Having dug my "Big Bertha" lens out of the closet, I decided to practice my shooting on some of the birds that grace the backyard and local environs. ("Big Bertha" is 500mm and with a further factor of 1.6 due to the the cropping factor of the image receptor in the camera, making it effectively 800mm. But you have to use a beefy tripod and a cable-release for decent results - which is a pain.)


First I decided to see if I could "catch" something just sitting on the back deck at home. Sure enough, after a few minutes a spotted Towhee came into range as he scrabbled in the leaves on the ground looking for a morsel.


We have a pair of Robins who have built their nest in some foliage just outside the kitchen window. At first we only saw one which dutifully sat on the eggs until hatched. Then a few days ago, three miniature beaks made their appearance over the edge of the nest, and now Mr. and Mrs. Robin fly regular sorties foraging for food to feed their brood - the two of them taking turns.


As the sun goes down we let the sprinklers loose on "the lawn" for a few minutes - and apparently this brings the worms within hunting range. Here is Mrs. Robin foraging for sustenance in the wet grass. (You can tell it is Mrs. Robin rather than her husband because she lacks the darker head color.) After she has accumulated a sufficient load, it is delivered to the chicks.


Here I managed to use the lens on a birdie that just happened to come by and sit on a paddock fence...


This guy was at the edge of the main road just down the street from our driveway. The land had recently been mowed and he figured it might be easy to find lunch in the recently shorn stubble.