Tuesday, November 15, 2005

March of the Bird Watchers

Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Early on Sunday morning, November 13, a busload of bird watchers disembarked at Anzalduas County Park along the Rio Grande, south of McAllen, Texas. We spread out in a skirmish line and marched across the giant open field along one side of the park in search of possible Sprague's pipits, which are known to winter at this site.

The technique worked! Everyone got decent in-flight looks at the birds--it's almost impossible to spot a Sprague's pipit on the ground. We also found at least 60 eastern meadowlarks, a few dozen Savannah sparrows, and several American pipits.

The foggy effect of this photograph is an artifact of taking my camera from the cold air conditioning of the bus into the hot, humid 80-degree morning air. No matter how much I wiped the lenses, the fog returned until the camera (or binocular or spotting scope) returned to the ambient outside temperature. In extreme situations this can take up to an hour!

We learned that it's best to keep your optics and cameras on your lap during the bus ride. Your body heat helps minimize the fogging later.


On November 17, 2005 at 5:24 PM Robert Stanowski said...

I definitly know what it`s like to have to wait for your binocs to defog.Sometimes up to 20 minutes but for some reason my scope never has that problem (lucky me).So I won`t whine to much about it. It`s november now so the only way it`s gonna fog is if i breath on it or have really moist eyeballs.

On November 18, 2005 at 5:27 PM Bill of the Birds said...

Evidently there are anti-fogging fluids that you can spray on your optics. I have some, somewhere. But I never seem to have it WITH me when I need it.