Wednesday, 15 February 2012

A New View on the Local Patch

My local patch, just a couple of blocks from my house, is Confederation Park.  This past week I picked up a new teleconverter - an attachment that goes between the camera body and lens on an SLR camera to increase the magnification of the lens.  The park can be good for songbirds, small birds of prey, and miscellaneous "inner city" waterfowl so it seemed like a good place to try out my new purchase.  This being February there wasn't a huge amount to be seen but I did find a flock of House Finches (first of the year - no, I haven't been out much!), before biking downtown via Prince's Island where there were several hundred Mallards with a few Canada Geese that seemed happy to pose.
Female House Finch, Carpodacus mexicanus
A male counterpart in the same bush
"Who's the fairest goose of all?"
Adding some more glass hasn't made this lens any less pin sharp - if you enlarge the image you can see the reflection of the city skyline in this lady Mallard's eye 
For the photogeeks, this is the teleconverter in question.

I'm using it with a 300mm f4 lens.  This type of teleconverter results in the loss of one aperture stop - in other words you get half as much light into the camera - so the effective result is a 420mm f5.6 lens that remains relatively compact.  I look forward to getting more practice in San Diego and on Vancouver Island over the next couple of months.


  1. Lady Mallard...that's so sweet. Fabulous pic with your new teleconverter - congratulations on your acquisition! (we're saving up for ours). Love the caption for the admiring goose too.

  2. Thanks for complements! The biologist in me doesn't always like the fluffy language but it can really make birding (or any other science) accessible to people and I think it better conveys the experience of birdwatching.