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2021 Shooting Day #1 – Crescent Bend Nature Park

March 22, 2021
© Jim Miller – Hybrid Titmouse (Tufted/Black-crested)

This day of shooting was hoped for but not counted on. We arrived in San Antonio late on Friday night with the understanding that we had three things we had to get done before leaving town. In spite of the best efforts of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, we managed to get all of those done by mid-day when I expected it would take until late afternoon.

With some “found time,” we wandered out to Crescent Bend Nature Park.

And by we, I should specify, was a new traveling companion. She had not shot in a blind before of any kind, though she has proven herself to be very handy with a camera. This was a good chance to talk about tripods, technique in the blind, and a good dry run before we headed to our scheduled visit to the Rocking R6 Ranch the following morning.

Honestly I had no idea what I was going to find out there. I did not go to Crescent Bend last year when I was out in late January. I had visited in early 2019 before moving up to Colorado and it was not very good at the time.

At worst, I thought to myself, it would be an opportunity to focus on some empty perches and make sure that all of the equipment was working right.

It was much better than that.

The early afternoon sun was diffused very well, making for mostly soft light. Bird quantities were very good. Species spread was pretty good, too. Mostly the usual suspects, but the highlight for me in terms of not being a usual suspect was a hybrid Tufted/Black-Crested Titmouse. I’d never seen one before, but I managed to fire off about a dozen shots and be able to identify it on the spot. Not too bad considering I hadn’t made a bird image since June.

As I’ve looked back at the images now, I can see the mistakes that I made that would have made for better images. The Tamron 150-600 is notoriously soft at 600mm and f6.3. I shot about the first two hundred shots on that setting. Reminder to Jim: Pay attention to your aperture.

Haven’t made it through the entire series of images yet, but I see at least a half-dozen keepers from the set. Not bad for a first chance to get out and shoot for the year.

More adventures to come. One day down.

About the image:
Hybrid Tufted/Black-crested Titmouse
Bexar County, Texas – March 2021
Canon 7D Mark II, Tamron 150-600 (Gen 1)
Tripod w/Wimberley gimbal head

ISO 400, 1/800 at f/6.3 – No Flash

Portfolio Image #1039
Image Size in Portfolio: 3168×2535

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