Thursday, November 17, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
With all of this variation in race and given the apparently consistent sexual dimorphism shown, it seems near impossible to assign a sub-specific name to all of the birds I see, but it doesn't stop me from guessing. The bird above is clearly a local breeder. It is on the same pole as the bird at top center (and I believe it is the same individual), but the bottom image was taken just last week and the top last winter. Given the size of the legs and toes, I believe this is a smaller male. Given that it is intermediate in plumage (not extremely light as male extimus), I'd guess it is a member of the intermediate alleni race. Of course, this can't be proven yet. Stay tuned if you're inquisitive though, as I will be offering more on this subject soon!
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Eastern Wood-Pewee digiscoped Magee Marsh, OH 5/14/10
As a final example of the camera's prowess as a digiscoping tool, here is a digiscoped video (videscoped) taken by holding the V-Lux 20 camera behind the scope eyepiece once again. This video shows an adult male Baltimore Oriole feeding. In this instance the wind reduction feature was activated and the video was recorded at the highest level of quality at 1280x720 pixels @ 60 fps (frames per second)!
Needless to say I'm VERY impressed after being able to "play" with this little gem of a camera for only one full day. Unfortunately, I had to send it back though, so will have to wait before showing more tests & results. Never fear though, there will certainly be some!
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
male Northern Parula image taken with the new Leica V-Lux 20 camera 5/14/10
The colorful male Northern Parula shown above was taken by simply holding this tiny pocket-sized camera up, zooming and snapping the image! Obviously the bird cooperated by being close and at eye-level, but that is why so many birders visit this gem of a site during spring migration; for "in-your-face" views of these vibrant migrant birds. (taken at max zoom - 300 mm, program mode, ISO 200, 1/250th sec, f/4.9, +1 ev, with optical image stabilization and built in flash activated for fill).
Those who know me, know that I am a digiscoping freak so despite the fact that "superzoom" cameras don't lend themselves to digiscoping, I'm sure you know I had to try this new "compact superzoom" behind our new wide-angle scope eyepiece to see how it worked for myself! The above is the exact image completely unaltered that I took through the scope when I first tried this on the evening of 5/13/10.
Amazingly, the Leica V-Lux 20 broke all the digiscoping rules and actually worked f0r digiscoping on its first test above. I was completely stoked! This was handheld behind the Leica APO Televid spotting scope with the wide-angle zoom eyepiece set a bit over 25x and the camera zoom set at a 35 mm equivalent.
With 14.5 megapixel at my disposal, I was easily able to crop up and eliminate the dark circular frame to capture both the male & female birds (above) and then cropping further even the female alone as below!
female Purple Martin cropped from digiscoped image above
On the way back to the car (near 7 PM), I found my next photo opportunity and tested my luck again. A male Baltimore Oriole was singing unabashedly in an oak tree at the edge of the parking lot. I quickly set up my scope, pulled the V-Lux out of my shirt pocket and held it behind the scope eyepiece. This time I had the scope zoom at minimum 25x, and there was no vignetting around the frame! The image below is again completely unaltered. This is as it turned out by simply holding the new V-Lux 20 to the wide-angle eyepiece and shooting the image! Note there is just the tiniest hint of black vignetting at the lower right corner but otherwise nothing.
Baltimore Oriole digiscoped image slightly altered.
In the above image I've taken the liberty to add ~10 seconds of photoshop magic, cropping slightly to eliminate the dark corner and some of the "blown out" sky , and adding a bit of "shadow/highlights", but nothing more for the finished look above. At any rate, it is clear I need to get a V-Lux 20 of my own and begin experimenting some more both behind the spotting scope and as a stand alone unit! On 5/14 & 15 I took some more and better images and videos using the same camera scope combination which I will highlight next!
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Made a trek with my son to the Miami area to enjoy the two celebrity birds visiting from the Carribbean! Above is the Red-footed Booby that has been in the area for the past couple of months.
Just as popular, has been the La Sagra's Flycatcher that has thrilled many observers at Bill Bagg's State Park in Key Biscayne, Florida. We enjoyed fantastic views this AM as the bird fed very actively and called repeatedly. Another birder photographing complained that digiscoping was too ineffective compared to his DSLR setup, but I rattled off nearly 20 frames in less than 1/2 hour and enjoyed 5 to 10x the magnification. I was not unhappy with these images obviously! All were shot with the Leica D-Lux 4 point & shoot camera, through a Leica APO Televid 82 mm spotting scope.
Both the La Sagra's Flycatcher and the Red-footed Booby are species commonly found throughout the Carribbean and rarely seen in the US only in Florida. There has been one of each of these species, hanging in the greater Miami area for a couple months now!
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
adult Herring Gull digiscoped through Leica APO Televid spotting scope w/ D-Lux 4
large Great Cormorants roosted & consorted on ice-covered rocks off shore - MA 2/7/10
Red-throated Loons were occasionally seen near shore.
male Red-breated Merganser digiscoped through Leica APO Televid 82 mm scope
Common Eider digiscoped with Leica APO Televid 82 mm spotting scope & D-Lux 4
Female and young male Common Eiders are mostly brown. The adult females found along the Atlantic are typically reddish-brown with dark coloring on the breast as well. Young males tend to lack the red tones and show light to white breasts. I would guess the bird above is a first year male molting and its breast is just starting to appear lighter.
VERY distant adult Snowy Owl, digiscoped on Plum Island 2/5/10