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It's the sapsuckingest time of the year
Lens: Tamron 300 2.8 and F 1.7x Camera: K-3 Photo Location: Whitney, ON, CA ISO: 200 Aperture: F5.6 
Posted By: normhead, 05-11-2020, 06:53 AM

K-3 and Tamron 300 2.8 with the F 1.7x AF adapter.

We've notice this little meadow that seems to be some kind of bird sanctuary right behind out house. Yesterday I was out looking for the Broad-winged Hawk that's Tess photographed yesterday.


She took this image with the DA 55-300 PLM, and I thought, "maybe an opportunity to get out the heavy glass."

SO I bundle everything up, and position myself in line of site of the suspected nest. The hawk passed over but very high and very quiclkly. But meanwhile sitting in my chair, I kept hearing "knock knock knock" It was this guy.



I was still kind of far away, so I gave up on the Hawk, picked up my huge camera bag (big enough for the 300 2.8) tripod, K-3 with 60-250 and chair and moved 20 meters to get a better angle.


Better but still kind of far away.

There seemed to be some activity at a tree behind my back. It looked pretty ordinary, but there kept being birds around it.


It didn't take long before I decided to forget the hawk and move closer.


The above is one of my "make sure you get something before you try for the whole enchilada" images.

So then I sort of half tucked into some cover as close as I could get to the tree. From here, I got clear images of where the Sapsuckers had tapped the tree. I could also see that the discolouration on the tree was actually sugar maple sap that had run out of the tap holes and discoloured the bark, and made it quite wet. If you look close you can see actual globs of sap near the tap holes.

Male Yellowbellied Sapsucker, (red throat).


Female Yellowbellied Sapsucker (white throat).


Altogether there were four. They seemed to have a cycle, sucking up the new sap dripping down the tree, then flying away (probably to another food source) and coming back after the sap had had a chance to run a bit more.


Surprisingly (at least for me) I also saw Chickadees and Nuthatches drinking sap from the holes made by the Sapsuckers..


While there I also saw a pair of Purple Finches, a yellow rumped warbler couple and way up in the air the hawk, as well as the aformentioned Sapsuckers, Chikadees and nuthatches. I saw almost as many species as I did shooting from my blind at my feeders.

It's like a mini bird sanctuary in there.

Last edited by normhead; 05-11-2020 at 07:16 AM.
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05-11-2020, 07:23 AM   #2
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We don't see these Birds over here so thank you for displaying them
05-11-2020, 07:36 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by eaglem Quote
We don't see these Birds over here so thank you for displaying them
I don't see them that often over here either. This seems to be the year fo them. These ones were "lifers" for me and I added to my "lifer" album as new additions, after 10 years shooting in this area.
Wild-Birds | Flickr

Last edited by normhead; 05-11-2020 at 08:06 AM.
05-11-2020, 07:38 AM   #4
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Great series and thanks for the dialog.

05-11-2020, 07:49 AM   #5
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You did have a good day Norm ab Summer is only just starting. Thanks for sharing your find.
05-11-2020, 08:04 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by foxandcrow Quote
Great series and thanks for the dialog.
A lot of people want to know how you got the image as much as they want to see the image. The "lesson" in this story for me anyway is the chair. If wasn't sitting comfortably in my folding chair, I'm not sure I would have stayed long enough to clue in to the Sapsuckers.

QuoteOriginally posted by Heinrich Lohmann Quote
You did have a good day Norm ab Summer is only just starting. Thanks for sharing your find.
Once the sap stops running it is really hard to get images of these guys. This is the Sapsucker opportunity right now, for anyone who lives near a bush with sugar maples and still with freezing temperatures over-night.
05-12-2020, 03:31 AM   #7
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Birds have given me many moments of fascination . We get away from stressful worries when we focus on the natural world . Thanks for the series .
05-12-2020, 05:27 AM   #8
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True, it's so interesting just watching them go about their business.

When you consider they are dinosaurs, I actually think it's them who are the champions of evolution, not us.

05-12-2020, 06:30 AM   #9
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Great series Norm, and thank you for the narration. It adds so much to the images.
05-12-2020, 03:07 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ToddK Quote
Great series Norm, and thank you for the narration. It adds so much to the images.
I always like to make it part of the "assignment" to include shots that tell a story, even if they aren't technically the best.
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