Afternoon at the Refuge - 10 Jan 2023


The Sun actually made an appearance this morning. Clouds, rain and snow are expected the rest of the week so I took the opportunity to make a quick run down to the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge and get an afternoon walk in. 

As I entered the short-loop trail behind the Visitor's Center I spotted 4 Eastern Bluebirds fly overhead and land in a tree close enough to photograph. With the 600mm f/4 lens and 1.4TC I had 840mm effective focal length (EFL), and the added 1.5X crop in APS-C mode I was pushing 1260mm EFL. 



The top image portrait of the bluebird was made by taking 5 consecutive frames as layers in Photoshop, then Auto-Aligning and Auto-Blending them into a composite, then cropping to get an EFL ~2500 mm. I was impressed with how well PS handled the images.

Once the bluebirds flew off I continued along the trail and paused briefly when a Red-bellied Woodpecker appeared overhead.



At the south end of the trail I walked the boardwalk and heard the quiet "tseep" of Song Sparrows in the cattails. A pair of Song Sparrows appeared briefly, and then were followed by a pair of Swamp Sparrows. They were calling a slightly louder "TCHIP" but were less cooperative with their appearance.




One Swamp Sparrow finally appeared near the boardwalk and I managed a quick photo before it flew off into the woods. Nearby a Carolina Wren was giving a rattled trill but refused to show. 


Dozens of yards away a young Red-tailed Hawk was quietly roosting on a branch overlooking the woods so I paused long enough to get a few distant shots. 


The clouds moved in and the skies darkened enough for me to put the camera away and head back to the car. 

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