Eastern Bluebird

Though the birds were mostly on the other side of the river at Roger’s Pond Park the other day, this winter plumaged female Eastern Bluebird settled on a branch right in front of me and posed long enough for a few shots. It won’t be long now before the blues begin to pop out more on this bird, though it will never be as bright as the male. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Kennebunk, Maine, USA.

Mixed flock at Roger’s Pond

I went to Roger’s Pond Park in near my home in Kennebunk, Maine, USA again yesterday morning early to look for the semi-resident pair of Bald Eagles. They were not at home. There were, however, a good sampling of smaller birds feeding in a stand of berries across the river from the park. The birds were mostly pretty far for anything but record shots, and were mostly buried in the berry tangle, but still. We have here clockwise from the upper left: American Robin and Cedar Waxwing, Belted Kingfisher (not, of course, feeding in the berries but in the trees right behind the berry stand), Northern Cardinal, Catbird (very early for Maine), Eastern Bluebird, and a poor shot what looks to me to be a Hermit Thrush…all but impossibly early in southern Maine in February. In addition to these there were also several ducks on the river, including Mallard, Common Merganser, and Golden-eye. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos, and assembled in FrameMagic.

Great Egret’s undeniable grace

Great Egret, Orlando Wetlands Scenic Park, Christmas, Florida, USA. This bird was tucked back in under the shade of a cluster of palms in the marsh, early in the morning. Egrets are elegant birds for the most part, and though the Great Egret is not delicate by any means, it manages to often show a particular grace. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Snowy Egret in the frame…

Snowy Egret in the frame and yelling about it, at Orlando Wetlands Scenic Park in Christmas, Florida, USA. Sometimes it is the surrounds that make the photo, even the wildlife photo. Here I like the strong diagonal branch with its texture and the way the out of focus palms in the background section the frame. I put the bird, which is in an interesting pose, on the left rule of thirds “power line” (even though it is facing out-of-frame), with its head at the upper left “power point” so your eye is drawn to the subject, but within the whole composition. Facing out of frame gives the shot some extra tension. Did I think all that through in the field. No, of course not. I do have my rule of thirds grid turned on in the Sony, and I do pay some attention to it in the field, but mostly I just liked what I saw in the viewfinder and shot the image. The composition stuff might explain why I like it…but I liked it before I knew why. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Bald Eagle at Roger’s Pond

I am always excited to see the Bald Eagles return to the Roger’s Pond Park on the Mousam River in winter. They are, of course, around all year, but they are most easily seen during the colder months when they tend to hunt the slack water below the rapids at the Park. Their favorite perch is just beyond the comfortable range of my 600mm lens, so I am often using Clear Image Zoom on the Sony Rx10iv to fill more of the frame with the bird. Sony Rx10iv at 1200mm equivalent (2x Clear Image Zoom). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Bald Eagles, by the way, are among the most challenging birds when it comes to exposure. You want good detail in the dark feathers, but you do not want to overexpose the head and loose all detail in the white features. Very often you have adjust both shadows and highlights in post processing. All part of the fun!

Glossy Ibis being, well, glossy!

Glossy Ibis preening at Orlando Wetlands Scenic Park in Christmas, Florida, USA, shows off all the iridescence of its plumage…undoubtedly how it got its name. 🙂 It is opportunities like this that keep birders and just regular folk who enjoy nature coming to park. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Snowy Egret Dance

Snowy Egret dancing at Orlando Wetlands Scenic Park in Christmas, Florida, USA. All part of an Egret’s day. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Wood Stork close up.

Who you calling ugly! The Wood Stork, seen here close up at Orlando Wetlands Scenic Park in Christmas, Florida, USA, is, it is safe to say, not a pretty bird. It is majestic. It is interesting. It is, for those who appreciated such things, even beautiful. But it is not pretty. I remember how excited I was to see my first Wood Stork, years ago, in Georgia. It was only a glimpse through dense brush, but it was certainly memorable. In Florida, they are common in most any wetland, and I have, by now, been really close on several occasions. Every sighting is still memorable! Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Anhinga’s wing.

A kind of supplement to my Pic for today. A close-up of the wing patterns of the Anhinga. Orlando Wetlands Scenic Park, Christmas, Florida, USA. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Anhinga

The Anhinga is such a strange bird. It starts of course with the snake like neck that gives it its unofficial name in many regions (snake bird), but then its body is covered all over with fur-like feathers, and its wings, when it folds them out to dry, feature this fascinating pattern of black and white. And “fascinating” is not too strong a word at all. Even the way it sits here, with its tail flat on the ground, is pretty strange to me. Altogether a strangely beautiful, but very strange bird. Orlando Wetlands Scenic Park, Christmas, Florida, USA. Sony Rx10iv at 218mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.