The New Toy

Things are quiet at Kestrel Hill this time of year. I’m prepping for Christmas Bird Counts — if you need me on the next four Saturdays, sorry, I’ll be somewhere on the road driving veeerrry slowly. The feeders are stocked for Project Feederwatch. And somewhere out there is a Snowy Owl with my name on it…

The most exciting thing to happen recently is an addition to my toolbox. A new camera! Yes, I’ve joined the Canon SX50 collective! Recommended by birders and photographers, this is a leap up from my little pocket camera and it’s going to take time for me to learn all it’s capable of. And the way to do that is take pictures! lots of pictures!

Here’s our pond, all frosted over.


A chickadee who moved too quickly — but he was 30 feet up a tree! Great zoom!


Two things I’ve learned so far:

1. The camera doesn’t know what I want to take a picture of. Thus, numerous shots of blurry birds and crystal-clear twigs.

Also, I should wash my windows.

and 2. Timing is everything.


But I’m pretty happy with this Mute Swan, and two Common Mergansers, all at a distance that would have been impossible before.

At full zoom, I’m shaky. I have to practice bracing my arms against my torso rather than extending them as I’ve been used to do with my old camera. By warbler season, I should be ready!

Categories: Bird photos, Feeder birds, scenery, Tools of the trade | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “The New Toy

  1. Lindsey

    After a few Christmas Bird Counts in this bitter cold I bet you’ll have the elbows-squished-against-torso stance down perfectly! It is my favorite for trying to warm up out there while squishing the bins against my glasses. 😛

  2. I have been looking at the same camera. Just can’t make up my mind whether to get a new camera or a new lens for the camera I already have. The sw50 is supposed to be a cats meow. You will enjoy it for sure. Have fun on your CBC’s. I have 4 lined up myself. The four counts I do here in Ontario are

    St. Clair National Wildlife Area

    Some years I also do the Blenheim Count. One of the premiers counts around here. But I am busy with other stuff on the day of the Blenheim count this year.

    Exciting time of the year. And always fun.

    Have fun,

  3. Upstate Ellen

    I’m looking forward to sharing notes with you about the SX50. I have plenty of blurry bird photos, too, but I got some great shots of a faraway loon in Maine this fall, and I’m thrilled with the White-Throated Sparrow I managed to capture a few weeks ago. Warblers will be tough because they move so quickly! Plenty of time to practice. 🙂

  4. Great images with the new toy! Have fun with it!

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