A break for spring

I have been back in Minnesota for a few days now, with weather that fluctuates in 30 degree swings (from 72 to 42 degrees F), but the birds, especially the warblers, seem to think it’s time for spring here.

While in Cuba with the real bird photographers, I developed telephoto lens envy, and one of my fellow travelers kindly lent me her Canon 100-400 mm lens to try out on the Minnesota birds.  Oh my!  I was sold on this lens in 5 minutes, and I want one.  No, I need one!  Here’s what I saw today (or what the camera saw, through this magnificent lens).

Chickadees apparently get some nutrition from pecking at unopened buds of Buckeye.

Chickadees apparently get some nutrition from pecking at unopened buds of Buckeye.

Female warblers confuse me.  This is either a female Yellow-throat, Orange-crowned, or Nashville.  My bet is the latter because they are frequently one of the first warbler species seen here in the spring.

Female warblers confuse me. This is either a female Yellow-throat, Orange-crowned, or Nashville Warbler. My bet is the latter because they are frequently one of the first warbler species seen here in the spring.

Easy!  A male Yellow-rumped Warbler (used to be called Myrtle Warbler, back when I learned about birds).  The temperature was in the low 40s, and this guy was fluffed out as much as he could be.

Easy! A male Yellow-rumped Warbler (used to be called Myrtle Warbler, back when I learned about birds). The temperature was in the low 40s, and this guy was fluffed out as much as he could be.

Where's the yellow rump?  I have never been able to take photos like this before!

Where’s the yellow rump? I have never been able to take photos like this before!

13 thoughts on “A break for spring

  1. Lovely images. I use a 400mm prime lens and I wouldn’t be without it. I have envy for even bigger lenses but a) I couldn’t carry it and b) I couldn’t afford it. I hope you get one soon 🙂

    • So, that’s why you have such gorgeous bird photos. Heavy, yes, I need stronger wrist and arm muscles toting that telephoto around.

  2. I wondered how long it would take you to get that lens! I’m loving your posts, keep them coming! Maryann

  3. The photographs are great. They look as if you were really close. I vote you should spoil yourself and give in to temptation. Think of all the pleasure it would give to your followers.

  4. Sue, the shots really are amazing. I too am looking at that same lens and almost everyone that I have spoken to that has one really likes it. I see a lot of pretty serious birders and some of them swear by their prime lenses, but it seems to me that you would appreciate the versatility of the zoom. My personal experience suggests that technique is really important when shooting birds and your photos indicate that you have the technique down. Go for it!

    • What I have learned so far is that the prime lens is lighter to carry around, but the weight disadvantage is offset by the zoom’s versatility. They (Canon lenses) seem to have equally good optics. I am also looking at the BushHawk grip to assist with stability while trying to hand-hold the whole assembly. More info and a video on that system:
      http://bushhawk.com/

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