Posts in Category: birds

Maine! Close Encounter?

Least Tern: York County, Maine, USA, May 2024 — Though the Atlantic population of Least Tern is not Federally endangered, the Least Tern is on the Endangered Species list in Maine, and known nesting sites are monitored and protected. If you frequent a beach where Least Terns nest, you will see the signs and roped off areas. Please respect them. On Maine’s well developed coast there is not a lot of habitat left to them. Least Terns are acrobatic flyers and aggressive defenders of their nest sites. If you get too close they will let you know by buzzing you repeatedly until you move on. I happened to be on a beach when the folks from Fish and Wildlife were repositioning the ropes and signs to protect a nest site that terns were trying to establish outside the protected area. The terns were not happy, and, of course, incapable of realizing that the work was for their benefit. I stood well back and tried to photograph the terns in flight…which, if you have ever tried, or even if you have seen Least Terns in flight, you will realize is not easy to do at the best of times. This bird, though it looks close in the cropped version, was still quite a ways from me. OM Systems OM-1Mkii with M.Zuiko 100-400IS zoom at 800mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds in flight and action modifications. Processed in Photomator.

Biggest Week in American Birding! Red-head vs Tree Swallow

Red-headed Woodpecker and Tree Swallow: Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Oak Harbor, Ohio, USA, May 2024 — There was at at least one pair of very active Red-headed Woodpeckers, possibly more, between the Boardwalk and the parking area at Magee. I photographed this one having a dispute over the ownership of a nest cavity with a Tree Swallow (a more common occurrence than you might think) in the band of trees between the parking and the lake, one lunch time. OM System OM-1Mkii with M.Zuiko 100-400IS at 800mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom bird modifications. Processed in Photomator.

Maine! Fight

Willits: York County, Maine, USA, May 2024 — I walked most of a mile in to one of the more distant beaches in York County to see if there were any Piping Plover chicks yet…there were not…but while I was looking, two of the many Willits in the area took sudden exception to each other’s presence and engaged in this tumbling, jumping, wing flapping, beak snapping fight just over the beach grasses. I was not close, but I got the camera into action mode and shot a few bursts to see what I could catch. One of them flew off and sulked on the sands down by the river’s edge, but no apparent harm was done to either bird. OM Systems OM-1Mkii with M.Zuiko 100-400IS zoom at 800mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds in flight and action modifications. Processed in Photomator.

Biggest Week in American Birding! more Chestnuts

Chestnut-sided Warbler: Magee Marsh Boardwalk, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Oak Harbor, Ohio, USA, May 2024 — Chestnut-sided Warblers were among the most abundant warblers at Magee this year. They often are, but the lack of numbers among other species really made it stand out this year. As usual, the Chestnut-sided was also among the most photographically cooperative, feeding at and below eye-level and right next to the boardwalk, though the leaves this year made more challenging. I have lots of photos of Chestnut-sided. OM System OM-1Mkii with M.Zuiko 100-400IS zoom at 800mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom bird modifications. Processed in Photomator.

Maine! Common Yellowthroat

Common Yellowthroat: York County, Maine, USA, May 2024 — Not an easy bird to photograph most of the time as it loves to stay tucked in behind the leaves or reeds. This on was at the forest edge in a wet meadow, and though I could hear it just fine, getting a line of sight that showed more than a piece of the bird was very challenging. 🙂 I went home not really convinced I had gotten anything, which is the generally the result of any encounter with the Common Yellowthroat. At least in my experience. OM System OM-1Mkii with M.Zuiko 100-400IS zoom at 800mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom bird modifications. Processed in Photomator.

Biggest Week in American Birding: Blackburnian Song

Blackburnian Warbler: Magee Marsh Boardwalk, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Oak Harbor, Ohio, USA, May 2024 — Looking back through my photos from the Biggest Week in American Birding, I have, actually, quite a few shots of Blackburnian Warbler, one of my favorites, even though I am pretty sure I only saw 3 individuals. Here he is in full song. OM System OM-1Mkii with M.Zuiko 100-400IS zoom at 800mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom bird modifications. Processed in Photomator. The Blackburnian, by the way, is one of the birds due for a name change, since it was named after a person, Anna Blackburne, an English naturalist. And it is one of those birds for which I can not imagine a better name 🙁

Maine! Red-eye

Red-eyed Vireo: York County, Maine, USA, May 2024 — This is the first Red-eyed Vireo I have seen in Maine in a while. Maybe I have just not been looking in the right places. I heard it calling before it came close enough for a photo. OM System OM-1 with M.Zuiko 100-400IS zoom at 800mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom bird modifications. Processed in Photomator.

Biggest Week in American Birding! Memorial Day Eagle

Bald Eagle: Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Crane Creek State Park, Oak Harbor, Ohio, USA, May 2024 — A pair of Eagles has nested over the parking area at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area for many years now. Last year there were at least 2 other nests in immediate area, but this year only the original nest seems to be active. The Eagles are very present, and a big draw for the tourists who get tired of looking for, and even at the small warblers along the boardwalk that have all the birders so excited. I mean an Eagle is an Eagle! And what better day to post an Eagle than on Memorial Day, when our thoughts go out to those who have served and died. OM System OM-1Mkii with M.Zuiko 100-400IS zoom at 800mm equivalent. I had switched to Program mode with my custom birds in flight and action modifications just in cast the Eagle flew…which it was showing signs of doing. Processed in Photomator.

Maine! Drink your tea tea tea

Eastern Towhee: York County, Maine, USA, May 2024 — While out looking for Lady Slipper Orchids the other day, I head at least two Eastern Towhees singing their “drink your tea” song, and eventually spotted this one well inside the little woodland there. I could not get any closer so I used the 2x digital tele-converter in the OM System OM-1Mkii with my M.Zuiko 100-400IS zoom at 800mm equivalent, for a total reach of what amounts to 1600mm. Program mode with my custom bird modifications. Processed in Photomator.

Biggest Week in American Birding: Veery

Veery: Magee Marsh Boardwalk, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Crane Creek State Park, Oak Harbor, Ohio, USA, May 2024 — It is not all warblers at Magee Marsh, of course. There were, besides Robins of course, several different thrushes showing along the boardwalk, different days during the Biggest Week. This Veery was almost under the boardwalk, only a few feet out in the dense tangle between the boardwalk and the channel at the east end. Seeing it as no problem. Photographing it took some effort to find an open line of sight. OM System OM-1Mkii with M.Zuiko 100-400IS zoom at 800mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom bird modifications. Processed in Photomator.