The Downy Woodpecker is North America’s smallest woodpecker and even though they’re widespread and common on this continent I’ve had very little luck catching them out in the open in a setting I like.
1/800, f/5.6, ISO 640, Canon 7D, Canon EF500mm f/4L IS II USM +1.4 tc, not baited, set up or called in
This male was no exception. He gave me only a few furtive clear looks as he foraged for insects yesterday morning at Farmington Bay. He was mostly buried deep in the shade among the branches and leaves and only occasionally did a little dappled light land on him.
I usually prefer my subjects to appear sharp and crisp in my images but Downy Woodpeckers are known for the soft appearance of their plumage (thus their name) and that certainly shows here. I particularly like the setting of this image because for me it has an Oriental feel that I don’t often achieve.
On another unrelated note, today is Halloween so in the spirit of the occasion I can’t resist relating a potential horror story that really spooked me last night. Today (or possibly tomorrow) UPS is scheduled to deliver a new camera (Canon 7D Mark ll) that I’m very excited about. But last night I made the mistake of watching a news story (with video clip) on CBS regarding the recent abuse a UPS driver heaped upon a $12,000 piece of sensitive scientific equipment when he wasn’t allowed to complete the delivery. I could just imagine something similar happening to my new camera. In this case there was an obvious security camera in place – who knows what really goes on in the back of those trucks where there’s true anonymity…
It didn’t help when my friend and incredibly talented nature photographer Melissa Groo made the following comment regarding that news story when I posted it on Facebook.
- “Recently, when sending some equipment into Canon repair via UPS, I asked if we should mark the box fragile. The woman who works there said–she admitted to me–that she thinks that the drivers actually handle boxes marked fragile more roughly, just to be contrary. That was slightly terrifying.”
Last night I literally had nightmares about my camera being delivered in pieces. Hopefully my UPS driver won’t have a bad day today…