Posts in Category: p&s 4 wildlife

Sea Lions of La Jolla

Sea Lions, La Jolla Cove, California

As I have mentioned before, when I am in San Diego for the San Diego Birding Festival I always try to ge to La Jolla Cove for a morning with the Sea Lions, Harbor Seals, Cormorants and Pelicans. This is a classic Sea Lion pile on the rocks of the sea cliffs of La Jolla. 

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. Program mode. 1/640th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro. 

Anna’s Impossibly Bright

Anna’s Hummingbird, San Diego California

I pretty much had to force myself to go out yesterday morning in the light drizzle and heavy overcast, but the marsh and dunes behind my hotel at the mouth of the San Diego River Channel were just to tempting. And it was a great walk. Good close shots of Marbled Godwitts, a lone Willit, and a Whimbrel. And some dramatic seascapes off the end of the jetty. But the best treat was this male Anna’s Hummingbird that sat so that even the dull light lit its gorget and cap so brightly that it was just within the capture range of the camera. πŸ™‚

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro. 

Burrowing Owl in Ice Plant: Happy Sunday!

Burrowing Owl, San Diego California

“If your eye is generous, your whole being is full of light!” Jesus

Yesterday the San Diego Birding Festival started at noon, and I had a workshop at 12:30, so I slept in, and only went out to the San Diego River Channel and the Western National Wildlife Refuge across from Sea World. It is a good marshy river habitat, though the high banks of the river channel keep you well away from most of the birds. Great for scope views. There have been reports of a Burrowing Owl along this stretch in past years and I am always alert, especially in the area overrun by Ground Squirrels. I did not have to really even look for this Owl, as two other photographers were there already. Such a delight! I have not seen a Burrowing Owl this close since my days in New Mexico 30 years ago, and I can count the number of Burrowing Owl I have ever seen on my fingers without running out of digits.  I wrote a little poem about it for yesterday’s Day Poem.

Burrowing Owl on the bank above
the San Diego River, right by the
Sports Arena Bridge. What at treat!
Sat in a big patch of Ice Plant, a
mound really, at the mouth, obviously
of a Ground Squirrel burrow, the
sun in its bright yellow eyes, turning
its head side to side, and occasionally
looking straight at me. I felt privileged
to be included in its gaze. Privileged!

And of course another word for “privileged” is “blessed”. I felt blessed to see the Burrowing Owl. It is one of the things, the main thing, I love about bird watching. You never know what you will see, if you just go out with your eyes open…and you almost always see something that quickens the pulse and makes you feel more alive. Blessed. It is a part of the generous eye that I really enjoy. “Eye’s wide open” is the way another translator translates it…eyes wide open in wonder and delight. 

And may you go through this Sunday with generous eyes…and I believe God will bless you in what you see. 

La Jolla Pelican

Brown Pelican, La Jolla Cove, California

The San Diego Birding Festival show did not open until 3PM yesterday so I spent the morning and early afternoon at two of my favorite San Diego area spots for photography: La Jolla Cove and Cabrillo National Monument. 

At La Jolla this time of year you have breeding plumage Brown Pelicans in large numbers, as well as both Brant’s and Double Creasted Cormorants…and of course, lots of Sea Lions at the north end of the cove, and Harbor Seals at the south end. It is pupping time for the seals and they are out on Children’s Pool Beach. It is a great place for photography and I can spend several hours just walking up and down the path along the top of the cliffs. 

This Brown Pelican is showing full colors. Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. 1/1000th @ ISO 100 @ f4.5. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro. 

Dawn Gull

Western Gull, San Diego CA

I am in San Diego for the San Diego Birding Festival where I will represent ZEISS so I waited for dawn and got out to the beach. Staying in a different hotel this year…right on the beach at the mouth of the San Diego River. My room faces the Channel, but the Pacific face is just down the beach. There, were, of course, lots of gulls on the beach this morning, waiting for the sun. Gulls are not my strong suit, and immature gulls are pretty much a complete mystery to me, but I think this is just an immature Western Gull. The first rays of the sun were just touching him as he looked out to sea.

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. 1/250th @ ISO 250 @ f4. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro. 

Visiting the Kennebunk Eagle again…

Bald Eagle, Kennebunk Maine.

I stopped by Roger’s Pond Park in Kennebunk, only just over a mile from home here in Maine, twice yesterday. The first stop early there were no eagles. However, after my run to Walmart, I stopped on the way back, just in case, and there it was…on its usual perch across the river. Good light. No wind. And no obstructing branch. I was able to get as close as possible…right to the edge of the river on the frozen snow. It was still there, observing its territory, when I left. 

Sony Rx10iii at 1200mm equivalent field of view. (In-camera crop.) Program mode. 1/800th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro. 

Beauty shot…Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron, Merritt Island NWR, Florida

Great Blue Herons are easy subjects. They are abundant…especially off Blackpoint Wildlife Drive at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Titusville Florida…big, calm, and attractively plumaged. They are not bright birds…that is their plumage does not have a lot of color…but they make up for it by posing for the camera. You might say that posing is what Great Blue Herons do best…though of course they are totally unaware that the way they go about their business is photogenic. I caught this bird in an ideal setting, framed by the reflections, in wonderful light, arrested motion in perfect balance and grace, and with a ruffling of the back feathers to lend visual interest. Even the ripples in the still water add to the beauty of the shot. No credit to me. I just pressed the shutter. πŸ™‚ 

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. 1/500th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed and cropped slightly for composition in Polarr on my iPad Pro. 

Tricolor up and away

Tricolored Heron, Merritt Island NWR, Titusville FL

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. 

Green Heron in the rain

Green Heron. Viera Florida

Almost a month ago now, on my last full day in Florida for the Space Coast Birding Festival, I took a group of Point and Shoot  Nature Photographers to the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands at Viera to photograph birds. It rained off and on all morning, but we had a great time. This Green Heron was working the ditch on the outside of the tour loop, in the company of several White Ibis and a couple of Snowy Egrets. He was particularly acrobatic and kept us entertained long enough to get too damp πŸ™‚ 

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. Program mode. 1/250th @ ISO 250 @ f4. Processed in Polarr and assembled in Framemagic on my iPad Pro. 

Downy

Downy Woodpecker, Kennebunk Maine

We are in Conneticut for our daughter Kelia’s Senior Recital at Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford, but this is from the back deck at home. A nice close-up of a female Downy Woodpecker. 

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. 1/250th @ ISO 250 @ f4. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro.