In keeping with yesterday’s “it is not all Snow Geese and Sandhill Cranes at Bosque” theme, here is one of the many Northern Harriers currently hunting the fields of Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. More Harriers this year than I have ever seen at Bosque in the 25+ years I have been going there. Mostly I saw them far off cruising the back edges of fields. This one came right over on its way from one field to the next and I caught it! Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. My custom Birds in Flight and Action modifications to Program mode. Processed in Polarr. Makes me really glad I am not a mouse or a vole!
Snow Geese “panic” several times a day at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Panic is the word I use to describe the times when a contagion of agitation sweeps the flock and they all come up into the air at the same time…calling and swirling. Generally half of them think they ought to move west and half east, or half think they should circle clockwise and half counterclockwise, and the mixing and mingling segments of the flock is mesmerizing. To be there when the Snow Geese panic is reason enough for a visit to the Bosque…and, in fact, brings folks back year after year. It was gettin on toward sunset when my Point and Shoot Nature Photography workshop got to see this panic up close. Nothing like it! Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. My Birds in Flight modifications of Programed Auto mode. 1/1000th @ f6.3 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr.
One of the reasons to visit the Festival of the Cranes at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in Socorro, New Mexico is how close you can get to the Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese. This Sandhill was coming directly overhead, so close that I could not fit more than this in the frame at 600mm equivalent. That is close indeed. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. My custom Birds in Flight adaptation of Program mode. Processed in Polarr.
The dawn flyout at Bosque del Apache is one of the great wildlife spectacles of North America and this morning was one of those days that make it memorable. I was out with a field workshop of aspiring Point and Shoot Nature Photographers at the Flight Deck Pond just at sunrise this morning when the Snow Geese rose to go to their day feeding fields. Wonderful light. Amazing action. Shot with the Sony RX10iv in my specialized Birds in Flight mode adaptation of Program mode. Processed in Polarr.
Another Brown Pelican in flight shot…this time from the Tide Pools at Cabrillo National Monument at the end of Point Loma in San Diego. The loess cliffs at the Tide Pools are idea for Pelican flight shots, as the birds often ride the uplift right above the top of the cliffs, just above eye-level. This image really catches the “mass” of the bird and the huge wings that sustain it in a glide.
Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. 1/1000th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro.
I ventured out onto the sea wall that protects Children’s Beach in La Jolla, California when I visited last week, mostly to get closer to the Harbor Seals that had clustered on that side of the beach…but as I was shooting seals this breeding plumage Brown Pelican flew by just below eye-level. I turned in time for a short burst of shots. Pelicans are easy flight shot targets, but that only makes them more fun! 🙂
Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. Program mode. 1/1000th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro.
This is the Tricolored Heron that owned the feeding rights along the stretch of water channel between the Blackpoint Wildlife Drive restrooms and the observation tower on the Cruickshank Trail at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. I was all focused and ready for a portrait when he sprang into action…moving down the channel a dozen yards.
Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. 1/1000th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed and cropped for composition in Polarr on my iPad Pro.
Reddish Egrets are, most days, my favorite wading bird. They are the clowns of the shallow pools. They don’t seem to be able to do anything without evoking at least a smile. If this were a picture of a Great or a Snowy Egret in a similar pose, it would look elegant and refined. As it is, with the Reddish Egret as the center of attention, it looks, to me, just a bit silly…slightly slapstick. It is the burden the Reddish Egret has to bear, and it does so with a measure of a grace all its own. No one can say the Reddish Egret does not enjoy being Reddish…if we are amused, that is not its fault. 🙂
Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. 1/1000th @ ISO 125 @ f4. Processes in Polarr on my iPad Pro.
American White Pelicans joining a feeding flock along Black Point Wildlife Drive at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge early in morning, just after sunup. Lovely light on lovely birds.
Sony Rx10iii in my specialized birds-in-flight mode. 1/1000th @ f4 @ ISO 250. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro. You can find more info on the BIF mode at http://psnp.lightshedder.com/?p=998.
I always tell my students, photography is all about being in the right place at the right time, and ready! This is especially true of wildlife photography. We pulled off on the side the road to photograph this American Bald Eagle on a snag about 200 feet in. I walked back along the margin a few dozen yards for a better angle and was set up on the Eagle when it decided to fly. I could tell by the shift in body posture that it was about to go, so I was able to pan with it as it lifted off. Bam!
Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. 1/1000th @ ISO 100 @ f5.6. Processed and cropped for scale in Polarr on my iPad Pro.