In November, 2005, while at Brazos Bend State Park, I took a miss-step, fell and damaged my Olympus 750UZ. This was a week before the Rio Grande Birding Festival in Harlingen, Texas and our post festival trip to the El Cielo Biosphere Reserve and surrounding areas. I quickly purchased a new Olympus SP-500UZ. This camera has the same 10 power optical zoom as the other Olympus cameras I've used, but has a resolution of 6 million pixals and a 5 power digital zoom. I also purchased a Raynox 2.2X Super Telephoto Conversion Lens. This increased the optical zoom to 22 power.
After our Costa Rica trip in July, 2006, I purchased a Nikon Digital SRL camera. I found that there was not enough light in the rain and cloud forests of Costa Rica to take the pictures I wanted. I purchased a Nikon D-80 DSRL body and a Nikkor 80-400 mm zoom lens with vibration reduction. This camera, while not magnifying as much as the Olympus-Raynox combination, does give better pictures. Before our Scottish Islands Cruise I added a Nikkor 18-200 mm zoom lens with vibration reduction for better scenery photos. This lens was stolen during our Northern Spain trip. I replaced it with a Sigma 18-250 zoom lens with optical stabilization.
During our Arctic trip in 2010, I saw the Sigma 50-500 mm zoom lens. This lens was much quieter the my Nikkor 80-400 mm lens and gave me 25% more magnification that the Nikkor lens. I purchased the Sigma 50-500 mm F4.5-6.3 APO DG with optical stabilization lens and a new Nikon D-7000 camera body before our Honduras trip in 2011. The D-7000 has a resulation of 16 million pixels and better low light capabilities than the D-80.Also in 2011, I started experimenting with recording bird calls. I use a small Panasonic voice recorder. The recordings are satisfactory and I have included them in the Index to Birds. For the birds that I have a call for, there is a little icon, , to the right of the common name. Clicking on the icon will play the bird call, In some of the Picture Information descriptions, there is a reference, in parenthesis, to birding sites on "The Great Texas Birding Trail." The following table showes the references we've used.
|The Great Texas Birding
|UTC||Upper Texas Coast|
|CTC||Central Texas Coast|
|LTC||Lower Texas Coast|
|HOTE||Heart Of Texas East|
|HOTW||Heart Of Texas West|
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