Sunday, April 30, 2006

A tough story to swallow

*gasp...gasp...(Susan runs in from outside and down the steps to the computer)
(types out)...tree...swallow...gourd...tree...swallow...must document...*

I have been on a roller coaster with the purple martin house and environs for the past few days, and now there's a new level of craziness: A male tree swallow is interested in the plastic purple martin gourd. And guess what? The house sparrows are scared of him. (Insert maniacal laughter here)
I didn't see one HOSP go near the martin house while the swallow was there. Maybe this guy can hold his own...he even dove at Nellie as she wandered innocently under the gourd.
This solves a mystery...well, two:
1. It must have been him that I saw yesterday.
2. Last summer, I saw purple martins, but also some birds with them which had forked tails.
I took the above photos with my binoculars with digital camera. Not bad, for bins.
So...the tide has HOSP, but with a tree swallow in residence, the martins will go elsewhere. But you know what? I will take what I can get.


LauraHinNJ said...

Hmmm. Interesting turn of events!

Can you tell me how you take pics with a camera and your bins? How do you focus? With the bins? With the camera? *insert clueless grin*

Out at Sandy Hook today I was surrounded by swallows, mostly trees, but some barn swallows too. Every so often one would land on a fencepost nearby and I would raise the camera and off he would go. How ever did you get these pics of them flying? I have trouble keeping them in view with the bins, never mind with a camera held up to the bins!

LauraHinNJ said...

Sorry for the rant/barrage of questions there.

Hope you'll get some birdy to make a home in there - looks like a nice place to raise a family. ;-)

Susan Gets Native said...

Actually, these were taken with my binoculars that have a camera built in. They don't really take the best photos but they work in a pinch.

I do use my other binoculars and my seperate dig camera to take photos...and it works as long as you are trying to take a pic of a really old, tired bird or something stationary, like a tree. I focus the binoculars on the object, and then place the camera lens up to the eyepiece of the bins, and work it around until I can see the object through the display window on the camera. If you have really steady hands, it works pretty well. But like I said, the object can't be zipping around, like a tree swallow!
I don't mind questions at's nice to be answering them for a change. Usually I'm the asker.
Is "asker" a word?

LauraHinNJ said...

Do you take many pics of really old, tired birds? LOL!

I've seen those bins with camera advertised, but never understood the point - now I do. Too bad the bins aren't brighter - or you'd have great pics. Maybe it was a gloomy day?

Bird photography is not for the faint of heart. I have a longer lens but hate to carry it around - guess I will have to if I want to ever get even half way decent pics of birds. Someday - I'll figure out how to digiscope. I have all the right equipment - great scope - great camera - just can't figure out how to make it all work together!

Tree swallows like feathers for their nests - have any handy to offer them?

bird bystanding husband said...

You shouldn't have told Susan that tree swallows like feathers for their nests, Laura. She'll probably spend the next few days searching our yard, and our neighbors, for old, loose feathers.

Susan Gets Native said...

He knows me well.

Endment said...

I have never tried taking photos through my binos ... What a clever Idea... Ha --- takes more than the idea... sure made a mess of my attempt :)

Always Helpful said...

You should post some info about & a photo of your photo-binoculars. And perhaps a link to what they are.