Perch Isolation
Outdoor Ontario

Perch Isolation

Shortsighted

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PERCH ISOLATION
The Holy Grail of bird photography beyond sheer proximity is achieving good perch isolation with minimal background distraction. A well-blurred, uniform (ground glass) backdrop that does not misdirect the viewer’s attention from the prized subject is the goal, yet reaching that goal seldom occurs. It happens mostly in dreams, yet there are some field methods that can occasionally get you there.

Keep an eye engaged for that perfect perch well in advance of actually finding one already occupied. Sometimes a visually satisfying perch may represent a perch of genuine utility. Certainly if I see a hot perch already occupied I rightfully expect that once that same perch is vacated by my clumsy approach it will likely be re-visited if I stakeout the site and wait.


A man-made isolated perch will eventually be visited.


When there is an overwhelmingly appropriate perch on site with tell-tale signs of occupation the owner will return even if it takes an hour.


Long horizontal perches with a tree trunk for dark background is a favourite for flycatchers. They keep returning after a foray.


A horizontal wire along a bridge is great for swallows. Sit near it, don't move and wait.

Another option that may get you there is to bring your own perch. This BYO approach does not mean that you bring a perch from home, although I’ve done that … don’t laugh. I’m also not suggesting that you play the part of the Neanderthal and drag half a fallen tree along the trail and I've done that too; but to be fair it was in no way half a tree. I’ve met some who have brought a selection of perches in their kit. Imagine carrying around more wood than a golfer. Mostly I see people select a suitable perch on site and then plant it where they would like it to be and then wait for enlightenment at a bird-rich site.


A dead twig sticking out of a small branch was fitted with a base so it would support itself near some feed. This BYO perch was placed close to the water at Amos pond and there were so many Myrtle warbler about, well they need to rest somewhere.
 

Dead wood near a hummingbird feeder.


BYO perch beside seed for Nuthatch


This rustic perch was installed by another photographer and I was invited to take advantage of it. Many thanks.

If any of you out there have used techniques for successful perch isolation …. prove it! Please post your efforts.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Shortsighted

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Further along the lines of perch isolation from afar.


Eastern Phoebe in the Rouge


Eastern Kingbird @ Ashbridges ... sitting on its throne, you might assume.


Song Sparrow alongside Highland Creek
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Dinusaur

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Great post; I am enjoying reading your commentary along with your pictures. You have achieved great clarity and image quality with your short lens - a lot to learn from your technique. Is the picture of the Eagle from Ajax back in 2015? This is one perch that fondly remember for its ingenuity.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Shortsighted

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Thank you for the kind and encouraging comments about my recent over-posting.
I'm just trying to stimulate activity on the board because I feared it was becoming moribund of late.
Far fewer posting were appearing on any topic. I do not have a significant on-line presence and was reluctant to register
but felt the site was slipping away into oblivion. OK, perhaps I'm being melodramatic, but things were in low gear
for quite a while.

I may start some new threads on bird photography but I don't want to come across as pretentious. I just want
people to go out and see stuff in the natural world. It's depressing enough that only a minority of people have
any interest at all in the natural world.

So, I shall stoke the embers a little longer until someone suggests I back off.
PERCH ISOLATION the continuing saga:

By the way, the juvenile Bald Eagle was indeed the bird that visited Rotary Park at the mouth of Duffin's Creek. I was originally going to use this shot as a example for another threat I was going to start called GETTING DOWN TO EARTH. The premise being ... shoot from the ground. This shot of the eagle, taken from the sand, eliminated the background of people walking along the beach. This shot doesn't show the people ... only background trees. A little wilder looking me thinkst.


Joe-Pye weed out to seed is a tall, single stalk plant that offers a landing pad for small birds, usually sparrows but even a warbler finds it of interest at TTP.


Song sparrow at Sam Smith finds a Pussy-willow a fair perch to reconnoitre. Canon G9
 

This Carolina wren was patrolling the banks of Highland Creek in Colonel Danforth Park. I was spread-out on the trunk of a fallen tree. The creek bank was in shadow but
the isolated perch was in good light. Isolation sometimes comes through differential lighting. A well-lit background would have been busy and distracting. Although I shoot
with a short lens (200mm) this shot was taken with the 18-135mm kit lens.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Ally

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Opps, I didn't read this one before I expressed my admiration. Not a copycat. LOL.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »