OK, now that we've dispensed with that, let's get to some bird stuff. Migration is in full swing here in SoCal, and it is the best birding of the year right now what with eastern vagrants and whatnot. For reasons that will become clear in coming months, I have actually been doing a bit more birding in Los Angeles County in recent weeks. I have in the past month visited, beyond my new local patch, other sites in LA County including Legg Lake, Peck Water Conservation Area, Whitter Dam, Santa Fe Recreation Area, Frank Bonelli County Park. If hit early enough on the weekends, these areas can be quite pleasant and productive (sadly, I can't bird during the week). After 11am , most of them turn into unbirdable nightmares complete with blow-up bounce houses and loud music. I am really looking forward to exploring beyond the heavily populated coastal areas of the county, specifically in the San Gabriel Mountains and the desert north of that range. So, do please stay tuned as I do a bit more exploring of my home county.
LA county - I live at the little yellow star (south and central)
4,750 sq miles, 10,000,000 people, 534 recorded bird species
Lastly, I though it might be fun to show exactly what can be done with decent photo editing software. I use Lightoom for the vast majority of alternations, but I will occasionally use Photoshop as an extension should I need to do something beyond the usual minor tweaks. This is a photo that I took last weekend. It is interesting as all of the illumination was provided by an external flash (the trunk/bird were in full shade). Flash is best when used to highlight detail on subjects rather than as the sole lighting source. I normally avoid flash altogether, but I figured I could use some practice with the technique. Since I suck at flash, the photo needed some serious work in order to be serviceable. I think I got it to a decent place, but I had to do quite a bit to get it there.
Acorn Woodpecker - Melanerpes formicivorus
Canon 400mm /4 IS DO II on EOS 7D2
1/500 at f/7.1, ISO 1600
Original of left, edited on right
OK, that's it for now. SD pelagic this weekend - stay tuned!