Sunday morning with the Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker
Nikon D300s, Sigma 50-500mm / f4.5-6.3 APO DG HSM

Circumstances were not in my favor this weekend and except for a few clicks around the house Sunday morning I got nothing done. Nature's best reflector, the snow on the ground, was out again and made for some pretty good light. I counted five Downy Woodpeckers here today, which means they all made it through the winter so far. Good news, but not really surprising because of the mild weather we had during the last few months. The image was made from the tripod with my KIRK ball head and INDURO GHBA gimbal head attached. This combination has served me very well in the past and is a good solution for an amateur with limited budget like me. I tried something different today and mounted the gimbal head to the left hand side of the lens. It is a little more difficult to rest the left hand on the lens barrel while shooting but for some reason my keeper rate was very high today. It may have been just the good light which made focussing easy but maybe it is a way that works better in general for me. I will try more and find out about it. I made many, many pictures of the "Downy" before but I always enjoy working the smallest woodpecker that we have here. They hardly sit still but are not as skittish as, for example, the Red-bellied Woodpecker, and make therefor for a good subject to practice long lens shooting technique.