Alan Barnard

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About Alan Barnard

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    Around the Bird Feeder
  • Birthday 11/24/61

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    : Northern California

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  1. We had a Black-Headed Grosbeak at our feeders this evening. This is the first time we've seen one in the yard. It was very exciting! It was also hilarious watching our Lesser Goldfinches sitting around on various perches, impatiently waiting for him to get off of "their" feeder. Black-Headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus) by Alan Barnard, on Flickr
  2. Oh, I know! They can be the most uncooperative subjects!
  3. We bird photographers love to capture as much feather detail as possible. Having a high resolution camera and sharp lenses certainly helps, but I've found that getting close to the birds is by far the most important factor, particularly when photographing tiny birds like Lesser Goldfinches and hummingbirds. Over the past few months I've been working on acclimating the local goldfinch flock to my presence. I try to spend a little time each day quietly sitting near my Finch feeders. It's at a point now where they will actually land closer to me than the minimum focus distance of my telephoto lens. This photo was captured last evening with my Fuji X-T2 and the Fujinon XF100-400 f/4.5-5.6 at 400mm (600mm equivalent). The minimum focus distance on the lens is around 6 feet, this was captured at around 8-9 feet at 600mm. I did a tiny bit of cropping just to balance the composition, otherwise this is close to out of camera. Please load the image full screen to see the detail. Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) by Alan Barnard, on Flickr
  4. Black Phoebe Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans) by Alan Barnard, on Flickr
  5. Anna's... Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna) by Alan Barnard, on Flickr
  6. Lesser Goldfinch in late afternoon light. Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) by Alan Barnard, on Flickr
  7. This morning, we spent around 45 minutes watching a pair of American Bushtit tending their sock-like nest in an old oak tree in the Sun City Center Park Preserve in Roseville, CA. There is no way to know for sure, but the way they were taking turns coming and going from the nest leads us to believe they were tending a brood. I find Bushtits devilishly difficult to photograph--perhaps even more so than hummingbirds--due to their constant movement and lightning-quick reflexes. This also makes them one of the most enjoyable of our common songbirds to search out and photograph. Getting a crisp photo of one of these tiny speedsters always feels like an accomplishment! American Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus) by Alan Barnard, on Flickr
  8. California Scrub Jay California Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma californica) by Alan Barnard, on Flickr
  9. I ran across this Nuttall's Woodpecker this morning. I don't see these nearly as often as the more common Acorn Woodpecker. Nuttall's Woodpecker (Picoides nuttallii) by Alan Barnard, on Flickr
  10. This guy kept peeking out at me from behind the limb, clearly trying to decide if he could trust me. After about two minutes of this, he finally dropped down to the feeder and had a bite. Male House Finch, Fuji X-T2, Fujinon XF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6. House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) by Alan Barnard, on Flickr
  11. Our friendly neighborhood California Scrub Jay. Such a character...
  12. White-Crowned Sparrow
  13. Acorn Woodpeckers, Northern California
  14. White-Crowned Sparrow