New camera!

This past November I got myself a new camera. Without geeking out too much on the selection process here, the short version is I wanted a flexible single lens camera that could reach birds from a distance as well as do a good job on landscape and travel shots, with a fast enough lens to capture birds in flight and in low-light shadowy forests. I ended up with a Sony RX10-iv. I have a lot yet to learn, but I am quite happy with it, and looking forward to continued experimentation.

Here are some of my first efforts, starting with a cool morning in our backyard.

Hadn’t seen much of the goldfinches since the sunflowers came down.
House Finch. Being able to focus and expose on the bird instead of the bush was one of my main goals with this camera.
Spotted Towhee, enjoying the ground cover seed I spread on the raised bed.

The next opportunity was a quick getaway to the nearest nature preserve, the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, just 25 minutes down the road. Some of the trails are closed during the nesting season, and the migrating waterfowl all kept their distance this time, but as always there was plenty to see.

Our local watershed, the Tualatin River. The creeks in our neighborhood flow into the Tualatin, which flows south before dumping into the WIllamette to then flow north to the mighty Columbia.
Every nuthatch I’ve ever seen has been upside down. I wonder where they winter? 🙂
This heron was fishing about 30 feet up the creek from where I crossed, and I was pleased with how well the camera found him in the shadows …
… and with the reach of the zoom!

Next up was an outing with Rosa, my 10 year old photography buddy. We went to Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve, a beautiful morning drive through the farmlands west of us. The day turned foggy and cold, with more bird hearings than sightings, but it was still lots of fun.

Cormorants checking out the view.
Pintail ducks

Finally, a very early and cold morning visit to Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, part of Portland Parks and Rec. This is a favorite spot, always something interesting. On this day, many Great Blue Heron. With frozen fingers, large slow moving birds were the perfect target.

This heron resting in a tree, one leg at a time.
Wood ducks
A young coot, unlike the photographer.

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