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Important Announcement

From this point forward postings will be made on the main page, but the photos will also be added to the gallery. To see the written information about the photo do a search for the number (the first number, if it is a set).

1022
Santa Cruz, California – November 25, 2011
These photos were taken just outside our cottage in Santa Cruz. I put up a feeder near a Kiwi bush/tree, and it is a favorite place to check out the area before jumping on the feeder.
Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300 VC zoom at 300mm, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec

907
Santa Cruz, California – March 29, 2011
This bird was out on my driveway. I think it is an American Goldfinch, but there are other Goldfinch species down here and so I’m not 100% on my ID. Something just doesn’t look right, but it is a rather poor photo. If anyone has another suggestion such as Lesser Goldfinch, I’d be happy to hear your opinion. Nikon D80, Nikon 70-300 zoom lens at 300mm, f/5.6, 1/500, ISO 200, handheld.

906
Santa Cruz, California – March 29, 2011
Just below our cottage there is a lagoon. I often see hummers and other small birds in the brambles on the edge of the water or mud if it’s low tide. Nikon D80 with Nikon 70-300mm zoom at 300mm, f/5.6, 1/320, ISO 200, hand held. Here is a female followed by another photo of the male. My son-in-law allowed me to bring his lens on this trip to give me the experience of shooting without my tripod. My main birding lens is a Tamron 200-500mm zoom, but it is quite large and heavy – requiring the use of a tripod. It also does not have image stabilization like Shawn’s lens. I might have to break down and purchase a lens like this.

863
Vaughn, Washington October 27, 2010
House or Purple Finch Female

812
Carmel, Maine – December 31, 2008
Welcome to winter goldfinch festival. I sort of got carried away with this bird. I can’t believe goldfinches stay up in Maine during the winter. The first hint of winter and they disappear from my feeders in Puget Sound. I suppose there are a few that hang around in Puget Sound, but not at my location.

782
Carmel, Maine – July 2008
I have already posted some goldfinch photos from this trip to Maine, but I couldn’t resist posting a few more that I found in my collection. I’m working hard to get through these 2008 photos so I can move on to my 2009 material. I know, a bit behind, aren’t I?
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, ISO 500, 1/125 sec, f/8.0, tripod

777
Rockland, Maine – July 17, 2008
Here are 3 more photos – this time the bird was on the ground.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, tripod.

776
Rockland, Maine – July 17, 2008
Near the parking lot that led to a trail down to the water, I spied one of my favorite east coast birds. These aren’t the greatest photos, but they represent my best success in photographing this species. In the next posting (777) I will post three more photos.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, tripod.

769
Carmel, Maine – July 14, 2008
Here are a couple photos of the male of this species.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, ISO 320, 1/400 sec, f/6.3, tripod

768
Carmel, Maine – July 14, 2008
This is a female of this species. Correct me if I’m wrong, Shawn!
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, ISO 320, 1/125 sec, f/6.3, tripod

765
Carmel, Maine – July 12, 2008
This is the female of this species – showing both a frontal and side portrait. The female doesn’t hold a candle to the bright red of the male.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, ISO 200, 1/250 sec, f/6.3, tripod

764
Carmel, Maine – July 12, 2008

Although I love the Black-headed Grosbeaks that visit my backyard in the summer, I have to say I prefer this species. I had several opportunities to photograph the Rose-breasted Grosbeak, as it is a frequent visitor to my daughter’s backyard in Maine. The second photo shows a male eating (a little messy as all birds are) at the feeder and then I finish off this set of 3 with another shot of the bird in the first photo (a closer crop). The next posting will show the female of this species. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, ISO 200, 1/200 sec, f/6.3, tripod

762
Carmel, Maine – July 12, 2008
This is a Purple Finch in Shawn and Malia’s backyard in Maine. One of the disadvantages of taking so long to process my bird photos is that things change. Shawn and Malia are no longer living in Maine. They now live with me in Washington.
Here is a second pose.

760
Carmel, Maine – July 12, 2008
These photos were taken in Maine during my trip to visit my daughter and her family. My son-in-law had a couple of bird feeders in the back yard and I planted my tripod on the back porch and waited for the birds. Yes, I know these photos were taken almost a year and a half ago, but I’m just getting around to posting them. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, ISO 200, 1/320 sec, tripod

752
Carmel, Maine – July 10, 2008
Photo taken in Shawn and Malia’s backyard.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500 mm, ISO 400, f 6.3 at 1/500 sec, Manfrotto tripod

745
Vaughn Bay, Washington – June 15, 2008
A family or two of these birds nested near our house and were regular visitors to our feeders during spring and summer. Here are a few photos of these pretty birds. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom

744
Vaughn Bay, Washington – June 15, 2008
Here is a set of Purple Finch photos taken in my back yard. Whoops! The third photo of a juvenile Dark-eyed Junco fooled me. Thanks, Shawn, for pointing this out. This is what I get for taking so long to process my photos.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom lens

741
Vaughn Bay, Washington – June 15, 2008
Sometimes I go out in the backyard and just watch the action – taking a photo here and there. This is a male AG. Also shown in this series of two photos is a female – less colorful but classy in her own right! Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom, Manfrotto tripod

730
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – May 31, 2008
I found this American Goldfinch out near two barns.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod, ISO 100, 1/150 sec

717
Vaughn Bay, Washington – May 14, 2008
Because of the price of thistle seed I have pretty much stopped using it in the backyard. Therefore, I have put out more sunflower seeds. One of the benefits has been an increased number of this species. Summer before last I had just one pair. Last summer I had about 3 pair. These are beautiful birds. I hope they keep coming every year. The second photo is a side shot that shows you the bird’s wing pattern.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500

713
Vaughn Bay, Washington – May 14, 2008
This is another one of my regular backyard visitors during spring and summer. I find that this particular species is not very photogenic. You Pine Siskin lovers out there may disagree with me. Don’t get me wrong. I like this bird, but their beedy little eyes make it somewhat difficult to photograph well. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom

677
Corcoran Lagoon – Santa Cruz, California – March 31, 2008
This female House Finch was playing around down at the edge of the lagoon.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, f6.3, 1/125 sec, ISO 400, Manfrotto tripod

629
Carmel, Maine – December 25, 2007
I think this is my only Christmas Redpoll photo. As I have already mentioned, I didn’t get any good photos,
but since my opportunity to see this bird is a rarity in itself, I’m posting my rather poor photos of this bird anyway. Here, you can see the red on the head quite well.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 400mm, 1/250 sec, f 6.0, ISO 400, Manfrotto tripod, photo taken through the dining room window

625
Carmel, Maine – December 23, 2007
Here are some more Evening Grosbeak photos.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/160 sec, f/6.3, ISO 400, Manfrotto tripod – photos taken through the dining room window

624
Carmel, Maine – December 23, 2007
Here is a set of female Evening Grosbeak photos.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/50 sec, f/6.3, ISO 400, Manfrotto tripod – photos taken through the dining room window

623
Carmel, Maine – December 23, 2007
I took several photos of a flock of Evening Grosbeaks that visited the bird feeders in the back yard. I’ll divide the better photos up into two or three sets. This first set of three shows a male in the foreground sitting on a shepard’s hook. Conditions with all the white snow were difficult for photography, but here are my best efforts.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 360mm, 1/200 sec, f/6.0, ISO 400, Manfrotto tripod – photos taken through the dining room window

617
Carmel, Maine – December 22, 2007
I really wanted a good photo of this bird since I don’t see it every winter when I visit Maine. It wasn’t meant to be, but I’ll include two ID photos to prove my sighting. These birds would not come up to the porch and stayed out at the feeders.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 350mm, 1/1600 sec, f/6.0, ISO 400, Manfrotto tripod – photos taken through the dining room window

605
Ellsworth, Maine – December 21, 2007
Here is the female of this species. Not nearly as handsome as the male, but you know how that goes!
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 300mm, 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, Manfrotto tripod

604
Ellsworth, Maine – December 21, 2007
I had seen this species the day before – way in the back of my daughter’s property in Carmel. It was snowing and I couldn’t get any good photos. However, on the way out to Bar Harbor, we found a flock of Pine Grosbeaks eating berries on some trees in a mall parking lot. I was fortunate to get very close to the birds. They had one thing on their mind. This was a lifer sighting for me (actually – the day before).
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 270mm, 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, Manfrotto tripod

592
Carmel, Maine – December 20, 2007
I’m a little bit disappointed that I didn’t get better photos of this species. They do not always visit during the winter. Believe it or not, they don’t always come as far south of central Maine. Last Christmas we didn’t see any, but the Christmas before that we saw quite a few. This little bird can really handle the cold. The photos I do have will document the sighting. One day I may even get a good photo!
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 440mm, 1/500 sec, ISO 400, f/6.3, Manfrotto tripod – photos taken through the dining room window

509
Vaughn Bay, Washington – June 16, 2007
This photo is a bit soft, but it shows the coloring of the Purple Finch very well. I was told that one way to distinguish between a Purple Finch and a House Finch is that the Purple Finch has red coloring on the wings like the bird shown here and a male House Finch does not.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500 mm, 1/40 sec, Manfrotto tripod

508
Vaughn Bay, Washington – June 16, 2007
This Pine Siskin made a little stop at the hummingbird feeder. He wasn’t trying to drink the nectar. He just wanted to pose for a quick photo and then he was off. The Pine Siskins, like the American Goldfinch, prefer the thistle feeder. Pine Siskins are very small birds.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500 mm, 1/125 sec, Manfrotto tripod

493
Vaughn Bay, Washington – May 27, 2007
Here is the second set of American Goldfinch photos.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/200 sec, Manfrotto tripod

492
Vaughn Bay, Washington – May 27, 2007
American Goldfinch are regular visitors to our backyard. I took eight different keepers today. I divided them up into 2 sets. There are 4 photos in each set. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/125 sec, Manfrotto tripod

486
Vaughn Bay, Washington – May 27, 2007
Here is a set of 3 photos. The first bird is either a young fledgling or not feeling well. It has been around for several days, but is not very active. Two other photos show the birds at the feeder and at the bird bath. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/60 sec, Manfrotto tripod

484
Vaughn Bay, Washington – May 27, 2007
As promised, here are the shots of the Purple Finch. I don’t see this bird often in the backyard,
so I got a little carried away and took several photos. Here is a whopping set of 6 shots. Notice the redness on the wings – a physical feature that the House Finch does not have. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/125 sec, Manfrotto tripod

483
Vaughn Bay, Washington – May 27, 2007
Here is a series of 3 House Finch photos. They will be followed by some Purple Finch shots. My son-in-law said that you can tell the difference by looking for reddishness on the wings. If there is none, it is a House Finch. As a more experienced birder, I’m taking his word for it.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/100 sec, Manfrotto tripod

481
Vaughn Bay, Washington – May 27, 2007
There are always a lot of goldfinches in my backyard during 3 seasons of the year. Last winter they disappeared, but they’re back. Last summer the goldfinches would only eat thistle. This spring the group seems to have a wider appetite, going after black sunflower like it was a McDonald’s cheeseburger. They usually use a feeder, but I got this male on the stump.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

478
Vaughn Bay, Washington – May 27, 2007
I was surprised to see a larger bird like the Black-headed Grosbeak enter into the globe feeder. A pair of BH Grosbeaks have been visiting the backyard for several weeks now. Update: May 2008. I’ve seen 3 or 4 of these birds this year. They still go into the globe as if it’s a perfect fit.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

472
Vaughn Bay, Washington – May 12, 2007
The goldfinch are back! Yeh! Well, not yeh on the pocketbook since they eat like pigs. These two shots are of birds at the birdbath. The first is a female. The second is a male who is in the process of molting into it’s rich yellow and black breeding colors. I hope to post some shots of males in full breeding color. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 200mm, 1/320 sec, Manfrotto tripod

471
Capital Lake – Olympia, Wash – May 12, 2007
We also saw this species in the same area as the previously posted Cedar Waxwings. This was a lifer for us (the first time we had seen this bird). We didn’t get good photographs, but I wanted to document the sighting. The 1st photo is the female. The 2nd is the male. The male’s shot is washed out because of so much shadow. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 460mm, 1/50 sec, Manfrotto tripod

466
Vaughn Bay, Washington – May 12, 2007
The first spring bird to arrive this year was a group of Pine Siskins. They must like it in my backyard, as they are still around the middle of June. Quite a while later they were joined by the American Goldfinches. They all hang out together – eating me out of house and home! Here are 3 photos – two of them at the birdbath. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/160 sec, Manfrotto tripod

359
Terrace Point – Santa Cruz, California – April 2, 2007
This sight is next to the UC Santa Cruz Marine labs, not far from Natural Bridges. This finch was sitting on a whale bone next to the bluff. The wind was pretty brisk. If a bird is going to pose, he has to be ready for my camera in his face! These two photos almost look identical. Can anyone identify the difference? Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 460mm, 1/320 sec, Manfrotto tripod

304
Ediz Hook – Port Angeles, Washington – January 27, 2007
After leaving Dungeness Spit because there were just too many people for photography, we headed to Port Angeles to check out another spit called Ediz Hook. We didn’t see much there except for a bunch of House Sparrows and House Finches.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/320 sec, Manfrotto tripod

195
Vaughn Bay, Washington – November 28, 2006
We had our first snowfall and I spread some seed out on the ground in the backyard. This little gal found herself a sunflower seed.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 300mm, Manfrotto tripod

193
Vaughn Bay, Washington – November 28, 2006
This is the last House Finch photo of the day. The others had a background that showed the color of my neighbor’s garage. This one is against the background of our blue garage, though the background is so blurred that you can’t see it.
I have a two-tier deck in my backyard on a steep hillside. My feeders surround the decks. Unfortunately, I have no bushes or trees close to the feeders. The hillside is planted in ivy to hold in the bank. Some roadwork was being done in my area and quite a few Madrona trees were cut down. I gathered up a bunch of branches to place perches around the deck. This bird is sitting on one.
This spring I’ll be planting a couple of dwarf fruit trees next to the deck for the birds to rest on between going to the feeders and the bird bath.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

192
Vaughn Bay, Washington – November 28, 2006
This House Finch has the usual red coloration we are accustomed to seeing. I have had quite a few orange-colored birds as shown in previous posts. It is just a color variation.

191
Vaughn Bay, Washington – November 28, 2006
House Finches have been loyal backyard visitors all winter so far. Most have red coloring, but we have a few that are variants with an orange coloring. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

186
Vaughn Bay, Washington – November 28, 2006
This summer and fall many goldfinches visited my backyard feeders. I love their cute little peep. It’s almost like a little whine. This little guy is all puffed up on a cold, windy day. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

131
Vaughn Bay, Washington – November 5, 2006
Now and then I spot a Pine Siskin among the American Gold Finch. They both love thistle seed, and often travel together.

128
Vaughn Bay, Washington – November 5, 2006
The ID of this bird was very challenging. House Finches I usually see have a red coloring. I learned that this species also has an orange and a yellow variant.

123
Vaughn Bay, Washington – November 5, 2006
This American Goldfinch is visiting my backyard feeding station. The fall and winter colors of American Goldfinch are muted. During their breeding season, the males display their bright yellow coloring.

104
Vaughn Bay, Washington – October 22, 2006

A male and a female. Notice the drabber color of the female – no red.

103
Vaughn Bay, Washington – October 22, 2006
Photo shot in my backyard. This is the first time I’ve photographed this species. They are regular visitors.

008
Vaughn Bay, Washington – September 14, 2006
This is a good view of the back feather patterns during winter plumage. The male American Goldfinch is always the more desirable photo shoot. At least I should say the male when he is in breeding plumage. I suppose this is true as far as the striking yellow coloring, but when you take a good look at this female, juvenile or non-breeding male, you have to admit it is a handsome bird.
This photo was taken at one of the thistle feeders located in my backyard. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, tripod

007
Vaughn Bay, Washington – September 14, 2006
By this time of the year most of the Goldfinches in my backyard have taken on their winter coloring. There are no more bright yellow males to be seen. Both the male and female American Goldfinches, as well as the youngsters born this last spring, all look alike.
I suppose experts can tell the difference, but I’ll have to wait till next spring to identify the difference between the male and female of this species.
I have 2 thistle seed feeders in my backyard. At one time I had to re-fill them every other day. About 40 birds have been visiting regularly. It is fun to watch them jockey for position on the feeders. Only 16 birds can feed at one time on the 2 feeders. I think one smart little guy sings a danger signal and they all fly off to the high trees. Then, he hops out of the bushes to have the feeder to himself!
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, tripod