Yellow-headed Caracara: Hotel Bougainvillea, San Jose, Costa Rica — I don’t know how much wifi I am going to have over the next days, so here is an early post for tomorrow. I was surprised to see this Yellow-headed Caracara perched (more or less) on the air vent of the building next to the hotel. It seemed to be attacking its reflection in the silver metal. I hope the survival of the species does not depend on this individual. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr, Pixelmator Photo Pro, and Apple Photos. (Enlarged for image scale in Pixelmator Pro for the equivalent of perhaps a 1500mm lens.) ISO 100 @ f6.3 @ 1/1000th. + 1 EV.
Mallard: York County, Maine, USA — There are always Mallards, and Mallards will always do something interesting if you watch them long enough. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 573mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos and assembled in FrameMagic. ISO 1250 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Wild Turkey: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — The Turkeys are forming large herds again…it is the season…or maybe it is in honor of Thanksgiving…safety in numbers? I encountered a small group right next to the road and pulled over to roll down the window and take a few shots. This is full frame at 600mm equivalent. The light was not the best, but even here you can see the deep iridescence in the feathers…blues and greens and purples…making the humble turkey a rainbow bird. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 1250 @ f4 @ 1/500th. And a happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
Eastern Bluebird: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — not a perfect shot but it certainly caught my eye when I was importing my photos from a walk to Roger’s Pond the other day. The bluebird was a little too far away even at 600mm on the zoom, and the light was not good, but when a bluebird splashes across the frame like this, well it certainly catches your eye. 🙂 The colorful background helps too. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr, Pixelmator Photo Pro, and Apple Photos. ISO 1000 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Mallard ducks: Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters, Wells, Maine, USA — the only thing special about this pair of Mallards from Branch Brook at Rachel Carson is that they were apparently music lovers…either that or they just came downstream to see what the awful racket was as I sat on the observation deck by the marsh playing my Native American Style flute. 🙂 (Of course it is almost impossible to make anything resembling a racket with a NAS flute…it is a naturally melodic instrument…which is why I play it.) They were still shy. Once I noticed them, cruising down under the bank, and stoped playing to take a few photos, they circled back upstream, and then when I started to play again, got up and flew away right in front of me toward the junction of Branch Brook with the Merriland River across the marsh. I wish I had had my camera up at that point…but at least I played them away on their journey. Sony Rx10iv at 580mm equivalent. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photo. ISO 1000 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Blue Jay: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Blue Jays are only occasional visitors to our yard, though they are certainly always in the neighborhood. I can not tell you how many times one has landed on our deck when I have not had my camera handy, and, always, they are gone as soon as I move to go get the camera. This one was no different, but he came back after I got the camera and actually posed for me in a couple of different spots on the deck…here on one of the perch branches we have bolted to the deck rail near the feeders. Blue Jays are Corvids…related to the Crows…and are highly intelligent birds, with lots of character. They can be bullies at the feeder and I suppose I would feel differently about them if they were in our yard all the time, but as occasional visitors I am always happy to see them. It helps, in these shots, to have the lovely background of fall color, already in the sun while our deck was still in shadow. Taken through the thermal glass of our deck door. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 640 for the first two, 800 for the last @ f4 @ 1/500th. +.3 EV to compensate for the backlight.
Red Squirrel: Alwive Pond Preserve, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Another shot of the Red Squirrel I encountered on my way out from Alwive Pond the other day. In processing this one I noticed that he has all four paws off the tree…so mid leap. I really like the out of focus branch in the background of this series. Also notice the back patch in his tail. Red Squirrel are highly variable in color and color pattern, but i have not seen this back spot in the tail before. A very handsome squirrel. Sony Rx10iv at 400mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Another low light shot. ISO 6400 @ f4 @ 1/400th.
Vesper Sparrow: Kennebunk Plains, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — This bird was a ways away…captured at 1440mm equivalent with the Nikon B700. It was also very busy, taking a dust bath in the middle of the foot trail out along the woods beyond Day Brook Pond. I would have had trouble identifying it if 1) Vesper Sparrows were not among the most common sparrows on the Plains, and 2) if that distinctive little patch of chestnut feathers on the shoulder was not showing so nicely. Even Google Lens was able to id the bird…if I needed any confirmation. Again, Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Program mode. ISO 100 @ f6.5 @ 1/640th. -.3 EV Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Eastern Chipmunk: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — We have, of course, lots of chipmunks in our yard, but it is always fun to see them “in the wild”…out in the deeper forest. This is one of two who were playing tree tag in Rachel Carson forest as I was walking the other day. One of the fun things about carrying the Nikon B700 is the 1440mm reach that allows for shots like this from a fair distance. B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Program mode for ISO 1000 @ f6.5 @ 1/125. -.3EV Vivid Picture Control. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. I think this is a satisfying shot for high ISO with the small sensor on the Nikon.
Eastern Gray Squirrel: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I looked out of my window yesterday afternoon, peaking between the blinds, and saw a squirrel on the maple branch above me. He appeared to be eating the maple blossoms…I have been watching the maple blossoms since they were just tiny red beads on the branch tips. Maple blossoms are one of my favorite things about spring. They are so beautiful, and so unlikely. I suspect the vast majority of Americans do not know that maples flower, and certainly do not know how beautiful the flowers are. Our blossoms are not quite ready to open into full flowers yet, but they have made a lot of progress the past few days. I certainly did not expect to see the squirrels eating them. A google peruse this morning shows that it is common behavior…to the extent that are recommended “cures” to keep squirrels from decimating ornamental maples in folk’s yards. We have so many maple trees here in Southern Maine, and even in our yard, that it would take a plague of squirrels of biblical proportions (as they say) to do much damage. Much as I appreciate maple flowers, if the squirrels prefer them to my sunflower seeds in season, I say “let them eat flowers!” Anyway, I got my camera and spent a while watching and photographing the squirrel getting into all kinds of greedy postures among the maple blossoms. Each of these three shots tells its own story, and together they tell a tale. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 400, 250, and 250 @ f4 @ 1/500th.