A Whole New World: Saturday Snapshot September 15

An Autumn birdwatching course I just started brings me to a whole new world I haven’t explored before. Of course I’ve observed birds, appreciated and even photographed them occasionally, but never so up close and personal, and purposeful.

Some in my group are equipped with long 400mm lens, nature paparazzi. But we leave nature be, of course, and being so far away from our subjects, no invasion of privacy. This pensive Gull isn’t a bit bothered by us.

With just a 50-200mm lens, this is the best I can do. The Osprey is harder to capture of course. With a little help from iPhoto, here’s a closer look of her/him perched high up in a tree, and even farther cruising in the bright blue sky.

I can only wonder why it has taken me so long to come to such a fascinating world. 12 more weeks to go, yes, into the snow likely.


Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce of At Home With Books.

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If sheโ€™s not birding by the Pond, Artiโ€™s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

40 thoughts on “A Whole New World: Saturday Snapshot September 15”

  1. Arti, this is almost unbearably beautiful — and what joy to really study these birds up close. I think you’re doing just fine with your lens! No 400mm needed!


  2. Have you read or seen the movie The Big Year? It’s worth seeing. Also, I believe your sandpiper, although beautiful, is a gull. I have often watched Ospreys dive for fish in a local, urban lake; eat their catch in flight; and also get robbed by bald eagles.


    1. Loucas,

      You’re right. I’ve changed that. Ospreys are birds of prey, they look mean even when just perched on the tree like that, probably looking for food this one. When we were there, we saw another bird fly over and got scared away by this Osprey. “Hey, it’s my territory!” kind of communication. And no, I haven’t seen The Big Year.


  3. I always wonder how birds can perch on the very tips of skinny branches like that. They’re so amazing! We have ospreys around here too. Those are some great shots.


  4. How wonderful to join a birdwatching course! I’d so love a 400mm lens, but they’re so expensive. I use my husbands 70-200. You took some great shots, I hope we get to see some more as your course continues. I love the masked appearance of the osprey.


    1. I’d love to take some more closer photos of birds as the course progresses. But I also know the limitations of just a 200mm lens. But the 400mm is too big and heavy, let alone the hefty price. Maybe a 300mm…


  5. Oh, what wonderful photos and how wonderful to know we’ll have more to enjoy! I love birds. As you know, they’re my only companions when I work (for the most part) so I’ve paid them a good bit of attention.

    The ospreys are one of my favorites. Our first pair just arrived last week. I always hear them before I see them, and then have to spend time scanning the skies to pick them out. When they migrate, they’ll fly high, but they also “kettle”, using the updrafts to gain height before soaring a great distance.

    Their call is beautiful, and once you’ve heard it, you never mistake it for anything else. Here’s a sample. You often can hear pairs “talking” to one another. One of my favorite pairs has taken up residence atop two sailboat masts for three years. They nest elsewhere, but go there to fish. One will fish, then the other, and they call back and forth.

    I can’t find any nest cams just now where the babies haven’t fledged, but two years ago I watched a nest through the whole process. This is the last baby – two days after this photo was taken, I got to see him fledge. No, I wasn’t in the treetops! I took screen shots from the webcam. ๐Ÿ˜‰


    1. Linda,

      This is one of the best things I’ve done … joining this birding course. I’ve learned so much already in just two outings. But it’s only the beginning. Anyway, don’t know where I’ll find time to devote myself to another time-consuming hobby. Hope I can find more birding posts on your blog. And, any time you’ve cited something interesting, Tweet it to me. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Also… thanks for the links. Still more to discover there.


  6. Bird watching is fun, but I ended up going with the amateur botany crowd — plants don’t fly away just as you get them into focus!


    1. Welcome! As for me, it’s just the reverse. I was into wild flowers and plants for years before taking up birdwatching. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  7. That’s a great shot of the Osprey. I take all my bird photos with a 50-250mm lens and I know what you mean about the folks with the 400mm, no comparison. I’d like to get one but they are heavy and expensive.

    Autumn/Winter bird watching is a great time to begin. You get to see a lot of migrants and once the leaves drop it’s much easier to see the birds. I dislike the cold, but when I was starting out I probably learned the most during the winter.


    1. Leslie,

      I’ve to crop it close by iPhoto’s editing features. Think I need something more powerful than 200mm. Yes, migrant birds now, even this Osprey, we were told, would fly away to S. America soon.


  8. I haven’t taken a birdwatching course, but I would love to! The only studying I’ve done has been of Marine birds in a Marine biology class in high school. I lived on the coast, so we had easy access to study the birds. Ospreys are difficult to photograph, but so much fun to watch with their diving. ๐Ÿ™‚


  9. I don’t know much about the lens size but I know what a 35 times zoom can do. I find it amazing to be able to shoot something so far away without creating any commotion to the bird’s quiet meditation. ๐Ÿ™‚ Beautiful pictures Aarti, thanks for sharing.


    1. JoV,

      Well, I’d to do some cropping to bring it closer. Some of the photos the other members of the group had taken are much closer and clearer. But, glad to get these with the minimal equipment I have. Thanks for stopping by.


  10. “nature paparazzi” I love it! Will there be some topless (featherless?) bird photos ahead? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Love the light in the water of the gull photo and the blue sky behind the osprey is gorgeous!


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