Backyard Goldfinch

This past weekend I was able to get out in the backyard bird blind for a little photo time.

I am excited this year to have many birds I didn't have last year, and in good numbers, too.  One of the birds I have a lot of this winter are Goldfinches.  Goldfinches certainly aren't a rare bird or even rare to this area, but for whatever reason I didn't have any last year.  I am very excited to see them this year and I am hoping they stay around until spring when they get their breeding plumage.  They are much prettier then ;)

I was able to catch a one of the male goldfinches on a branch with a mouthful of flower.  Since this was taken on Valentine's Day, I can only assume he was delivering them to Mrs. Goldfinch.

ISO 3200, 460mm, F/6.3 @ 1/500th second

Hover over the image to see camera settings used.  Click image to view it larger.

The light was really not great so I had to bump my ISO up a bit more than I like to get a high enough shutter speed to freeze any action.  Even though this bird is sitting on a branch and not flying, if he even moves his head a little at all and your shutter speed isn't fast enough it will be blurry.  From many experiences of missing shots because of a slow shutter speed, I'll tell you do not be afraid of higher ISOs.  The moral of the story here is it is better to have a sharp, noisy picture than a blurry one that is unusable.

This image was made with my Sony A77 II and Tamron 150-600mm Lens.  These were mounted on my Sirui Tripod and Ph-20 gimbal head.  This combination is great for bird photography of any kind.