So I was leaving the boardwalk at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area in Ohio on my second Thursday at the Biggest Week in American Birding, when this American Redstart jumped up into a tree 4 feet from the boardwalk and began to sing in my ear. What could I do? I took a whole burst of pics! Then he came closer and I had to back up to keep him in focus. It is a hard life for a photographer here on the Erie Shore in Ohio. 🙂 Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Program mode. 1/500th @ f4 @ ISO 500. Processed in Polarr. And I did eventually make it back to the car.
After having some fun with the Prothonotary Warbler yesterday, here is a more classic approach. This male Prothonotary was excavating a nest hole along the boardwalk at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area on the Erie Shore in northern Ohio in the late light of yesterday evening. He was so busy he paid no attention to the humans watching him. He also inspired a Day Poem.
Today’s Prothonotary Warbler was a male,
busy excavating a nest hole in a snag about
4 feet from the boardwalk at Magee Marsh,
well below eye-level, hopping around on
the boardwalk rails and his snag within feet
of the facinated humans watching him. Such
aplum. Such self-assurance. Such confidence.
Only a Prothonotary would dare, and of
course we are delighted that he does. We
are ignited that he does…so bright, so bold,
so very very Prothonotary. Such a bird!
Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Program mode. 1/500th @ f4 @ ISO 1000. Processed in Polarr.
We found a very cooperative Prothonotary Warbler along the boardwalk at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area on the Erie shore in Ohio. One of those ones that starts out close and comes closer…all but too close for my 4 foot close focus. When processing the images I was struck with how much a Prothonotary Warbler in certain poses looks like one of those marshmallow candy chicks…Peeps. And of course I had to share that profound insight…which made a Day Poem.
Going through my photos from the morning
I came to a series of shots of a Prothonotary
Warbler, doing that thing where it sits on a
branch facing you and puffs its feathers out
so it is perfectly round, and it’s beak is all
forshortened against its face, and it has those
big black eyes like candy buttons and I thought,
“it looks just like one of those marshmallow
chicken chicks…” Peeps, I think they are
called. Prothonopeep? Peeponotary Warbler?
Something like that. I shared it with the
ZEISS crew and Melissa and Catherine
burst out laughing. I said, “you will never
be able to eat a Peep again.” Melissa said,
“I don’t eat Peeps anyway.” And Catherine
said, “Yes but you will never be able to
unsee that.” Prothonopeep or Peeponatary
Warbler, either way, either one. Indelible.
Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Program mode. 1/500th @ ISO 160 @ f4. Processed in Polarr.
Sometimes circumstances just conspire for a great photo. Early evening light on the boardwalk at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area and a very close Palm Warbler, and me being there at just that moment, is such a confluence of circumstance. Okay, it is “only” a Palm Warbler, perhaps the second most common warbler in the USA pretty much everywhere (and the most common where it is not second), but still, we take what we get and are happy, thank you! Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Program mode. 1/500th @ f4 @ ISO 125. Processed in Polarr.
The Prothonotary Warbler is one of my favorite warblers at Magee Marsh on the Erie Shore in Ohio (or anywhere for that matter). I was disappointed last year when they did not arrive on territory (they are nesting birds here) by the time the Biggest Week in American Birding was over and I was headed back home, but this year the “waves” of early and late warblers are all mixed up, so they are here with the early birds…much to my delight. They are among the brightest residents of Magee Marsh, and certainly among the loudest. I wrote a little poem about it.
Prothonotary Warbler! Just over my head.
Almost too close to focus on. Yellow!
Such a yellow it leaves a blue bird burned on
your retina, like a color negative. And loud.
Singing, head tipped back, neck twisted,
belting out its song. Such a bird! If I don’t
see another warbler all week I am satisfied.
(But of course I fully expect to see a lot more.)
Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Program mode. 1/800th and 1/500th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Polarr and assembled in FrameMagic.
Here I was trying to get off the boardwalk at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area on the Erie Shore in Ohio after my Point and Shoot for Warblers Class…I was supposed to be back at the ZEISS booth working…when this Magnolia Warbler, my first for this trip, popped down to eye-level 6 feet from the boardwalk. What could I do? So I was 15 minutes later to work. So. Sue me. It is the Magee’s fault and just what you would expect in Magee Marsh during migration. Sony RX10iv at 600mm. 1/500th @ f4 @ ISO 250. Processed in Polarr.
I only got to spend slightly less than an hour on the boardwalk at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area on the first day of the Biggest Week in American Birding, but I can already tell that it is “on” for migration. People saw 24 species of Warblers during the day, and in good numbers…and, in a mix of early and late migrants that is pretty unique for Magee. This Blackburnian Warbler was one that put on an eye-level show for us. Today is supposed to be sunny and seventies, and I expect you will not be able to get a parking spot at the Marsh after 9 am. 🙂 The real question is will any new-come warbler be able to find a feeding spot. Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Program mode. 1/500th @ f4 @ ISO 200. Processed in Polarr.
Great Egrets, Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills, while not easy, are easier to catch in flight at the St Augustine Alligator Farm wild bird rookery in St Augustine Florida than Cattle Egrets and Snowy Egrets. The smaller egrets move faster, and are, well, smaller so there is less for the focus to lock on to. Still, with the Sony RX10iv and its hybrid focus, I managed a few shots of both Snowy and Cattle Egrets in flight this year. This one, of a Cattle Egret with nesting material is an example. Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Program mode with BIF modifications. 1/1000th @ f4 @ ISO 200. Processed in Polarr.
When I was in San Diego, I was shooting the breeding Pelicans at La Jolla Cove with Robert Wilson, who is from Florida, and we were both under the impression that the Brown Pelicans there were considerably more colorful than the Brown Pelicans on the Florida coast. This photo of three coming up the coast at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park south of St Augustine, south of Marineland in fact, is evidence that our impression was perhaps not accurate. They might be a dad less vivid, but they are certainly colorful. Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Program mode with BIF modifications. 1/1000th @ f4 @ ISO 100. +1EV to keep detail in the silhouettes of the birds. Processed in Polarr.
The Great Egret chicks must have hatched early this year. The Florida Birding and Photo Fest was a week early, and still the Egret chicks were well grown. They are often tiny in the nest. These chicks were very demanding and mom had a hard time keeping up with their appetite. I like the dark background of shade under the nest tree and the way the foreground foliage makes a bowl for the nest. Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Program mode with action and BIF modifications. 1/1000th @ f4 @ ISO 400. Processed in Polarr.