Saturday, March 31, 2012

Birds All March on the Battlefield 8

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8…8 photos of Red-winged Blackbirds, and 8 posts in the month of March. (said in the voice of the Count from Sesame Street). Whew...made it!

The Red-winged Blackbird (RwBb) can be seen all over the GNMP Battlefield.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Birds All March on the Battlefield 7

American Crow

For those who have not read any of my other posts, I am originally from Long Island, New York (Laun Gylind, New Yawk). In honor of my mother’s and cousin’s recent visit to my home; What do Crows like to drink in the morning? CAW-fee!

This is another one of those birds that I really didn’t have any intention on photographing. However, I believe you will enjoy the images I captured.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Birds All March on the Battlefield 6

House of Worship Finch
Male House Finch
A fellow coworker of mine, who grew up in the Gettysburg area and had several summertime jobs at local establishments, has shared with me that she would regularly get stopped by visiting tourists and asked, “Can you tell me where the Battlefield is?” Even though they may have been standing in the middle of the town, the reply would be, “You’re on it!”

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Birds All March on the Battlefield 5

A Not so Long Tale About a Long-tail.
I have taken many photos of birds on the GNMP Battlefield, but have purposefully avoided some birds, because they seemed…well…plain and common. I wasn’t sure that I would be interested in them; therefore, I didn’t think others would be interested in them either.
The great thing about picking a project and setting goals for yourself is that it tends to push you beyond your normal routine.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Birds All March on the Battlefield 4

Predator Becomes the Prey; Sort of.
Eyes open, scanning the terrain… THERE HE IS!  Wait, where’s my weapon?! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!
In this post I’m hoping to give you a couple of tips and a little perspective. The shots that I’m posting today are from two separate days on the Gettysburg National Military Park (GNMP) Battlefield.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Birds All March on the Battlefield 3

I've Never Been to Canada, but I Got Goosed Anyway

Two Canada Geese, descending on
a small pond.
So, I was in the GNMP the other day, trying to get shots of birds for this series, and I heard the clear call of the Canada Goose. It was a cool morning, relatively overcast, and a lite fog dappled the Battlefield.
As I aimed my camera toward the sound, I caught glimpse of two of these large birds coming my way and getting ready to land on a pond.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Birds All March on the Battlefield 2

So, this title is going to get a lot of mileage. I know it’s kind of related to the month of March, but since I will be taking photos of birds throughout the year, the March will also be related to my journey through the Battlefield.
Eastern Meadowlark
I thought about trying to get into the Battlefield this morning, knowing that I sort of promised eight posts this month, but I wasn’t able to get out early enough in order to make it to work on time. As some of you may know, I work in Gettysburg, serving all of Adams County. I have the pleasure of going through portions of the Battlefield every day, twice a day, on my way to and from work. Since I couldn’t go this morning, I decided to go out after work. I was a little concerned, because there were a number of clouds in the sky and it was relatively chilly. On my way to my car, I also noticed that it was windy. The combination of clouds, cold and wind all go against taking clear photos of small objects.

Clouds reduce the sun (it’s also getting closer to dusk, which also significantly diminishes the light), which means that I’m either giving up on shutter speed, or ISO (sensitivity to light). If I go with the higher ISO, in order to have the higher shutter speeds, I lose some of the clarity in the image. Clarity is important, since many of the birds are very small and very skittish, which means that I am shooting them from a distance and having to crop into the image quite a bit. Slower shutter speeds, especially when windy, means that I really have to try and get the shot when the subject is nearly perfectly still…good luck with small, skittish birds that can get swept away by the wind, like a kite on the beach.
Eastern Meadowlark
Being that it’s cold, I get cold, especially since I’m dressed for work, not for the elements. Being cold, there is always the chance that I won’t hold the camera steady enough; however, Image Stabilization and faster shutter speeds help. The other thing is that getting photos of birds usually takes a bit of patience, and when standing out in cold winds one’s patience can quickly dissipate.
I already mentioned the wind, which, again, has the ability to impact my stability and that of the birds, or the trees they may be perched in.
Eastern Meadowlark
Regardless, I went into the Battlefield and made an attempt to get some photos for this series. I went to a couple of spots, one that I don’t normally go to, which did give me some potential shots. The sun continued to drop and I thought I would drive past a couple of spots that I usually cruise. I wasn’t seeing a whole lot of anything interesting and figured I would just head home. I slowly crept along one final section of road and heard the call of a bird. I scanned all the potential perching points and then spotted it. It was facing away from me and, since it was a good 25-30 feet away from me, I couldn’t tell what it was. Once I put camera to eye and zoomed in on the subject, I noticed the hint of yellow, snapped a few shots and hoped it would turn around; eventually, it did and I was able to get the rest of the shots you’ve seen.
Sometimes you just have to go a little bit farther.

Eastern Meadowlark
Stands only 9"-11"; approx. the size of a Robin

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Birds All March on the Battlefield

OK, the title may be a bit corny, but it was the best thing I could think of at the moment.

I don’t know if I have to point out the obvious here, but it may not be so obvious…Birds All…Birdsall…get it? But it also represents all of the birds on the Battlefield. According to an Internet search, there are approximately 1,000 different types of birds that call the Gettysburg National Military Park Battlefield (GNMP) home. March is referring not so much to the act of walking in some organized militant fashion, as much as it refers to the current month. However, I (Birdsall) will be walking (marching) throughout the GNMP, in attempts to get photos of the many birds on the Battlefield.