Widow Skimmer: Alwive Pond Preserve, West Kennebunk, Maine, USA — This is the first Widow Skimmer I have seen this season…along the edge of Alwive Pond, well out over the bog where a long telephoto lens is a necessity. 🙂 This would appear to be a juvenile male. Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Black-shouldered Spinyleg: Alwive Pond Preserve, West Kennebunk, Maine, USA — This dragonfly always takes me by surprise. This is actually only maybe the third one that I have seen, and this individual is particularly bright yellow. And it is big! When I first saw it I thought it was a Dragonhunter…but on closer examination there is just too much yellow. 🙂 (I have only ever seen one Dragonhunter.) A nice dragon to see. I encountered it in the middle of the trail (more a wood road) down to Alwive Pond, and it was still there, patrolling the same area on my way back out. Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Long-dash Skipper: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I think. Definitely a skipper, and definitely small, and in southern Maine in June. There are a few it could be and I am no expert, but I think this is a Long-dash. There were numbers flying around the drainage ponds at Southern Maine Health Center in Kennebunk on Saturday when I stopped by looking for dragonflies. Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Red-winged Blackbird: Quest Ponds, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — This appears to be a young male, this year’s fledgling, Red-winged Blackbird. Note the red patches developing at the shoulders. He is learning his trade, helping dad to defend the territory, and he was actively practicing on me when I visited the drainage ponds at Southern Maine Medical Center here in Kennebunk. He hovered over my head, about 4 feet up, making sure I was aware of his displeasure at my being in the vicinity of the nest. I was just there hoping to photograph dragonflies around the pond and had no designs on his family…but, since he took such interest in me, I had to photograph him. 🙂 Fair is fair. Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Four-spotted Skimmer: Kennebunk Bridle Path, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — As I said yesterday, it was definitely a skimmer day, with Painted, Twelve-spotted, and Four-spotted all in flight over the little pools in the marsh along the lower Mousam River here in Kennebunk. This is two shots of the same 4-spot. Nikon B700 at 2880 (2x enhanced digital zoom) and 1440mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Painted Skimmer: Kennebunk Bridle Path, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — It was a skimmer kind of day, or perhaps just skimmer season, at the little brackish pools in the marsh along the lower Mousam River here in Kennebunk yesterday. I had Twelve-spotted, Four-spotted, and Painted Skimmers from the same spot along the Bridle Path. The nice thing about skimmers, from a photographer’s point of view, is that they occasionally perch long enough for a shot…the hard thing about skimmers is that they generally perch on the top of a tall thin stalk waving in the wind. These shots are at 1440mm equivalent with the Nikon B700. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Cooper’s Hawk: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I was at the little drainage pond at Southern Maine Health Care in Kennebunk, photographing mostly dragonflies, when the resident pair of Red-winged Blackbirds suddenly increased their racket. The male in particular seemed upset, and his high pitched alarm calls were echoed by an even higher pitched call that I thought might be a Cowbird…but I had not seen any Cowbirds around the pond. Suddenly a big bird burst out of the dense little evergreen at the pond’s edge, where it had obviously been sheltering from the RWBB’s attentions, and dove into the birch cluster above the RWBB’s nest. The RWBB was on it in seconds, and it flew out and across the parking lot to one of the ornamental trees. Cooper’s Hawk! By shape and size and what little feather pattern I caught in flight. The RWBB was not giving it any rest, and before I could get the camera on it, it flew back across in front of me and landed up under the eves of the forest abutting the pond, about 40 feet from me. I had been using full 1440mm equivalent on the dragonflies, so I was zoomed in way to far, but I got off a couple of shots, and then attempted to zoom back for the full bird. By then, though, only seconds later, the RWBB had moved the hawk on again, and this time escorted it out across the parking lot until it disappeared into the trees behind the shopping center an eighth of a mile back out toward Route 1. So what I have is a grab shot head shot of the bird. Not a bad shot considering. And a Cooper’s Hawk is always a good bird to see. 🙂 Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Program mode with what are becoming my custom birds and wildlife modifications for this camera (Program, Vivid Picture Control, Low Active-D Lighting, Medium movable spot focus, -.3EV exposure compensation). Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Lancet Clubtail Dragonfly: Forever Wild for All Sanctuary, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I made an off-hand remark in one of my posts recently that the Nikon P700 (which I recently found “used like new” on Ebay) might become my go-to camera for Dragonflies. When asked, by one of my readers, “why?” I told him that it was the extra reach of the 1440mm lens from 7 feet…being able to fill the frame with a dragonfly at that distance makes dragonfly photography much easier…but I had forgotten the main reason I like a small-sensor superzoom bridge camera for insects: depth of field! The small sensor means that at the equivalent field of view of a 1440mm lens, you have the depth of field of a 258mm lens. That is pretty close to the same depth of field you get with the Sony Rx series at 600mm equivalent…and way more depth of field than you would get with a larger sensor camera at anything like that magnification. That means that I can get frame filling shots of dragonflies with almost the whole bug in focus…even head on shots like this one. That is a huge advantage if you are attempting to identify dragons from photos, or to take photos which show identification features. Anyway…this is, as above, a Lancet Clubtail (all my dragonfly ids are “subject to correction by anyone who knows better”, always 🙂 Still, I am pretty confident of this one. The Lancet is one of the earliest flying clubtails, and, in fact, probably the most abundant clubtail we have here in southern Maine, so in early June I am pretty safe with that id. Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Program mode. Vivid Picture Control and Low Active-D Lighting. -.3EV. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Wild Geranium (Cranesbill), Forever Wild for All Sanctuary, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — it is wild geranium season here in Southern Maine. You see them in ditches along roadsides and in meadows along forest edges. This stand was at the Forever Wild for All Sanctuary along the Mousam River in West Kennebunk. This is a “telephoto” macro with the Nikon B700 at about 1350mm from maybe 8 feet. Program mode. Vivid Picture Control. Low Active D-Lighting. -.3EV. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. I am impressed with the image quality of the 20mp sensor in the B700. It seems significantly better than that of the 16mp sensor in the P610/P950/P1000…though that is only an impression…I have not done comparison tests.
Eastern Bluebirds: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Bluebirds raise two (at least) broods a summer, so it is the male who feeds the young of the first brood while the female is already on the eggs. The past two days have been cool and rainy, adding to the stress on the male, so we have had the fledglings on the deck most of the day. The male returns often with grubs…but he feeds them mealworms between grub runs. The female comes only occasionally, but does not take time to feed the young. She is just after a quick snack before getting back to the eggs. This is not a great shot…as it was early morning in the rain and not much light yet at all, but it is a good portrait of both the male and one of the fledglings. The fledglings are almost big enough to fend for themselves. I have seen one of them on the mealworm feeder, but he has not figured out now to get the mealworms out. And, besides, it is easier to just sit there and let dad drop them into his mouth. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at about 400mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 320 @ f4 @ 1/500th.