Welcome back! It’s my last shoot of 2012 and I’m back at the Ridgefield NWR at sun up, Dec. 27 and ready to go. ISO settings ranged from 800 to 2500 for today’s pictures. Light varied throughout the day.
I’m starting off with a shot of some Tundra Swans in flight. The guy bringing up the rear is probably thinking, “Hey, wait for me!” Taken between markers #11 & 12.
ISO 2500 (8:35 a.m.)
[Click on each image to see a larger, more detailed shot].
And then another swan comes by somewhat closer. Taken near marker #13. ISO 2500 (8:51)
A Great Egret finds a small morsel of food just past marker #13. ISO 1600 (8:55)
Here’s a video of the Egret with a very nice reflection.
Along the beginning of the auto tour between markers #2 & 3, a Lesser Scaup shows me her better side. ISO 1600 (9:05)
Just after turning the corner at marker #4, almost directly above me is this friendly looking Red-tailed Hawk. S/he is likely saying, “Come up here and see what happens!” ISO 1600 (9:10)
I’ve got a little story about this next shot. About a month or so ago while at the refuge, I approached a large, mossy snag on the right side of the road and not far from marker #9. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a hawk-sized, medium-brown bird land on this snag and quickly disappear into the opening near the top. I was not able to identify the bird and have wondered since, what bird crawled into this snag. Well, today I approached the snag and low and behold, perched about 8 feet away was this very sleepy Barn Owl. The bird was maybe ten feet off the ground but was obstructed by several small branches that crossed its body and face. I took a lot of frames anyway since this was a lifer for me–my first spotting and photograph. When processing the shot I decided to take the liberty of removing the obstructing branches while keeping the bird’s features intact as much as possible. So here is my first ‘sleepy’ Barn Owl shot! ISO 1600 (9:27)
There’s a young Red-tailed Hawk that seems to call this one 4×4 post home just prior to turning the corner at marker #12. This is the same post that appears in the pictures from my previous blog posting where I got numerous shots of a Northern Harrier. Here are a couple of shots. ISO 800 (9:44)
This lone American Coot was quite close to the road preening. ISO 800 (10:26)
And a portrait. ISO 640 (10:26)
I’ve returned to the Red-tailed Hawk’s favorite post. This time though, as I approached the post in my truck, I saw the hawk on the ground to my right a couple hundred feet away from the post. I decided to drive past the post about a hundred feet and park where I could point my lens out my driver’s side window. I focused on the post and got the camera aimed. As luck would have it, in just a few minutes the hawk flew back toward the post. I hit burst and came up with this series. I took the post out of the first shot as it leaves some mystery as to what the bird is going for. ISO 1000 (10:40)
From the same spot as the above hawk photos, this gull flies over. The sky was very white so I gave it a little different treatment in Nik Silver Efex Pro 2. ISO 1250 (10:47)
From near marker #13, here’s a shot of a Great Egret gaining altitude as it flies over the grasslands. ISO 2500 (12:05 p.m.)
I began this website and blog in early October of 2010. It’s 27 months later and I appreciate all of you folks who come to the site to read and view my articles, photos, and blog postings. With almost 2000 images and over 400 posts so far, it’s been fun sharing what I capture with everyone. I’m happy to begin my 7th year of photographing wildlife and hope for some interesting shots in the new year!
That will do it for this year! I want to wish everyone a prosperous and happy 2013!