Monday, March 24, 2008

Da Do Wren Wren

The Canon 40D is the latest digital SLR that appeals to the advanced amateur because of its many photographer-friendly features.Of course, any self-respecting bird-photographer of my level would love to have their hands on this new toy. Of course, deep in my heart I wanted it. But I've been hemming and hawing..always telling myself that "yeah, it would be nice to own it, but hmmm, I am unemployed and I need to conserve my resources". That wavering went on and on, until…

My wife could no longer stand my wishy-washiness. "Let's go to Samy's Camera", she said last Friday. "You have an account with them and we will wangle a good bargain for your 40D!"

Your 40D!

By 5 pm that day, I was the proud owner of my 40D!
Naturally, I couldn't wait to try out my new camera. Early Saturday morning off we went to Eaton Canyon in Pasadena. With a new "investment" we decided to scrimp on gasoline and to altogether bypass the traditional breakfast at McDonalds.

The morning was cool and sunny. We were hoping to see the Oriole reported seen here the day before, but we were not so lucky with that. What we had were the usual avian residents of the canyon. There is a spot just a bit north of the Nature Center that has a few picnic tables under the shade of a huge oak tree. Cynthia had gone off chasing a calling Wrentit. I was about to follow when from out of the bushes darted a California Thrasher. It must be terribly hungry because in its foraging for food it came to about 3 feet from where I was standing. I froze like a winter snowman lest I scare the poor bird and deprive it of a well deserved breakfast. 

Eventually the bird moved on and in my excitement my shots of it were only passable (it was dark under the oak tree). As if that was not enough, soon a California Towhee approached, White-crowned Sparrows suddenly congregated under the picnic tables while Dark-eyed Juncos played on top of the tables. A Hermit Thrush went hopping by while Fox Sparrows made a brief appearance.

But it was the Wrens that probably made our day. The House Wrens were zitting as they staked their territories on the tree branches.

The Bewick's Wrens on the other hand were in the bushes bursting forth with their own serenades.

The Wrentits were always a tease, as they skulked in the dense vegetation sometimes just inches from where we were.

At the end of the day while viewing my photographs, I realized that I still need to adjust to the capabilities of the 40D. Most of my shots were still so-so. Maybe I have to read the instruction manual first? 

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