Bluebird of Happiness?

Our last trip to Theler proved once again that two pairs of eyes are better than one.  As I was busy talking to John, Leslie spotted a small flock of Western Bluebirds in the distance (it probably didn’t hurt that she had the binoculars).  They were so far away that the pictures I took with my 600m lens had to be heavily cropped to get the pictures posted below. Blown up like this, they were so grainy that I finally relented and upgraded to the latest version of Topaz Denoise.  This app does an amazing job of removing grain, which, in turn, makes it possible to sharpen the main subjects without increasing background grain.

None of these shots are quite as good as the ones I’ve taken in previous years, but we so seldom see Western Bluebirds that I was delighted to see them.  I’ll have to admit that I was having a hard time focusing on the birds themselves and focuses, instead, on the birdhouse.  Here’s a shot of two female Western Bluebirds without cropping.

Here’s the same shot cropped, denoised, and slightly sharpened.

I was trying to focus on the bright blue male in this shot.

Not surprisingly, in the sharpest picture of the sequence the male was looking away from the camera. 

Hopefully we will see the bluebirds on the boardwalk railing where we can get better shots on our next visit.  

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