Feathers on Friday

If you would like to join me for my Feathers on Friday meme, please put the link to your blog post in the comments and I’ll add the link to my post.

Almost all of the geese have left the area for the season except for these Snow Geese,IMG_9839

More Feathers on Friday Posts:

Bird Boy

Birds in Your Backyard

The Cats and the Birds

Wolf Song Blog

Kathie’s Birds

JG Birds+

4forfeathers

Backyard Bird Blog

Phone Skope Adapter: First Impressions

:: I received a Phone Skope adapter from the company for review; all opinions and writing are my own ::

Even before I got my new iPhone — in September, my first ever cell phone — I was researching digiscoping adapters to use with it and my Swarovski scope. Over the past few years, I’d seen lots of good reviews of the Phone Skope adapter, so I contacted them about their adapters.

Phone Skope specializes in making adapters for digiscoping on a variety of phones and scopes/binoculars; you make your selection based on the smart phone and scope/binocular you have. The eyepiece adapters and cases come in several sizes, so you can choose the correct model for your phone and optics. If you can’t find the correct sizing, custom models are available. Tim at Phone Skope was very helpful and generously shipped out an adapter to me last week to review. I’ve been testing it out and enjoying it very much.

The adapter consists of two parts, the case and the eyepiece adapter. Your phone just slides into the snug-fitting plastic case, then twist-lock the two pieces together and slide it onto your scope or binoculars. It’s that easy!

I keep my phone in a Lifeproof Frē case at all times to make sure it stays safe; I waited a long time to get a cell phone and I spend a lot of time outdoors, so I’m not taking any chances. In order to use the adapter I have to take my phone out of its case. Compared to some other adapters I’ve seen, the Phone Skope adapter does provide some protection for the phone if it’s dropped, which is a top priority for me. I also like that the adapter fits tightly on the scope’s eyepiece. It would take quite some force to knock the adapter off the scope, so I feel comfortable leaving the phone sitting on the eyepiece.

I went on a Sunday afternoon drive to test out the Phone Skope. It was very windy, so it was impossible to keep my scope motionless. However, I’m very happy with the photos I got. So far, I really enjoy the Phone Skope adapter and can’t wait until the Spring to use it to its full potential.

But I’m going to keep testing it and am planning to write more posts on the adapter as I perfect my digiscoping skills.

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Photo taken with an iPhone 6, Phone Skope adapter,  and Swarovski ATM 80 scope with 20-60 zoom eyepiece

For digiscoping, I use my ATM 80mm Swarovski scope with 20 – 60 zoom eyepiece. I twist the eye cup most of the way as it reduces the vignetting (the black circle around the photos). You can get rid of the vignetting by cropping the photo in iPhoto if you like.

Here’s an un-cropped photo of Canada Geese,

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Photo taken with an iPhone 6, Phone Skope adapter, and Swarovski ATM 80 scope with 20-60 zoom eyepiece

Coming in for a landing,

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Photo taken with an iPhone 6, Phone Skope adapter, and Swarovski ATM 80 scope with 20-60 zoom eyepiece

Tundra Swans,

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Photo taken with an iPhone 6, Phone Skope adapter, and Swarovski ATM 80 scope with 20-60 zoom eyepiece

I found this young Bald Eagle sitting in a dead tree on my drive. I really like this photo, with the eagle taking off,

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Photo taken with an iPhone 6, Phone Skope adapter, and Swarovski ATM 80 scope with 20-60 zoom eyepiece

Peregrine for the Win

Yesterday afternoon, I was sitting outside, working on a blog post and enjoying the sounds of the geese and cranes on the slough (pond) across the road. At one point, I looked up from my laptop and saw a good-sized raptor hunting over the cattails in the slough.

I grabbed my binoculars and saw a bird that looked a lot like a Peregrine Falcon. I ran and got my scope and camera to get a better look. It was a Peregrine Falcon and was getting closer.

It eventually flew right over our house and headed west. This is one of the best species I’ve seen around our house and I’m so glad I decided to work outside.

The first time I saw a Peregrine Falcon was back in 2013 in Ontario. This is my first sighting for Alberta, and I can even add it to my “Yard List”.

View my eBird checklist from yesterday here.

Peregrine Falcon!IMG_9821

The same photo, just cropped,IMG_9821

Here’s a photo of the huge flock of Sandhill Cranes that was circling above me as the falcon flew over,IMG_9822IMG_9825

Feathers on Friday

If you would like to join me for my Feathers on Friday meme, please put the link to your blog post in the comments and I’ll add the link to my post.

Sandhill Crane migration has been very active lately — these cranes landed just across the road from our house earlier this week,

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More Feathers on Friday Posts:

Bird Boy

Birds in Your Backyard

The Cats and the Birds

Wolf Song Blog

Kathie’s Birds

Fall Warblers and a New Nikon

Last month, I received a terrific 18th birthday present from my parents — a Nikon D610 with 50mm and 70-200mm lenses! I’d like to thank my parents very much for my new camera and also my good friend Nicole for her camera expertise and helping me to narrow my choices.

I went for a drive earlier this week with my Swarovski scope and binoculars, and Canon SX 50HS. I was thinking about bringing my new camera along, but the battery was a little low and I wasn’t expecting to see anything close enough to photograph with it.

At the first clump of willows I stopped and rolled down the truck window. I heard lots of “chips” coming from the bushes so I pished for a few seconds and then Palm Warblers, Lincoln’s Sparrows, Yellow-rumped Warblers, House Wrens, and a Orange-crowned Warbler came into view. The Palm Warblers were very inquisitive and came particularly close, so I was immediately regretting not bringing my new camera.

Yellow-rumped Warblers were all over and they were very easy to get photos of as they didn’t move around as much as the other warblers.

A Yellow-rumped Warbler or as some like to call them, “butter butts”,

IMG_9707I was very excited to get this photo since the coverts, alula, and other feathers you usually don’t get to see are visible,IMG_9729IMG_9730There were a number of palm warblers that afternoon. Palm Warblers have bright yellow undertail coverts, and they bob their tails,IMG_9691 IMG_9696After 45 minutes, I decide to head back home and grab my new camera, better late than never. This is the first time I’ve photographed birds with this camera, so I still have lots of learning to do. The second time around, the warblers weren’t as cooperative, but I’m very happy with the shots I got.

 Yellow-rumped Warbler, Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/800, ISO 250, Nikkor 70-200mm, natural light

Yellow-rumped Warbler, Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/800, ISO 250, Nikkor 70-200mm, natural light

 Yellow-rumped Warbler, Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/800, ISO 250, Nikkor 70-200mm, natural light

Yellow-rumped Warbler, Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/800, ISO 250, Nikkor 70-200mm, natural light

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Yellow-rumped Warbler, Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/640, ISO 250, Nikkor 70-200mm, natural light

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Yellow-rumped Warbler, Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/640, ISO 250, Nikkor 70-200mm, natural light

The Orange-crowned Warblers moved incredibly quickly through the willows making it almost impossible for me to get photos. I was able to capture this photo which I cropped just a little,

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Orange-crowned Warbler, Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/640, ISO 250, Nikkor 70-200mm, natural light

If you have any suggestions/tips for me on taking photos with my new camera, I would love to hear them. Please leave any suggestions in the comments or email me at cnafarm AT gmail DOT com. Thank you!

Feathers on Sunday

If you would like to join me for Feathers on Friday, please put the link to your blog post in the comments and I will add a link to my post.

I’m terribly sorry that I missed Feathers on Friday. At first I wanted to get a photo of a bird that hasn’t been a Feathers on Friday bird already. But my brothers had their guitar lessons in the afternoon, we all had school, and then I had babysitting all evening.

I believe that the American Goldfinches left for good on Friday. I’ll miss them, The goldfinches are still here so I am enjoying them before they go!

Fall Migration Hike

I spent Tuesday from 9 am to 1 pm at the local provincial park to look for Fall migrants.

I started along the river side of the park. The first birds I saw were Black-capped Chickadees, though after looking through the photos, I realized I hadn’t taken any photos of the chickadees. I saw a quite a lot of species, from Yellow-rumped Warblers to Turkey Vultures. I saw 18 species in total: four Pied-billed Grebes, eight Red-necked Grebes, one Double-crested Cormorant, five Mallards, two Gadwalls, 10 Buffleheads, three Turkey Vultures, one Northern Harrier, 15 Ring-billed Gulls, 23 Black Terns, one Belted Kingfisher, one Blue Jay, five American Crows, countless Black-capped Chickadees, three House Wrens, 17 Cedar Waxwings, 15 Yellow-rumped Warblers, and eight White-throated Sparrows.

Red-necked Grebe,

At first I thought this raptor was a hawk,

It was a Turkey Vulture,

One of the highlights of the trip, a Belted Kingfisher,

Non-breeding Black Tern,