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Showing posts from June, 2014

Lower Wekiva River Preserve, 6/28/2014

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Yesterday I spent the morning walking the trails of the Lower Wekiva River Preserve. I spent more time there than I have before, so I walked a lot farther.  Normally I walk to Marker F (the yellow star in the middle of the above frame) and then return.  But since I had more time I decided to walk farther.  I continued walking northeast until I ended up at a hardwood canopy. The trail got very wet, so I turned around.  Back home I found some new features on Google Maps that allow you to make maps and embed them in blogs, so I thought I'd give it a try. I drew the trails I normally walk and then put markers down for some of the sightings.  You can also embed photos in the markers.  So I thought I'd give it a try to see if it may be beneficial. I like this, but it may be more work to do than I want to do.  But we'll see. Maybe I'll do it for some of my favorite trails.

I was hoping to find a Red-headed Woodpecker; I heard one, but never did see it.  I did, however, find …

Florida's Little Plovers

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Since I moved to Florida and became interested in birding, I've wanted to get good photos of all the little plovers that show up in Florida on a regular basis.  I found most of these plovers without much trouble, but Snowy Plovers have eluded me.  They've been somewhat of a nemesis bird for me, until the end of May.  I visited Siesta Beach in Sarasota, and one was very happy to be out on the beach with all the other sunbathers. So now I can write a post I've been wanting to write for years--a survey of Florida's little plovers. We have four of them, and they aren't too terribly difficult to tell apart, but I'll also share a few ID tips for those that may be new to finding Plovers. I couldn't decide whether I should organize them by the the order I found them or the overall lightness of their plumage, but then I realized that it's the same. I found them in the order of darkest to lightest.

Semipalmated Plover
Semipalmated Plovers are our most common lit…

Shake Reduction

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Today I finally got a copy of Photoshop CC.  There's a new feature in this software that I'd been excited about trying out--shake reduction.  I wish I could use a tripod for all my shots, but the reality is that I'd miss a lot of shots if I used a tripod.  And since my lens does not have image stabilization, I run the risk of motion blur due to camera shake.  This tool is designed to help that.  The above image is after applying the filter, and the below image is before. The tool generates noise, so I chose the minimum amount of sharpening, and then I added smoothing to control the noise. Fully zoomed in, this photo is a bit noisier than the original, but otherwise, I think the effect works pretty well.

We don't get Golden-crowned Kinglets in Florida very often; in fact, this photo was taken in Washington State.  I liked the photo, but I was always a little troubled by the softness of it.  With common species this is not too bad, since I can always console myself by g…