Thursday, May 13, 2010

New Lens, New Looks

Every time I try out new optics for birding, I'm amazed at how much of the avian world I've been missing. Last year I purchased a new pair of binoculars, and recently I purchased an upgraded camera. Instead of my pocket point-and-shoot, now I'm capturing birds with a Canon PowerShot SX20 IS. Granted, I couldn't tell you what all those numbers and letters mean, nor have I deciphered all the camera's settings and buttons, but I do know the optical zoom is much better, the shutter speed is faster, and the photos I'm taking now are much clearer. A few weeks ago, I'd never have gotten such a nice shot of a bullock's oriole along the Skipper Bay Trail, for example.

The right equipment is so critical when birding. Not only do you need optics to see the birds well, but higher quality sight will make identification easier and less frustrating. An updated field guide will show regional variations of plumages as well as different ages and genders, and a good field bag can hold all your equipment in easy reach. Good outdoor clothing will keep you comfortable for hours in the field, and good records will let you savor all your birding experiences for years.

Of course, getting started is simple and you only need the basics. As you get more into birding, however, you'll start to crave better equipment, and when you do upgrade you'll find this hobby truly taking flight. Let's soar!


Elizabeth said...

How exciting! I've never seen an oriole before, I'll have to head out to Provo.

I've seen all the equipment for putting up oranges. Do you suppose that there are enough orioles around Utah that it's worth it?

Jose n' Analee said...

Hey, that's the same camera I use for birding. It's the best one we could afford. I'm excited to see some more pictures you take with it.

Idaho Birder said...

This morning, I saw Bullock's Orioles for the first time this year. I just love their beautiful colors. I too recently purchased a nice camera and I'm really enjoying. I wish I had it this morning to get pics of the orioles, but the Mrs. has it this whole week while she is on staff at an art therapy girls get-away in McCall, Idaho.