The times I hear of a rare bird in my area I get excited especially when it is a lifer. So when I heard a report of a Painted Bunting in San Benito County just over the Santa Cruz County line I went for it. The Bunting is a very rare visitor to the Monterey Bay Area with 5 ebird reports on record. They winters in Central America and southern Florida so this one seems to have lost its way.
A home owner opened up her place so local birders could taken in this beautiful bird. Someone commented after seeing my photos that they thought it was a sweet looking bird. I would have to agree. I arrived around 9am and followed the instructions to the porch on the back of the home. I sat still for about 20 minutes before first sighting the female bunting. She would come and go at times getting fairly close to me. This was a hard capture since the area was under a thick tree canopy and being early in the morning the light was fair from ideal. I set the ISO to 640, my limit for noise with the D7200. With that I set the aperture to f/3.5, which is just above wide open in hopes of getting a sharper images. With these settings I needed to drop the shutter speed to 1/500s and turned on the image stabilization (Nikon calls it Vibration Reduction or VR). The images where not as sharp as I would like but under the conditions acceptable especially for such a rare find.
Your comments are welcomed and if you have any questions about the photo or any other questions leave me a message.