February 19, 2008: Birds at Our Olympic Peninsula Home

This is my season for bird photography at home.  When the winter rains stop and the lighting gets good, I often set up my 500mm lens with 1.4x extender, and concentrate on the subjects at hand.  Karen and I live on a small Olympic Peninsula lake, so there are also opportunities to photograph ducks and other water birds.  These are my favorite bird photographs so far this year. 

2009_wa_1833Chestnut-backed Chickadee

2009_wa_2256Hooded Merganser male with female and juvenile male

2009_wa_1791Purple Finch male

2009_wa_1872Purple Finch female

2009_wa_21661Merlin stretching

2009_wa_1832Chestnut-backed Chickadee

2009_wa_1829Black-capped Chickadee

2009_wa_2233Bufflehead female and male

2009_wa_1869Dark-eyed Junco

2009_wa_22041Merlin scratching an itch

2009_wa_1868Purple Finch male

2009_wa_1770Double-crested Cormorant juvenile drying its wings

2009_wa_1804Black-capped Chickadee

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5 Comments on “February 19, 2008: Birds at Our Olympic Peninsula Home”


  1. Spectacular photos!! I love the first chickadee shot and the stretching hawk. I’m glad to see you’ve gotten such clarity with a 1.4 extender. I have one as well, but I haven’t had much success with getting such crisp images, even when shooting on a tripod. Do you have any tips?

  2. leerentz Says:

    Hi Monika. I use a Canon 500mm lens with image stabilization and a 1.4x Canon extender, generally shooting at 400 ISO on a Canon 5D camera and using a tripod. The image stabilization and high ISO help immensely with sharpness; prior to having a digital camera my ISO was limited to 100 and I was never quite satisfied with the results. For the small songbirds, I also use an extension tube so that I can focus closer; even so, the songbird photos I showed on the weblog are cropped. They are shot in the camera raw format, then tweaked and sharpened in Adobe Bridge and Photoshop. I also use a fill flash at a weak level to provide a spark in the eye and a bit of extra light to help fill harsh shadows. That’s all my secrets … plus patience. Thank you for your kind comments.


  3. Ah, I’m sure the image stabilization lens has A LOT to do with it! One day… 🙂

  4. Joe Ely Says:

    Fabulous photos, Lee!! Thanks for sharing!!


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