Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tree Swallows Return to SW Ohio

Just as I was e-mailing someone, saying I hadn't seen a Tree Swallow at home yet this spring, look who shows up.

The light was perfect to catch the iridescence of their feathers, and the 70-300 mm zoom lens on my new camera allowed me to get really close.

Of course, it helps that these birds seem to know me and were very comfortable with my presence.
"Oh, it's you again."

But, the sweet bonus happened when I downloaded my memory stick to find I had captured this shot:
Gotta love that motor drive!


Beth said...

awesome shots! I have a birdhouse in my backyard and it hosts tree swallows every year. Last year we had five fledglings. This year, there is lots of nest building activity so far. I love their colors and their twittering.


Frank Baron said...

Nice shots, especially that serendipitous one at the end. I'm in the market for a new camera and lens for outdoor photography. Mind telling what you're using?

KatDoc said...

Thanks, Frank, for the comment. No, I don't mind sharing at all. I am the proud new owner of a Canon Rebel XSi. The kit lens is an EFS 18-55mm zoom with AF (autofocus) and IS (image stabilization.) In addition, I bought a telephoto zoom lens, Canon's EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, which also has also AF.

The Tree Swallows in this post were photographed with the 70-300mm lens, at maximum extension. I used the time-variable setting (Tv) to set a shutter speed of 1/800, continuous drive mode, and had the autofocus on AI Servo.

I have only had this set-up about a week, and am still getting comfortable with it. I learned to shoot with a Pentax K1000, "auto-nothing", so had a fair background in photographic principals, but this baby is a giant leap up from my Canon Powershot A530 digital point-and-shoot.

Several other people I consulted with use different Rebel models, including the XTi and the XSi, and I have been impressed with their work.


NCmountainwoman said...

Wonderful photographs of these lovely sweet birds. We're in for more treats with you and the new camera.

Heron said...

The Tree Swallow "taking wing" is wonderful ! You must be having great fun with the new camera. Obviously, you have also read the manual, I'm impressed by the technical explanation even though I have no clue what it means.

Enjoy your photos.

nina at Nature Remains. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nina at Nature Remains. said...

Yep, you've got it down just right--and hitting it right out of the park, first time up!

My Tree swallows haven't come back yet. Barn swallows--yes.
It seems their nest box has been taken over by chickadees already. Maybe that's why I'm not noticing them around. I'll surely miss them, if that's the case.

Kyle said...

Sweet bonus, indeed! Great shots all, Kathi, but I especially that last one. That was sweet of him to give you the straight-on, pilot-to-control-tower look as he revved his engines and initiated lift-off.