Lincoln's Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii) 18 January 2006 - Salineno, Texas. Photo © 2006
I almost discarded this one because the bird was seriously underexposed. This shy sparrow liked to be in deep shade with strong sunlight in front and behind.
I tried to recover this image in Photoshop using the shadow/highlight tool. After increasing the shadow exposure and reducing the highlight exposure, it needed sharpening. I applied an unsharp mask filter which produced an unacceptable graininess. Then I down-sampled (reducing the image size) to try to eliminate some of the graininess.
After comparing my effort to Ian Boustead's excellent portrait of this species, I think my first instinct to discard mine may have been correct. But I thought I would share it anyway because it illustrates nicely the subspecies difference.
My bird has the ruddy color of the widespread nominate eastern race, while Ian's is representative of M. l. gracilis which breeds in the Pacific Northwest. M. l. gracilis differs in being less ruddy and more yellowish above with broader shaft streaks and thus more contrasting in its dorsal pattern. It also averages smaller than M. l. lincolnii.
Olympus D-550z / Nikon FieldScope 3 / 30XWA (hand-held - no adapter).