Saturday, March 14, 2009

All the little birdies go "tweet, tweet, tweet..."

I went down to the Cliff Walk today to see what was going on in the coastal world. Mostly what was going on was Song Sparrows. The Cliff Walk is the hang-out for Song Sparrows in Newport, and starting in mid-March the air is full of their song. They perch on anything - fences, tree limbs, Beach Rose bushes, you name it - and let loose. It never ceases to amaze me that all the joggers hit the Cliff Walk in the Spring and Summer with the ear buds of their iPods firmly plugged in their ears. For Pete's sake unplug and listen to some real music! Anyhow, I got lots of shots of Song Sparrows today, and these are the two best.

At the south end of the Cliff Walk is Bailey's Beach, 2/3 belonging to a private, very exclusive beach club called the Spouting Rock Association, and 1/3 a public beach which we all call "Reject Beach." I couldn't help taking a picture of the cove the beach sits on; look at that blue! My goodness, it almost looks tropical. Heh, heh! I wouldn't jump in, though; the air temperature was around 42ºF/5ºC, and the water temp was 38ºF/3ºC.

© 2009 by A. Roy Hilbinger


  1. Brrrrr, a native Minnesotan knows that the water is COLD, not tropical. Awesome water shot, and how do you get the background for the birds so clean and clear? Is that a photo editing process? The left bird today for instance has such a solid backdrop?

  2. Great shots, all of them.

    around here, I see people walking their kids in strollers or dogs on leashes talking into CELL PHONES! I guess it's impossible to move along with only your own thoughts for company.

  3. Amazing how such a sweet clear sound can come out of something so small and unassuming.

    I love your pictures of the sparrows- the first singing its little socks off and the second with such cute white blazes!

  4. You always take the best photos! I always enjoy coming here, even when I don't comment.

  5. Thanks everybody. Hey Vicky!

    Chris, the backgrounds aren't edited. Mostly I position myself so that there's not too much in the background. Depth of Field also helps dissolve potentially obnoxious backgrounds into that nice, blurry bokeh we all try to achieve (bokeh is the technical term for the blurred background). Sometimes it's a result of using zoom/telephoto, sometimes it's the aperture setting (f-stop), and sometimes it's the use of manual focus. Heh, heh! DOF is an art learned by trial and error.

    Which leads to the final reason the backgrounds work so well - you take lots and lots of shots of the same subject and only publish the best take. For every shot I publish, I've probably taken 10 or more shots of the same thing. That's the beauty of digital photography - I'm no longer limited by the size and cost of a roll of film. So I just shoot until I get a good one. Ain't digital great?

  6. Wow, I know zero about photography. I love your pictures and you think of all the details. Just like in music, when all the details are in place, people may not know why they liked the performance better, but they know they did! Thanks for the detailed work!

  7. The sparrows are wonderful. Great close-up perspective on these little charmers...

    ...and yes that azure blue tempts one - but it's a cool, cool, blue - and the wintry landscape beyond belies a warm welcome there.