Friday, July 7, 2017

Birthday toys: new camera & bubbling bird fountain

Yesterday was my birthday and I've been getting presents from friends for over a week.  One of them was a camera that I was scheming to get sometime soon;  the Nikon Coolpix.  And my present to myself, bought with some of the money now freed up by not having to buy the camera, was a hanging bird bath with a floating solar fountain.  But back to the camera.

Mischa gave me the camera just before we off on one of our mid-week birding trips.  We went to Squalicum Beach  because the new camera has a much better zoom option and I wanted to try it out on the nest I spotted out on the pier.  And it worked a treat.  These are ospreys not eagles which I know because while I taking the pictures, the one not on the nest opened his wings and showed me his mostly white underside.  And the nest is on a pier not in a tree which is much more likely to be an osprey.  I saw a smaller osprey earlier this year in the trees near the beach so I will now have to investigate how many broods osprey do per year.

It's still hard to see the details on the birds but it's way better than I was doing with my binoculars or old camera.  So my goal of being sure there were ospreys on the nest is accomplished.

I also tried some closer shots of the birds who were out and about that day.  I got a good one of a crow taking a branch somewhere despite his being at the top of a tree that was about 100 feet away from me.

And then I got a couple of much closer shots of a sparrow singing at the top of a young conifer.  He likes this tree which is next to the path and is fairly comfortable with people getting close to him.

My first shot was a singing side view.

And then he apparently decided he didn't like the picture taking and gave me a direct look before taking off.

Given that I haven't read the manual yet to understand what functions the camera has, I'm pretty pleased with the shots I got.

Today's mail brought the Audubon bird bath and the solar powered floating fountain I ordered.  I had the hook it is hanging from already on hand having tried to use it outside the kitchen window.  (It was too short for that window.) The hook is about 84" tall and with the chains, the bird bath hangs just about eye height for me so I can easily check the water level and do any other maitenance needed.

 It bubbles quite nicely with the fountain cap removed.  With the cap, it empties the bird bath in about 5 minutes since the water jets so high it goes outside the bird bath.

 I foresee some nice times sitting on the porch, reading or writing, and watching to see the birds visiting the fountain.  I'll almost certainly be adding some bird feeders to the yard in the near future.  But I want to give the fountain some time to draw the birds by itself first.

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