Photo101 Rehab (Week 33)…Going for the gold

Posted: August 11, 2015 in Nature, PhotoRehab
Tags: , , , , , ,

The meadows of my park walk are the warm weather home to goldfinches, beautiful birds characterized by their mini-roller coaster flight patterns.  There are certain areas where I can be generally certain of spotting them.  I’ll glimpse the undulating flight of a small dot of gold and there one is. Often more than several fly together above the grasses and flowers, looking for seeds or perhaps just enjoying the flight.  However, the amount of sightings is inversely proportional to the ease of capturing one of the little beauties on camera!

Goldfinch copyright janet m. webb 2015

The first problem is that the iPhone, wonderful though it is, will never work for these shots. A phone of any type won’t zoom in nearly enough, nor can a distant photo of one be successfully enlarged.  Secondly, goldfinches are either quite shy or very wary or both.  They don’t sit long and once I stop, they’re usually on the wing almost immediately.  Of course, in the nature of these things, the two times my husband and I have gone biking around the little lake near our house and I haven’t taken my phone, the cheeky blighters have mocked me by getting quite close!

Goldfinch copyright janet m. webb 2015

Female goldfinch

By taking my Nikon out periodically on walks, I’ve managed to snap a few decent shots of these stunning birds.  But for every shot that turned out, I’ve consigned twice as many to the trash bin.  As with many birds, the male has the brighter color, vivid yellow in summer, while the female sports a dull yellow brown during the same time.   Both may be aggressive through the short breeding season, but are gregarious the rest of the time. Goldfinches use their feet to cling to plants while their specially designed beaks remove seeds.  They also enjoy eating at feeders.  Meadows and grasslands are their homes, so deforestation actually helps them.  They’re found year-round in much of the United States.

Goldfinches copyright janet m. webb 2015

Here’s what a goldfinch in flight looked like when I tried to follow it with my camera.

Goldfinch in flight copyright janet m. aebb 2015

  1. nowathome says:

    Great captures of the little goldfinch!

  2. Lena says:

    Really nice shots of those great birds.

  3. Su Leslie says:

    These are really lovely Janet. The colour palette is great too.

  4. Nice shots and interesting commentary.
    These seem good enough for a nature/conservation magazine. Good work.


  5. Beautiful, and thank you for sharing because anyone who has tried to take a photo of something that has wings understands the challenge. 🙂

  6. Amy says:

    Love these bird captures!

  7. 2e0mca says:

    Nice shots and processing. Your Goldfinch is very different to our European Goldfinch in color though it looks to be about the same size and have the same feeding interests.

  8. lolaWi says:

    gorgeous captures! beautiful! 🙂

  9. Oh, how I know the feeling. I was the same with our fantails. I finally managed to get some decent shot with my Nikon last Friday:
    Great photos. Such a beautiful bird

  10. Leya says:

    Colourful and yet like thin lace – that is your photos. Lovely.

  11. All the photos are excellent, and these little birds are notoriously flighty and thus difficult to capture “on film” – so you have done really well. That second photo is marvellous, and the first one shows how delicate and vulnerable this little birds are. I also like the way you incorporate your name into the photograph is such a seamless, unobtrusive way.

  12. billgncs says:

    gold finches bring good luck

  13. These are really good shots, Janet! I relate totally to your process. I often have the same experience. Birds remain a fascination and a challenge to shoot without blurring them.
    But you did a great job and even the last one we can call arty! Why not?