Birds in Hiding

One of the challenges for me in taking photos of birds is getting them in focus — whether it be in a breeze with the camera moving or the autofocus zeroing in and out on a branch instead of the bird.  Birding in New England (or essentially anywhere) means stalks, branches, vines, leaves are often between you and the bird.  It’s often a challenge with binoculars or a scope but usually manageable — the bird hops up for a few seconds and you at least get a good look.  Whether you can grab a photo is another thing.


I had a situation yesterday where a Grey Catbird was deep in a grapevine.  I could see him grabbing a grape and eating it but the camera auto-focus was jumping all around.  (I know, switch to MF but I had a dog on leash “helping” me.)  So I fired off a burst and the image below is the result:  not in great focus but it captures for me the grape-eating catbird that was entertaining me.

A furtive Grey Catbird hides out in a tangle of grapevines.

I’ve gone through some of my shots from this Fall and picked a few “I’m hiding” shots that are below.  Notice, aside from the Common Yellowthroat, there are no warblers.  That’s next year’s project.

White-throated Sparrows are rather cooperative, sitting still and just watching.

Likewise, Song Sparrows can give you a decent opportunity for photos.

Common Yellowthroats bounce around a lot in the underbrush, chipping away.

And they are often very buried in the bushes — you get glimpses but manual focus helps.

One of the nice things about digital photography is that you can rather easily, on a damp fall evening with the wood fire going, revisit some of the neat birds you saw during the spring and summer.  So some of the shots are a little blurred, you still can enjoy seeing once again some of the birds that are now thousands of miles south of here, and look forward to spring migration.

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