Palm warbler – Setophaga palmarum

Figure 1 - Palm warbler, Assabet River Wildlife Refuge, Sudbury, MA. (c) DE Wolf 2016.

Figure 1 – Palm warbler, Assabet River Wildlife Refuge, Sudbury, MA. (c) DE Wolf 2016.

Well, let us castoff the Cthulhu gloom and celebrate the coming of spring to the Assabet River Wildlife Refuge. The tree swallows now abound, and today I took my big lens and on my trip to the reserve and managed to hand hold the shot of Figure1 at 200 mm of a beautiful palm warbler – Setophaga palmarum, who was kind enough to pose for me. The problem with this lens is it has slightly worse MTF than my 70 – 200 mm lens and is really tough to hand-hold. I always try to hold back from going all the way to 400 mm, which is where the MTF quality falls off. Certainly I could have gone a bit farther here. These little birds however, require rapid dexterity to photograph, and I rapidly abandoned trying to photograph them with my camera mounted on my monopod.

The other point that I am starting to realize is that not all birding sites are equal. AT Fresh Pond in Cambridge the density and height of the trees make it possible to generally get closer to the birds than at the Assabet Refuge, with it’s flooded landscape and tall pines.

In any event there is no surer sign of spring in New England than the return of the spring warblers, in this case on their was from the Caribbean to Northern parts of Canada. It is such a remarkable journey. And as a result these dramatic visitors greet us first in the spring and then in the fall on the return.

My friend Jane was kind enough to join me today and tolerant of my slow and silent bird photography pace. She headed to the gym after for some real exercise!

Canon T2i with EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens at 200 mm, ISO 1600, Aperture Priority AE Mode, 1/4000th sec at f/7.1 with -1 exposure compensation.

This entry was posted in Personal Photographic Wanderings.