Archive for November 19th, 2010


11/19/2010: Roadrunner, roadrunner

I may have mentioned that the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands World Birding Center in Edinburg Texas is among my top 5 digiscoping (and birding, and butterflying) destinations. Every year I discover at least one contender, somewhere in my travels, that threatens to disrupt the top 5…but Edinburg WBC remains at the top. Shots like these, or rather opportunities like this, are the main reason why.

I was just walking back to the Visitor Center, or actually around the side of the VC to check the dragonfly pond for Kingfishers. I had my phone out and was about to return a call from my boss. As I lifted the phone to press the call button, it came in line with this fellow, practically at my feet, totally intent on harvesting insects along the side of the pathway. He was doing a lot of that thing in the second shot…peering up under the overhanging vegetation, looking, I assume, for some particular shade loving bug.

He was embarrassingly close…so close that even with both the camera and scope zoom cranked all the way down, I could not get the whole bird in the frame…not to mention that he was moving pretty fast. Of course, he was paying absolutely no attention to me so I did have time to get the tripod down, pocket the phone (first things first), turn on the camera, and get the zooms cranked back while he went about his business. I shot about 30 exposures of him before he decided to move up the trail past me and look for buggier trails beyond. When I gave up on him, I turned to find two other photographers behind me blasting away. Quite a show. And typical, in my experience, of Edinburg Scenic Wetlands World Birding Center!

And, yes, as soon as the roadrunner was out of range, I did call my boss.

Canon SD4000IS behind the 15-45x Vario eyepiece on the ZEISS DiaScope 65FL for the field of view of about a 1000mm lens, f4.0 @ 1/1000 sec. @ ISO 125. Programmed auto. (The three shots above are from a single 4fps burst…though not presented in order.)

Processed in Lightroom for intensity and sharpness.

I even managed to take some video which is included in my South Texas Snippets video.

South Texas Snippets….watch for the Roadrunner.

And one final image to go on with….