Posts in Category: nature

Maine! Knapweed, Bumblebee, Tarnished Plant Bug

Like the title says this is a Knapweed flower head with two visitors: a bumblebee and the tiny Tarnished Plant Bug. The bee is a pollinator, the Plant Bug is a parasite. Photographed with the OM System OM-1Mkii and the M.Zuiko ED 150-600IS zoom at 300mm equivalent from not much over a foot. Program mode. Processed in Photomator.

Maine! Getting bigger

Piping Plover: Kennebunk, Maine, USA, June 2024 — The Piping Plover chicks, at lest this one family, are getting bigger and their feathers are developing from pin to full plumage rapidly. This chick is about 3 weeks old now. They are fully functional at birth…capable of feeding themselves and running around to considerable distances from the nest, but now they are going all the way down across the open beach to the serf line. OM System OM-1Mkii with M.Zuiko ED 150-600IS zoom at 1200mm equivalent. Program mode with my bird modifications. Processed in Photomator.

Maine! Willet in the surf

Willet: York County, Maine, USA, June 2024 — On one of our hot days last week, this Willet spend a lot of time in the surf, perhaps cooling off. It did not appear to be actively hunting…at least I did not see it try for any prey while I was watching. It just stood there and let the surf run around it. OM System OM-1Mkii with M.Zuiko 100-400IS zoom at 800mm equivalent. Program mode with my bird modifications. Processed in Photomator.

Maine! Nothing like being close: squirrelly edition

Grey Squirrel: Kennebunk, Maine, USA, June 2024 — Another visitor to the deck while I was waiting on the hummingbirds. Between squirrel proof feeders and some training, the squirrels are mostly happy with spilled seed these days, and they are quite fearless. They are up on the deck when I am right there in my chair, pretty much daring me to do anything about it. 🙂 I am happy to let them have the spilled seed. OM System OM-1Mkii with M.Zuiko 100-400IS zoom at 800mm equivalent. Program mode with my bird modifications. Processed in Photomator.

Maine! Air defense

Least Tern (with Rock Dove): York County, Maine, USA, June 2024 — I had never thought of the Rock Dove (pigeon) as a potential predator of Least Tern eggs, but this pigeon was showing way too much interest in one particular Least Tern nest on the beach. I had also never realized just how big a Rock Dove is compared to a Least Tern. The Terns made a valiant attempt to dive the pigeon off, dive bombing it on the beach and harassing it in the air, but when it landed near the nest and showed every intention of raiding it, they went into full air defense mode with one of most amazing shows of aerial dexterity I have ever seen. Every Tern on the beach joined in, and for several moments the Dove had their full attention…until it finally decided two tern eggs were not worth the hassle and got up and flew off into the distance. OM System OM-1 with M.Zuiko 100-400IS zoom at 338mm (Dove and Tern) and 800mm equivalent. Program mode with my birds-in-flight and action modifications. Processed in Photomator and assembled in FrameMagic.

Maine! Still two

Least Tern. Kennebunk, Maine, USA, June 2024 — One of the reasons we invest in the long telephoto lenses and the cameras with good sensors is to be able to take photos like these from a distance where we were not disturbing the birds. But then I always have mixed feelings about sharing them. They look like they were taken from much closer than they were, and I certainly do not want to encourage folks with cell phones or even their kit zoom lenses to try to get shots like this. This is with the OM System OM-1Mkii with the M.Zuiko 100-400IS zoom at 800mm equivalent, plus the 2x digital tele-converter and a healthy crop to bring the final field of view to about 3000mm…or spotting scope scale. It is worth sharing, I think, because it is just something most of us never get to see. Look at how well camouflaged those eggs are. In fact, when the Tern wants to hide the eggs she (or he) just gets up and moves a few feet to one side or the other. Once the bird is off the nest it is almost impossible to see the eggs, even with optical aid. This bird is just returning to the nest after attempting to distract a gull. Program mode with my bird modifications. Processed in Photomator.

Maine! Canadian Tiger Swallowtail

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly: Kennebunk, Maine, USA, June 2024 — I have been seeing Tiger Swallowtails in the forest and fields of Southern Maine for a couple of weeks now, generally on the wing, gliding close to foliage or grass. This is not the first to pass through our yard, but it is the first that has settled while I was watching and had my camera ready. It visited the daisies twice…I missed it the first time, but it came back, and then flew right up to the deck where I was standing and settled on the geraniums just long enough for a few frames before it was off up over the roof of the house and away. OM System OM-1Mkii with the M.Zuiko 150-500IS zoom at 1200mm and 678mm equivalent. Hand-held at 1/320th. Program mode with my bird modifications. Processed in Photomator.

Maine! Nothing like being close: grey edition

Grey Catbird: York County, Maine, USA, June 2024 — Yet another bird from my session waiting for the hummingbirds to return to the feeder on the back deck. The Grey Catbirds have learned to hover up under the suet feeder and take suet. They stand on the deck rail under the feeder and then launch themselves up…and they are completely unafraid of me in my camp chair as long as I don’t move too fast. 🙂 OM System OM-1Mkii with M.Zuiko 100-400IS zoom at 800mm equivalent from about 10 feet. Program mode with my birds-in-flight and action modifications. Processed in Photomator.

Maine! feel the heat?

We have had a couple of days of unusual heat for June. You might be able to feel in this photo from our local beach. I was out early photographing Piping Plover chicks before it got unbearable on the beach. I could go home. The Plovers are stuck there. 🙁 OM System OM-1 with M.Zuiko 12-45 f4 Pro. Program mode with in-camera HDR. Processed in Photomator.

Maine! More arty terns

Least Terns: York County, Maine, USA, June 2024 — A few more arty terns. They really show off against the green backdrop of the distant vegetation (and they are already show-offs in flight). OM System OM-1 with M.Zuiko 100-400IS zoom at 454mm equivalent. Program mode with my birds-in-flight and action modifications. Processed in Photomator.