Saturday, September 15, 2012

Pic of the Day

Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas

Painted BuntingPasserina ciris
Black-crested Titmous • Baeolophus atricristatus
Bronzed Cowbird (juvenile)  • Molothrus aeneus
     Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas:  After being on the road for 39 days I was ready to get home, but still had three stops to make. So, when I saw the sign for Palo Duro Canyon I wanted to keep going, and I did.  A few more miles down the road I stopped for gas, got the I-pad and did a search on Palo Duro Canyon.  The canyon did sound interesting so I plotted a course from my current location, and sure enough I was on a road that would take me Palo Duro.  After filling-up I was on my way.
     I was not sure what to expect, but the sub-title “Grand Canyon of Texas” did up my expectations.  When I arrived I was happy that I made the trip.  Palo Duro is a grand canyon, though smaller than the one in Arizona.  What I really enjoyed was the bird photography blind behind one of the gift stores in the park.
     When I arrived at the blind there was one other person shooting.  The blind is open on the backside, and allows as many as eight different photographers to work.  The feeders and birdbaths are close enough that full frame images can be taken with a 500mm lens.
House Finches, Northern Cardinals, and White-winged Doves made-up the bulk of the birds, but while I was there a Black-crested Titmouse, Painted Bunting and Bronzed Cowbird flew-in.  I got a couple of good shots of the bunting, titmouse, and cowbird, and that alone made the drive to Palo Duro worth it to me.
     Though I only spent a couple of hours it was a productive couple of hours and I am already planning a trip in the spring when I can spend more time shooting.  The Painted Bunting, Black-crested Titmouse, and Bronzed Cowbird shown here were active and easy to shoot.  Next time, I hope to get a Golden-fronted Woodpecker.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas:  Nikon D3, 24-85mm 4.5-5.6 lens, 1/1,600 sec. @ f8

Painted Bunting:  Nikon D7000, Nikkor 500mm f4, 1/80sec. @ f7.1

Black-crested Titmouse:  Nikon D7000, Nikkor 500mm f4, 1/125sec. @f8

Bronzed Cowbird:  Nikon D7000, Nikkor 500mm f4, 1/100sec. @ f8

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