Thursday, March 10, 2011

Birds at the Arboretum

The Pierre area was blessed with a thick coating of frost this morning, which meant I had to shoot something. I first headed to the most obvious spot, the state capitol building. Took a few pictures, but nothing I was terribly inspired by. So I headed for the Pierre Native Plant Arboretum to see what was hanging around the bird feeders there.

I've written about the photo opportunities in other seasons and how to find the arboretum at these posts - Arboretum, but hadn't been there in the winter yet. Several bird feeders are placed within easy view of the parking area, which made it easy to sit in my car and shoot with a 400mm. I used the frosty trees as an interesting background.

Several species of common songbirds flitted between the feeders and nearby trees constantly. It took a bit of patience and reflexes to find a bird and follow it in my camera. Shutter speed is your friend for flying shots, so even though some nice early morning light was hitting the area, I had my ISO at 640 and shutter speed in the 2000 or higher range and still took a lot of motion-blurred shots amongst the good ones. With a lot of try-and-try-again, I got these: