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Holiday Birdwatching I

December 27th, 2009

This is the first in a series of posts on the birds I spotted in the last three or four days. Starting on the 24th, I went to various local birdwatching spots, including Radio Road in Redwood City (right next to the Foster City landfill areas), Bayfront Park at the end of Marsh Road in Menlo Park, and the Shoreline walk at Mountain View Park.

The first images, however, come from a local tree near my parents’ home–specifically, a persimmon tree with the fruit ripening, filled with birds eating the yummy treats. This kind of tree attracts one of my favorite birds: the Cedar Waxwing.

Cedar Waxwing 01

Cedar Waxwing 02

Cedar Waxwing 03

Cedar Waxwing 04

Cedar Waxwing 05

Cedar Waxwing 06

Cedar Waxwing 07

A few extra passerines to finish up this first post. There are tons of sparrow-like birds, and I have given up on trying to figure out which is which. They’re just far too similar for the trouble.

Sparrow Gen 04

These are House Finches, the male with the notable red coloring:

House Finch 01

House Finch 02

Here’s a Brown Towhee, a basic “brown bird” for the SF Bay Area:

Brown Towhee 01

Some interesting birds with yellow patches (you’d be surprised how many of those there are):

Unknown 01

Yellow-Rumped Warbler 01

Yellow-Rumped Warbler 03

There were several Black Phoebes around, often flying crazily about. This one perched between us and an American Coot.

Black Phoebe 01

More coming soon!

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  1. Tom
    December 29th, 2009 at 08:30 | #1

    I always enjoy seeing all these great photos and have been a long time reader of your blog. I was doing my own research lately into purchasing a digital SLR and came across a forum thread that answered a question you had a few years ago about how zoom related more directly to the mm of the lens. Its way down on this page: http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/t256040-zoom-in-mm.html

    To sum it up, calculate the diagonal length of the CCD in the camera, multiply that by 10-15% and thats roughly the perfect focal length for it. Then you can divide the mm length of the lens by this number and get the approximate zoom multiplier. Not sure if you ever found this information but I hope it helps!

    This would put your 300mm lens on your rebel at somewhere between 9.5 to 10.1x zoom.

  2. Steven Valleau
    October 8th, 2010 at 05:06 | #2

    That “sparrow” at the end of the waxwing photos is actually an American Pipit. They are not closely related to sparrows. You have some very good bird photos. Pipit photos are unusual.Being from Maine those waxwings on persimmons are other worldly; we’ve got waxwing but no persimmons, very cool.

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