I’ve really enjoyed using my backyard for shots for the blog. As I said previously, you often don’t have to travel very far to find some interesting photo subjects. The photos in this post were taken on two different days, about 10 days apart. The first pair were morning shots, while the second grouping was in the early evening.

Bird On The Wire

While the Mourning Doves have been more plentiful in my “refurbished” backyard, it was the first time I saw one (a pair, actually) on the ground within my fenced-in vegetable garden. They usually stick to the ground around my multiple feeders.

I’ll ignore the comments of a certain owner of this blog that this particular specimen looked “mangy,” probably due to the beginning of a molt. (It was morning, remember — we all look a bit mangy before getting things together 🙂 ). Not realizing this pair of doves was in amongst my vegetables, I inadvertently spooked them as I approached to check on the health of my crops.

One of them quickly flew away, but this one perched on my elegant-looking chicken wire fence and stayed there throughout a series of movements I made, trying different angles and settings. This is a full-frame capture with the 70-300mm Sigma OS. It had rained overnight and the ground and air remained damp; the lighting was mostly flat. This was taken at ISO 800, 1/200 shutter at f/5.6.

After taking a group of images of this bird, I noticed that the needles of a nearby pine tree were still dripping with moisture and tried to capture the mood of the early morning.

Needle Drops

Although it was certainly gloomy, I shot this facing east so that what little light was available showed itself in the water droplets. A light breeze was stirring and with the weight of the water, the branch was moving slightly, making it a little more challenging to capture the image properly. It was also shot at ISO 800, 1/200 at f/5.6.

It was a somewhat sunnier evening ten days later when I captured the following two images. I used the flash extender to add highlights and get the eye glint and that seems to have worked well in this image of a Red-breasted Nuthatch just about to depart the feeder with a seed in its bill.

Off With His Snack

We get numerous Nuthatches as well as Chickadees, so many at times that it can be confusing to which bird I’m seeing. I always have to remember to look for the black eye stripe of the Nuthatch you see here as opposed to the black cap of the Chickadee. This was shot at ISO 800, 1/50 at f/5.6 and then cropped.

Song Sparrow

This last shot of what I believe is a Song Sparrow was taken as I was wrapping up. The flash extender added highlights, but the nearness of our porch wall to his perch left a shadow that I found somewhat bothersome, but not enough to try something like cloning to ride the image of it.

More to come from In The Backyard soon!

Staff Writer Paul Sevensky is a communications specialist and amateur photographer.  When he isn’t shooting, he covers advertising and PR on his own blog, at www.paulsevensky.com. View all of Paul Sevensky’s posts on The Roving Photographer.

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