Pine Siskins (Spinus pinus-I love the scientific name) are chattery little birds. Unless they’ve seen a predator nearby, they are constantly twittering and chirping to each other.
The new Hoodman eyecups for my Nikon Z6 and Z7 cameras arrived Sunday (thank you Amazon). For me they make a world of difference when I use the Z camera bodies. I use the round Nikon DK-19 rubber eyecups for my DSLR cameras, and they allow me to push my eye against the eyecup to steady the camera and keep it still. I sometimes wear my glasses instead of my contact lenses when I shoot and the round eyecups work well for me with glasses as well. There is no way to firmly press your eye against the eyecup that is mounted on the Z bodies. When I learned that Hoodman makes an after market eyecup for the Z bodies (but not the Z50) that also works well with glasses, I ordered one for each body. When they arrived, I mounted them and shot some macro shots of the Lantana that is in bloom on my patio. The new eyecups enable me to press my eye against them to stabilize the camera. This shot is actually two shots merged into one. I took one shot focused on the center of the Lantana and one shot focused on they yellow flowers. I merged them in Photoshop, aligning and blending the two photographs into one.
One of the things I love about visiting the Marin Headlands is that in some places, you feel as if you can just step out onto the North Tower of the Golden Gate Bridge you’re so close. It’s not possible, of course, and you’d never catch me doing it if it were possible, but the people in this shot look as if they’re getting ready to walk onto the suspension cable. Taken with my Nikon Z7 and Nikkor 24-200mm S lens.
The Golden Gate Bridge is almost invisible and San Francisco beyond the bridge is completely invisible, both engulfed in fog a few days ago. By the time we got over to Fort Baker’s Battery Spencer with more views of the bridge, the fog had lifted enough so the the bridge was identifiable. You never know what weather you’ll get when you head over to the coast, but it’s always a delightful change from the hot dry conditions of the Sacramento Valley. Taken with Nikon Z7 and Nikkor 24-200 at 24mm.
Goofy looking but gorgeous at the same time; that’s what Roseate Spoonbills are. These large wading birds find food by feeling it with their spatula shaped bills as they sweep their bill back and forth through water near the shore. Like other birds, they preen their feathers with their bills as this brightly colored Roseate Spoonbill is doing. This shot is from the archives, taken in morning light at The Alligator Farm in St. Augustine, FL in February 2016. At the time, I was using my @nikonUSA Nikon Df with my Nikkor 600mm f/4 lens.
A male Evening Grosbeak stopped by for a sip at the water feature at The Ranch in Montana one afternoon while the other birds were taking a break. I was using my Nikon D6, Nikkor 500mm PF, and the Nikon TC24EIII with a tripod.
A trio of Common Ravens watched from the junipers as we ate our lunch at a picnic area in the Marin Headlands, in view of the Golden Gate Bridge on one side and the Point Bonita Lighthouse on the other. They made two or three flyovers and flew closer as we finished and packed up to return to the car. When I looked over my shoulder, two of the Ravens had landed on our table but not a crumb remained. One flew off as I returned with my camera but this Raven remained, not bothered by my presence and with an anthropomorphic look of disappointment.
San Francisco’s famous fog completely engulfed the Golden Gate Bridge yesterday but lifted briefly and I was able photograph the span from the Marin Headlands. The brisk cool breeze and ocean air was a delightful respite from the choking smoke generated by the relentless wildfires throughout much of the state the past few weeks.
The Pine Siskins in Montana were constantly moving and flitting about. It was a surprise to see this one hunkered down on the end of a perch, maybe waiting for things to calm down in the water below or the frenzy at the nearby feeders to stop. Maybe he’d just had his fill of sunflower seeds and bathing and wanted a moment to relax.