Monday 2 June 2014

Glen Valley Spring Bird Count Tamron 150mm-600mm

May 31 Glen Valley Spring Bird Count 6 a.m-12 noon Warm and Sunny.

About twenty birders gathered bright and early at Popular Bar to fan out over the picturesque farmland, riverside and woodland that comprises Glen Valley. Each group was made up of between 3-5 persons, each group having at least one knowledgeable birder. Thankfully I was thrown into a group with expert birder George Clulow which made for a very interesting and educative time. As we were going to be hiking through forests with some driving from location to location I took the Tamron 150mm-600mm for mobility. We never got very close to birds in the forest except for the Swainson's but the low light had the Tamron struggling to lock on focus. No shots due to too slow a shutter speed. This is the time when a F4 lens would have been enough while the F 6.3 didn't work well enough. A failing grade for the Tamron in low light situations. There is also the tendency to rack the lens out to 600mm all the time which makes it difficult to shoot handled even in bright light so when photographing in the subdued light of the forest I would suggest attaching a flash with Better Beamer attached for best results. This Red-breasted Sapsucker moved in and out of the shade while busily collecting insects, this is the only shot in full view.

Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber)

We saw two Red-breasted Sapsuckers at different locations, this one at West Creek one of our areas we were assigned to check. Also the Hooded Merganser with nine young, Wood Ducks, Swainson's Thrush and Townsend's Warblers were just a few of the many species noted, and thanks to George, many by song only.

Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) and clutch
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)
Photographer's note:
I am getting differing results from the Tamron depending on which camera body (especially the D7100) I use so I will run some tests this week to make sure lens/body configurations are all matched.

More info at Anne Gosse's blog below

It's never too late to start birding!
John Gordon

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