Our Chipmunks are evidently busy elsewhere, putting in supplies for the winter, as we are not seeing them on the deck much. This youngster, one of this year’s second brood, came yesterday, drawn by the spilled mealworms we put out for the Bluebirds. Of course he was hovering up all the spilled seed as well. The original handy-vac, cleaning up our deck. We appreciate his efforts, and the opportunity to watch him…just as long as he does not go for the feeders themselves. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 640 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Black-capped Chickadee: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I am really enjoying the early November light. I have mentioned that I have been in Texas and New Mexico this time of year for going on 20 years, and so the light these first weeks in November in Maine is something that I don’t have a lot of recent experience with. The sun is low to the horizon and has swung around way to the south, putting my feeders in the good light from 10am until sundown. This Chickadee was doing it’s usual sunflower seed dance. It had picked one up from the feeder and retreated to a branch to bash it open. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 250 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
White-breasted Nuthatch: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Out in the backyard in this lovely November Maine light, with the sun coming across at eye-level, I caught the acrobatics of this White-breasted Nuthatch on the Bittersweet vine under the pines. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos, and assembled in FrameMagic.
Swamp Sparrow, Roger’s Pond, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — This Swamp Sparrow just would not give me a clear shot. I stood in the middle of the road at Roger’s Pond (fortunately there was not much traffic) for fifteen minutes waiting on this bird to show as was actively feeding in a clump of brush under the trees and this is the best I managed. I could have waited longer, but it became clear that not showing itself was habit not happenstance with this bird, so I moved on. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
I spent some time in the photo blind the other day and was entertained by this chipmunk getting a drink from my pump and bucket water feature. The chipmunks are very bold. Twice now I have had them join me in the blind when I apparently set it up across one of their highways…or maybe they were just being friendly. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
I published a Day Poem this morning, based on this experience. I love watching Black Skimmers at work…and I certainly enjoy trying to catch them in action. I have my “birds in flight and action modifications” to Program mode programed into the focus hold button on the Sony’s lens, right under my thumb, so all I have to do is press the button to shift modes when I see a BIF opportunity. The Sony Rx10iv’s tracking auto focus makes Skimmers easier than ever before…but it is still a challenge. This Black Skimmer was working the ponds off the short Gator Creek loop at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge near Titusville, Florida, USA. Sony Rx10iv as above, 600mm equivalent. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos and assembled in FrameMagic.
And here is the poem.
Black Skimmers cut the water
the way the lady at the fabric
store cuts cloth…not scissoring
at all, but holding the blades
stationary and sliding, parting
the cloth effortlessly, easily,
as though it were an act of will
instead of muscle…of course water
(unlike cloth) is self healing and
no sooner has the Skimmers bill
parted the waters than the seam
seals, leaving hardly a ripple
behind the bird. I love to watch
them, and to try to catch them
in the act with my camera. Such
grace, such skill, more an act
of will than it is an act of muscle.
We spent the morning at Dave & Dave’s Costa Rican Nature Pavilion photographing a wide range of birds in the rain…including hummingbirds. This is a Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, the only red-footed hummingbird in Costa Rica. Dave & Dave (father and son) no longer use artificial hummingbird feeders. They put out fresh flowers each day which attract the hummers without distracting them from natural food sources. Challenging photography. Natural light. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent (full frame). Program mode with my custom birds in flight and action modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
On my one fly-in at the Festival of the Cranes at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge (Socorro, New Mexico, USA) this year, we were graced by a sun dog in the sunset. It was subtle, but there. I waited patiently for at least a few Sandhill Cranes to fly by it on their way into the shallow pond for the night. It was low on the horizon and most of the cranes came in too high or too low. Patience was eventually rewarded. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 475mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds in flight and action modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Socorro, New Mexico, USA. As I said in yesterday’s post, I never did see a full scale panic of Snow Geese this year at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge while I was there for the Festival of the Cranes. But I did see several mixed mini panics, involving both Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese. And that is really odd because Cranes do not startle like that very often, at least in my limited experience. Generally Cranes are very deliberate, even about moving from one field to another. They go family by family after much apparent consideration. They don’t leap into the air in a bunch. Who knows what was up at Bosque this year. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds in flight and action modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
I realized this morning that I have not yet posted a close up photo of the other stars of the Bosque del Apache Festival of the Cranes from this year. As well as 14,000 Sandhill Cranes, between 30,000 and 40,000 Snow Geese winter at the Bosque. This is the first year I have visited Bosque without seeing a Snow Goose panic…when several thousand geese take to the air, calling and circling for between 5 and 15 minutes before settling. The geese were dispersed this year…feeding in several newly flooded fields, and not congregating in very large numbers in any single place. Perhaps that is why I saw no panics. I saw the geese rise in potential panics…but never enough at a time to pull the whole flock into the air. They always settled within seconds. ??? There were still lots of geese in the air as they moved in small flocks from field to field, so there were still opportunities to practice my birds in flight skills on Snow Geese, and I got some decent shots. You will want to view this one at as large as your screen allows…or maybe I should say, “I would like you to.” 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds in flight and action modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.