12/10/2010: Merlin!

I was finished for the morning and on my way out of the refuge when this bird caught my eye in the very tip top of a tree just back from the road. I parked and climbed out gingerly, hoping against hope that it would sit long enough to get the digiscolping rig set up. I have never known if the character is named after the bird or the bird after the character, or both after something else, but, what with the Arthur associations, and the elegance of the bird itself, the Merlin is among my favorite birds…and I see it rarely, let along get a chance to digiscope it. It did not spook as I set up, and I took a bunch of shots, though at the limits of what the scope and camera could do. Over the next 15 minutes I worked my way closer until I was right across the road from it, and at a much better distance for digiscoping. Still, these shots are at full zoom on the Canon SD4000IS and about 25x on the scope, for the equivalent field of view of a 2600mm lens (it was a tall tree…big old dead cottonwood). The light was strongly from behind and I had to adjust Exposure Compensation to the plus side to maintain detail in the breast featers.

1/320th @ ISO 125. Programmed auto, plus 2/3EV Exposure compensation.

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom.

And, of course, since the bird was so cooperative, here is the video.

Merlin: Bosque del Apache NWR

Like I say, Merlins are always a treat!


2 Responses to “12/10/2010: Merlin!”

  1. 1 Wendy Hollands
    12/10/2010 at 6:14 am

    excellent what an awesome catch!!!

  2. 12/10/2010 at 12:52 pm

    We’re fortunate to have merlins in our neighborhood in Albuquerque from time to time, although the first we every saw as in Bosque del Apache. They are very cool. http://www.flickr.com/photos/mjhinton/tags/merlins/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: