American Birding in Louisiana
The shot above is not really the man on the moon. This was a fortunate accidental image gotten while demonstrating digiscoping. I was explaining that all zoom eyepieces show a dark vignetted circle when first mounted when one of my associates stepped in front of the window as he presented a different digiscoping demo. I quickly snapped off an image and was thrilled by the cool effect! This could be the first digiscoped image of a digiscoping demonstration ever...
As mentioned a lot of time was spent at the venue talking about optics, but the 4th floor windows offered opportunities to see some interesting birds. The local Red-tailed Hawk pair was regular and there were other local birds like Blue Jays, Starlings, Rock Pigeons, and a constant stream of egrets flying by. More interesting to me though were the regular Mississippi Kites and other highlights like Broad-winged Hawk, Red-headed Woodpecker, and Roseate Spoonbill that added excitement for birders "trapped" indoors.
Critters like Green Anoles were common just outside the hotel doors and made for good digiscoping subjects. The Inca Dove nesting just out the back door on the pool deck was a nice subject for participants interested in digiscoping techniques as well. Apparently this species is a relatively recent arrival to this area.
Of course we only spent half of our time at the convention at the booth talking shop. Every other day we spent in the field on near full day field trips. ABA always attracts a wonderful crew of very knowledgeable, professional tour leaders and authors, so the banter after dinner can be very interesting for anyone who likes birds.
Inca Dove at nest, Lafayette, Louisiana 4/28/07
Oh yeah for those interested in the vignetting I glassed over above (pun intended)... no manufacturers produce "wide angle" zoom eyepieces for their scopes and most digital point & shoot cameras show "wide angle" views (often near 25 mm equivalents) when you first turn them on. As such, a digital p&s camera mounted behind a zoom eyepiece offers a vignetted or dark circular-framed image until you run the zoom up to near 2x or 50 mm. When the wide angle camera is mounted behind a wide angle, fixed power eyepiece it shows a typical rectangular frame. Just in case you were thinking, "Hmmm, why is that?"