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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

A Flicker Launch

March 14th, 2013 · 4 Comments

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I didn’t have my best camera and lens, and the temperature wasn’t a record high for the day. But on both scores it was close.

Since both my Canon 7D and my 100-400mm telephoto zoom lens are at the local camera store for cleaning, I had to rely on my backup equipment: a Canon 50D (which I recently bought to replace the one destroyed by water damage in the Galapagos) and a 300mm prime lens with a 1.4 teleconverter. The 7D takes more frames per second and the 100-400mm lens focuses faster, but the backup equipment will do in a pinch.

The temperature reached 72° here at 4:15 p.m. in the shade. I guessed that might be a record, but back in 1925 it had reached 76° on this date.

Anyway, I didn’t go out for the photos. The day was so unseasonably warm that I took my Kindle Touch, where I am reading Ron Chernow’s new biography of Alexander Hamilton, to a bench in Tantra Park where I sat and read.

One passerby asked if I had got any photos with my big lens. No, I replied, and I didn’t expect any. But if I didn’t take it, I continued, I would be sure to kick myself for a missed opportunity.

I didn’t have to kick myself when I heard a loud drumming off to my right. At first I dismissed it as some joker with a jackhammer. But then I recognized it for what it was — a woodpecker. A red-shafted Northern Flicker was announcing its presence, not to me but to others of his species.

Quickly stowing my Kindle in the back pocket of my jeans, I grabbed my camera and took off to the path at the right. But after a few steps the drumming started up again. Behind me. The flicker was at the top of the light fixture close to the bench where I had been sitting.

Taking pictures as fast as the 50D will work, I shot the flicker from all angles. Then, he stood up and I knew he was ready to fly. I was ready too.

A Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) Launches from the Light

A Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) Launches from the Light

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Posted in: Photography

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Gretchen // Mar 16, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Spectacular photo! BTW, it’s sharper in Feedly than it is in Google Reader.

  • 2 Jerry Munden // Apr 1, 2013 at 5:18 am

    What a beautiful bird and an incredible display of God’s creation! It looks like God’s version of Superman getting ready to take flight!

    Whale Done David! :-)

  • 3 B Brown // Apr 2, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    I love that you can see through the wing and count each feather there, and how it glows. Great photo. Thanks by the way for your diabetes blog. I always learn a lot.

  • 4 Shelley // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Awesome shot! I’ve always wanted to see the Northern Flicker in the wild and now you have brought that to me through your pictures. I’ve sent your e-mail to share with a couple of friends who have been recently diagnosed with Type 2. Thank you so much for all the information and pictures that you share! ~Shelley

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