Birds at Magee Marsh

I began the day Saturday saying I just wanted to get photos of landscapes. I came away with not only landscapes, but also a renewed appreciation for our feathered friends.  While I don’t consider myself a ‘birder’, being among a crowd of people that day who do this for a hobby was inspiring and interesting. 

Magee Marsh is an amazing place, a perfect habitat for all kinds of birds and wildlife.  With the right lens and the patience and skills to use it properly, this place can be a photographer’s paradise. 

Here are just a few of the birds we saw. Clockwise from upper left corner: Prothonotary Warbler, Baltimore Oriole, Yellow Warbler, White-throated Sparrow, and Purple Martins. My blog post yesterday for the Scavenger Hunt also included a couple of birds that I photographed.

For this part of the day I was using the Tamron 70-300mm lens, learning some valuable lessons along the way. Probably the most valuable to me was understanding the limits of that lens, and how critical it is to choose the correct aperture.  A wide open aperture is not always a good idea with this lens, depending on the light that is available, if there is action you want to ‘stop’, and how close you want to get to the subject.  Last night I took the suggestion of one of the gals who was with us that day, sat on my front porch and took the same image repeatedly, adjusting the aperture for each image. The results were very educational.

Now, if that lesson will just sink into my head…