Welcome to my 2018 Twelve Days of Photos, where I look at one of the images I chose to include in my best of year selection and talk a bit about it. To see the entire list of images I chose and learn more about my year in photography, please check out my 2018 Best Photos of the Year post. You can also look at all of the images over on my Smugmug Portfolio Site, and I’ve embedded a slideshow at the end of this post. To see a larger version of the image, you can click on it.

Savannah Sparrow, Laguna Road West, Coyote Valley, San Jose, California

This image is from home territory — Coyote Valley, south of San Jose, one of my favorite birding spots in the county in winter. When I took it, it was between trips to Orange County and very much qualified as more therapy photography, as well as my continuing to try to figure out how best to configure the 9 million different settings in the Fuji X-T3. The Savannah Sparrow is one of the more common sparrows out in the fields around the county, but one of my goals for the next year is to spend more time trying to photograph the common birds, both to update my portfolio for those species but also to make myself more aware of them as I’m out birding — there is a tendency to get tunnel vision in the chase for the interesting and unusual, and I want to put some time into getting familiar with all of the avian residents of the county again, not just the ones that show up on rare bird reports. The Savannah Sparrow could be poster child for that concept, and this photo would honestly make a great poster, with really nice detail and a diagnostic look at it from the rear showing off its coloring and patterns wonderfully. Which will work great for a project I want to tackle on Silicon Valley Birding sometime next year….