I was at Central Winds for about an hour before work this morning, and it started off pretty slow. Interestingly, though, 19 Black-bellied Whistling Ducks landed by the pond in the park and 17 Blue-winged Teal flew over Lake Jesup (my first seen in the park). But I found very few warblers, and only 7 total species: Ovenbird, Black-and-white Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Northern Parula, Magnolia Warbler, and Yellow-throated Warbler. It was an overcast morning, and things remained quiet until the sun started to poke through the clouds (sometime around 8:30). Then things started to get more active, and I found a couple more of my "firsts" for the park: a Scarlet Tanager and 3 Indigo Buntings. Of course, as things were getting good, I had to go. But the biggest photographic highlight was an American Kestrel. It flew toward me (!) and landed on the goal post in the fields. I now finally have some presentable photos of Kestrels in flight (all the ones I've had before were butt shots).
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
Nineteen of these ducks were at the pond, and it took me a while to get a angle on a few that were posing nicely.
I'm showing this photo mostly for ID purposes, but it also illustrates the challenge of shooting up into a back-lit subject. Since the sky is brighter than the bird, the bird is more in shadow. To compensate for that, I had to overexpose. Since it was cloudy out, the sky isn't that pretty and I had to raise my ISO to get a fast shutter speed. I shot this at ISO 640. This results an image with a white background and a dark, grainy bird. I did a fair amount of work to remedy this: I brightened the shadows in Lightroom and darkened the sky to get a little color in it.. I also blurred the grain in the sky and leaves, though I left it in the bird because I want it to be sharp. But even imperfect photos can be great for identifying a bird.