100-400mm, Panasonic ZS50, Red Winged Blackbird, Spiderwort, Tree Swallow, Trumpet Creeper, Water Willow, White-tailed Deer, Widow Skimmer, Wild Rose, Wood Duck
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