The Raptor Center I mentioned in the blog on Monday has a bird blind. It is what is says- a shack made of wood to hide a bird watcher or a photographer from the birds. In front of it is a small corral full of bird feeders with all seeds you can imagine, separated from the rest of the area with a fence build of spruce branches. Probably protects well from deer and maybe some predators, but not from squirrels, who are fond of bird food, as we saw on our balcony, too. The corral is maybe 10-12 feet square.
I went there on weekend with my 18-200 mm zoom lens. I enjoy this lens and use it a lot. It made great job photographing airplanes in Goraszka last year, far better then I expected. And here I was, photographic bird in quite small area, and the outcome was far from satisfactory. I was able to make a decent image of birds sitting on a feeder maybe 2-3 feet from me. By decent I mean the image where the bird is taking maybe 1/6 of the frame. For all the fun birds on the side of the corral, to make them fill the frame I had to cut 3/4 of the pixels I had. I guess it made me some ideas about the bird photography pros and their equipment. How close they need to be to the birds or how big lenses they need. Or how exceptionally sharp the images have to be, if you want to crop them that significantly. I am planning to come back next weekend. With alternative equipment. Stay tuned.