Posts in Category: Maine

Not a bleak mid-winter

We will take a break, this winter Sunday, from our ongoing converge of the birds and nature of Costa Rica to bring you this special report from snowy southern Maine. We have not had all that much snow yet this winter and, to be honest, a nice gentle 8 inch fall is just what we needed to make the cold and damp feel worth it all. (It won’t last. A wintery mix is predicted for today, without much accumulation.) Still, I got out yesterday as far as Laudholm Farms to find a nice snowy scene. Sony Rx10iv at 24mm equivalent. Program mode with auto HDR. Processed in Pixomator Photo and Apple Photos. Equivalent exposure: ISO 100 @ f5 @ 1/1000th.

Brown Creeper!

Brown Creeper: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — We rarely see Brown Creepers in our yard, and they are even rarer on our deck. This one has been coming for several days now, foraging among the suet crumbs on the rail of the deck under the suet cage. Of course the light was marginal and I had to shoot through the double-pane glass of the deck door, but still…every Brown Creeper is worth celebrating. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr, Pixelmator Photo Pro, and Apple Photos. ISO 3200 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Show off!

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.

No. Not impressed.

Mallards, York County, Maine, USA — Mallards are hard to impress and this male, peeking into the frame on the right, is going to have to try a lot harder. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 573mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 400 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wild Turkey: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — It is perhaps a bit ironic to celebrate Thanksgiving with an image of the main course…but just look at these well fed birds! They are certainly a symbol of the bounty and abundance of the natural harvest this year. And, of course, none of these birds are headed for the oven, for which I am sure they would be thankful if they were that self-aware. And it is good to fall into the nostalgia of the season…to let the feeling of generations of thankful pilgrims all across this continent well up once more in us. For many of us, for most of us, it is not hard to find something to be thankful for, and good to have a day that demands it of us…that encourages us to pause and consider the bounty and abundance of blessings in our lives. So be thankful. Keep safe, in this our second thanksgiving of the pandemic. The blessings of the creator and sustainer of all be on us all today! Sony Rx10iv at 144mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 400 @ f4 @ 1/320th.

House Finch away from home…

House Finch: Timber Point, Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, Maine. — I stopped by the newish Timber Point section of Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge on my way back from Biddeford Pool, when I was out looking for Snowy Owls the other day, and found a mixed feeding flock working the sumac between the parking and the entrance proper. I managed to catch this colorful specimen in all the feeding activity. Not a trick shot, but a tricky shot for the auto focus to manage. I am always amazed at how well it does. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f5.6 @ 1/1000th.

What color is a turkey?

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.

Red-breasted Merganser

Red-breasted Merganser: York County, ME, USA — though not nearly as rare as even the Red-throated Loon posted yesterday, I am always happy to find a Red-breasted Merganser in Maine waters. Such a perky water fowl. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent (enlarged and cropped for more like a 2400mm field of view). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr, Pixelmator Photo Pro, and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/640th.

Red-throated Loon

Red-throated Loon: East Point, Biddeford Pool, Maine, USA — While looking for Snowy Owls around Biddeford Pool, I walked the trails and shoreline at East Point Audubon Preserve. As I went back toward the Pool along the estuary there was a small mixed group of water birds feeding in loose formation…one eider, one Red-breasted Merganser (which I will share tomorrow) and this Red-throated Loon. Red-throated Loons can be seen off the Maine coast through the winter. The green water shot was close in to shore and I was looking down on the bird…hence the difference in water color. Though the bird is not in breeding plumage, you can recognize it by its slim elegant profile and its smooth rounded head. It helped that I had already seen one Common Loon, earlier in my wandering that day, and the Common Loon profile was fresh in my memory. This was definitely a different bird. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. bottom shot enlarged in Pixelmator Photo Pro. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/800th and 1/640th.

My first Snowy of 2021

Snowy Owl: Biddeford Pool, Maine, USA — I went out yesterday to do a poke around for Snowy Owls. There have been several in York County this past week (and at least one close encounter to go by the pics posted on Facebook). I did not have a close encounter, far from it, but I did manage to find one Snowy Owl, after several hours of visiting likely spots from past years and places they have been reported this year on eBird. This one was right at the narrows at Biddeford Pool…I was parked in the town parking by the market, but it was all the way across the channel on the other bank…barely a speck to the naked eye…and not clearly identifiable as a Snowy Owl. Could have been an upright white rock. I had to watch it for a while through the viewfinder at 1200mm on the Sony Rx10iv before it moved and I was certain it was an owl. Even then it only rotated its head. Not ideal for photography. This shot is at 1200mm equivalent using Clear Image digital zoom on the Sony, and then I enlarged it in Pixomator Photo Pro and cropped so it is at least the equivalent of a 3000mm lens. To make matters more difficult, it is a Snowy Owl…a difficult subject for exposure at any time. In the bright November sun, I had to dial the Exposure Compensation down to -1.3 EV to hold any detail in the white feathers. I tried even -2 EV but it still did not keep the highlights in check. The best I can say of this photo is that it is definitely a Snowy Owl. 🙂 It does give me hope for at least one close encounter this winter. We shall see. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent optical zoom plus 2x Clear Image zoom. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. -1.3 EV. Processed in Polarr, Pixelmator Pro, and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/800th.