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Messages - Shortsighted

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1
Ontario Birds / Re: Humber Bay East Nov 26
« on: November 28, 2020, 08:25:33 am »
 Ah, I didn't realize that you were referring to Humber Bay. I presumed you were talking about the Humber trail ... along the Humber River …. somewhere exotic. I know Humber Bay, East quite well. I often walked there after visiting High Park starting from the High Park subway station and then hiking down the park and then over to Humber Bay. So, with that straightened out, when you mean the pond I must now conclude that you were captivated by the land-locked body of water at the eastern half of Park East. The one usually surrounded by tall grass and rushes, making it very hard to see the water except at the culvert where there is a gap in the vegetation. I have often seen HM in that pond but I could never get to them. They are also sometimes in the lagoon that has a causeway-type deck running east-to-west across its length. You can shoot to either side but can't get right down to water level. You can also shoot from the rocks adjacent to the small bridge. From the rocks you can get somewhat closer to the water. I’ve sat on those rocks many times during the winter getting as close to the water and ice as I could. I mentioned that spot in a blog I wrote about Romancing the Isthmus. There is also a very narrow isthmus between the east bay and the south bay (surrounded by land on three sides and by a narrow peninsula on the north side). This protected bay connects to the one of the eastern bays by a narrow isthmus, one on either side of the northern berm (so it’s not really a true peninsula) and water fowl must swim through these narrow gaps to get into the protected bay. Either that, or fly in. If you station yourself close to water at these choke points you can sometimes get close to birds. With only 200mm it is one of my only options.


Non-breeding Horned Grebe

 

2
Backyard Birding / Re: The Ground Above My Feet
« on: November 27, 2020, 04:57:56 pm »
 Well over a week now with no birds in the backyard beyond a small group of House sparrows and today it’s a feeding frenzy. Nothing rare or unusual showed up but there was certainly representation from all the regulars: Chickadee (many at once), Goldfinches, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Juncos, House finches (male and female), Downy and Hairy (finally) as well as an ultra-brief appearance of a RB woodpecker.
I don’t know what happened to the WB nuthatches, which have been absent for a very long time indeed. I hope the RBWP comes back at some point so that I can photograph it. Absolutely no sign of any of this year’s eruption species. I’m not holding my breath. A Fox sparrow or a Pine Siskin would be welcome but that scenario is not likely to happen because I’ve been a baaaaad boy.









3
Ontario Birds / Re: Humber Bay East Nov 26
« on: November 27, 2020, 08:31:18 am »
 In a pond … under the building? That sounds surreal. You live in a much more fairytale land than I do. In your world. Do the HM males play a trumpet when they throw their head back like that? A half dozen HM is a party to me. A grebe too …  what species?
You can’t really expect a group of HM to get together without at least a single grebence. Is that a word?
Using a fence, rock, bench, or a tree trunk for support is always advised, I once tried using a tripod that could be deconstructed into a monopod but that proved too awkward. I only have 200mm but I wanted to reduce wiggle since I don’t have “IS” built into my old lens.
It is so dead around here that it seems beyond belief. None of the usual visitors any more. I covered up my ground-above-my-feet platform and found a squirrel had torn through the vinyl cover to get to the little remaining seed. I’m going to need to use sheet metal, or perhaps another thick piece of plexiglass and a couple of bricks from now on.

4
Ontario Birds / Re: Humber Bay East Nov 26
« on: November 26, 2020, 07:27:30 pm »
 I’m glad to see that you have finally gone out to photograph some winter water fowl and I guess that the somewhat warmer weather is the reason.  A 600mm lens is quite an asset to capture distant subjects and I’ve often wished that I had that kind of reach and didn’t have to work so hard to gain proximity.
Your shots of the Hooded mergansers are quite close. Did you crop much to achieve these frames? I never imagined that there were that many merganser on the Humber river. I guess the limited width of the river and the 12X power really helps pull them in. How do they react when you approach the river banks? Did you need to seek concealment? Very well done indeed.

5
Backyard Birding / Trunk on a pole - suet
« on: November 22, 2020, 09:27:21 pm »
 I decided to install my mock tree trunk now that some woodpeckers are starting to show up. A Hairy arrived first but I did not have my camera set-up at that point. After I was ready the Hairy stayed away and only a Downy visited.  After today’s snowfall had covered the ground making seed search more difficult the Juncos started to develop an interest in the suet buried within the crevice of my tree section on a pole. Juncos generally prefer feeding on the ground, or on the ground-above-my-feet.







6
Toronto Reports / Re: Black-throated Gray Warbler
« on: November 21, 2020, 05:59:04 pm »
 That’s a good shot of a very attractive warbler. You sure get around … as is required.
 

7
Backyard Birding / Re: A new backyard visitor
« on: November 20, 2020, 07:43:57 am »
 As another passing thought … if it could fly off at Mach-1 would it still have any feathers remaining? Would it be a cooked bird? Would that be considered …. mocking a jet in self-immolation.

8
Backyard Birding / Re: A new backyard visitor
« on: November 20, 2020, 07:37:41 am »
 I’ve never seen a Mockingbird in the backyard either. As your #1 backyard sighting of a Mockingbird, how long did it linger to mock the cardinals? Did it immediately fly off at Mock-1.

9
Ontario Birds / Re: TTP Nov 19
« on: November 19, 2020, 05:50:15 pm »
Way to go Ally.I was thinking of coaxing you to go out a try getting shots of winter water fowland here you are ... already on the job.Outstanding work ethic.

10
Toronto Reports / White-winged Crossbills reported
« on: November 19, 2020, 05:45:50 pm »
Ashbridges Bay park report of three WW Crossbills (two males and a female).ATT: Ally

11
Ontario Birds / Re: Humber River Trail Nov 14
« on: November 14, 2020, 05:17:45 pm »
 Yes Ally, there is a passing similarity between a Chipping sparrow and a Tree sparrow. The Tree Sparrow has a central breast spot that the Chipping does not carry and the two-tone bill (upper vs lower) of the Tree sparrow is the easiest feature to detect in the field. I find that a Tree sparrow has a brighter, crisper look than the more delicate appearance of the Chipping.
 

12
Ontario Birds / Re: Humber River Trail Nov 14
« on: November 14, 2020, 02:36:08 pm »
 You did well to go out today because tomorrow looks to be a dastardly day … argh.
I have not seen a Tree sparrow in quite a while even though they used to be everywhere at this time of year, or perhaps a little later in the season. 





 

13
Backyard Birding / Re: The Ground Above My Feet
« on: November 13, 2020, 06:06:36 pm »
Today's visitors to the ground above my feet.












14
Ontario Birds / Re: Rattray Marsh Nov 12
« on: November 13, 2020, 12:56:57 pm »
 The numbers on the scale represent adjustments to the f-stop, either wider open than normal (smaller number), or close down the iris (higher number). The higher the number the deeper your “apparent” depth-of-field. The actual plane-of-focus remains a definitive distance from the lens but the higher the f-stop (the more closed the iris) the more of your subject appears to be in acceptable focus both in front of the actual plane-of-focus and also behind the plane-if-focus. F18 is a very closed-down iris and offers more DOF than you would normally need. You choose an f-stop that gives you adequate DOF for the situation but still gives you a fast enough shutter speed. With “OS” on-board you would still quite possible need at least 1/400 sec to get the subject sharp (once focused correctly) without camera wiggle blur. I need to shoot much faster than that, even at only 200mm, because I have no lens stabilization.
Your auto lighting optimizer is not set at maximum. Icon on the screen on the right side at middle height. You do not display all three vertical bars on maximum. Not a big deal.
OK, sure, helping someone is fun, but not as much fun as having a 600mm lens. What can I say, I’m self-absorbed. At this stage of the game, even if I had a 500mm lens I couldn’t do anything with it except stroke it with puerile affection. There, there …. nice lens.

15
Ontario Birds / Re: Rattray Marsh Nov 12
« on: November 13, 2020, 11:40:59 am »
 OK, it’s my turn not to understand the question. What number?
It is not exactly fun to teach but it is satisfying nonetheless. Fun is having a 500mm, or 600mm lens and is therefore something I wouldn’t know much about, even back in the days of film. You remember film? Perhaps not.
It is my duty to inform the eager and enthusiastic. After all, you hold all the power. I only have 4x and therefore need to go to great lengths to minimize the length between me and the bird. Your majesty has the effervescence and energy of a champagne supernova and are therefore deserving of any assistance that I can muster, even when that may occasionally be misguided or unpalatable.

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