Sunday, January 24, 2016

avian visitors

I hate this stupid camera.

I have a Canon PowerShot and the autofocus sucks. I take hundreds of pictures of the birds that come to the teacup, centering it and the bird in the frame, and 9 times out of 10 it will focus on the foliage behind it. What the fuck, camera! I've got so many great shots of the birds, or I would have, if they were just in FOCUS!

NOT in focus

The last several days the tea cup and the new totem bird feeder are being mobbed. Not so much by my standards at the tea cup...the cardinals, titmice, chickadees, the occasional curious wren (which I have not been able to get even a single good picture of), and in the winter, the orange crowned warblers although they are here too...but by some newcomers...goldfinches and house finches. I've seen the occasional house finch before but the goldfinch is new. And not just one or two but a whole flock. Same with the house finches. The tea cup is filled just with sunflower seeds but the totem bird feeder has a general mix so I'm getting sparrows, blue jays, inca doves along with all the seed eaters.

A note about the window faces east so the lighting isn't the best in the morning when I take most of these pictures, sitting here with my coffee, especially when the sun is shining.

in alphabetical order:


cardinal (this is an older picture because I can't get a current one in focus)



house finch and goldfinch




house finch

house finches

house finch

orange crowned warbler



  1. Pretty critters and some fine captures. That's one of the things I miss most, living in an apartment.. no bird visitors at my window.

    Auto focus can be difficult on dull days.. with tree branches which seem to want to be foreground, through windows and of course with moving subjects.

    Try just holding the button down slightly with the bird in the center to lock onto it. Then while still slightly depressed (the button, not you, hopefully) move the camera to frame the image as you want it.. then snap (again, the photo.. not you) the rest of the way.

  2. I use Hillary's method of holding the button until I get focus. Of course, then the bird moves. Life's a crap shoot, as some one once told me.

  3. I have the same damn problem with my "real" camera. It's frustrating and I do what Hilary said but most times it doesn't work anyway.
    We have the chickadees and the cardinals. Have not seen the finches or titmouses yet. Soon, though, I am sure we will.

  4. Your window may be the problem.I use thistle seed socks to feed the wrens also.

  5. We get many of the same. Does your camera have a manual focus mode, as that can sometimes help, but if the shutter is not fast enough, you will lose focus. We had hundreds of feathered friends drop by over the last few days.

  6. One of the joys in my life is watching birds at my feeder. I usually can't get bird shots up close with my camera. Nothing is as good as the old 35mm camera.

  7. Don't think of them as out of focus; think of them as Impressionistic.

  8. Well, you got some pretty good shots there despite the focusing problem. And that's very weird, because usually auto-focus cameras choose to focus on what's in the foreground. I've never seen one opt for the background instead. Weird!

  9. I LOVE that most of them are looking right at you.

    One of these days, I'll actually learn how to use my camera *cough*.

  10. It's a bird paradise! We've been enjoying our cardinal herd (goes to google to find out what to call a herd of cardinals: a College! Ha!), but we have a big bunch of starlings these days too. They're ungainly & goofy compared to the sparrows though, so somewhat entertaining.

  11. I've committed myself to learning to use the manual settings on my new camera, partly because even on my Canon Rebel, some shots seemed beyond it on autofocus. I spent a couple of hours on Sunday using only aperture priority, and while things were far from perfect, the results were encouraging. My old SureShot had manual settings. It might be worth a try. And don't forget, there's that window or screen to confuse the poor camera even further.

    But your birds are glorious. I found a great site for local birds -- as in, Fort Bend and Brazoria county. You might enjoy it.

    We had huge flocks of goldfinch here this weekend, and waxwings, too. They don't stay long, but you might watch for them.


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.