Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

May 19, 2010

Lesser Goldfinch on water feature

Filed under: Birds, Boyce Thompson Arboretum, favorite places, light — richditch @ 3:01 pm
Lesser Goldfinch

Lesser Goldfinch

When it gets hot in Phoenix I don’t get out shooting as much as I’d like, and when I do find time for it I often head to Boyce Thompson Arboretum about 60 miles to the east. I don’t expect a lot of photo ops at Boyce, but I do appreciate the cooler temps provided by the trees and somewhat higher elevation.

On my visit on May 18, 2010, I finished the morning at one of my favorite places at Boyce: the Demonstration Garden just off the lower parking lot. Near the center is a small stone bowl-shaped water feature on the ground surrounded by flowers and shaded by a tree, and it is a magnet for birds such as this male Lesser Goldfinch.

I’ve shot at this location many times before: Lesser Goldfinch, House Finch, Lawrence’s Goldfinch, Northern Cardinal, Pyrroluxia, Black-throated Sparrow, Black-chinned Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow. Probably other species as well. On past visits I would sit on a low brick wall to the east of the bowl, but the flowers are now too high and block the bowl from that side. So this time I sat in a metal chair on the north side about 10-12 feet from the bowl. If you sit quietly and  don’t move around a lot there’s no need to hide and the birds will come in cautiously.

I like the directional light here that separates the finch from the background and brings out its form. I used the spot meter in my camera to keep the light reflecting off the water from causing under exposure.

Nikon D200, 300/2.8 AF-S lens with TC20E (2x), Gitzo 1325, Really Right Stuff ball head, Sidekick, ISO 400, 1/200th second at f/5.6, about 90% of full frame.


1 Comment »

  1. Gorgeous. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    Comment by bardiac — May 19, 2010 @ 6:30 pm

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