Here’s a quick look at some Ridgefield NWR images I took on Dec. 5, 2013. A cold icy day for the wildlife. The refuge is a wondrous place to go on days like this.
First up I came across a frosty Great Blue Heron for which I have a whole lot of respect. His feet are in the water, there are ice crystals on his back, his bill is glowing, and I guess he’s waiting for the sun to warm him up. Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1000, f4, ISO 1600, 500mm. (8:14 a.m.)
[Please click once on the thumbnails for the real photograph! Thanks!]
Here’s a quasi-landscape shot of a Northern Harrier doing its hunting rounds in the cool of the morning. This gives you an idea of the fog situation early on. Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1000, f4, ISO 1600, 500mm. (8:58 a.m.)
I believe this is a Gadwall. This morning he/she is an ice dweller. Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1000, f4, ISO 1600, 500mm. (9:13 a.m.)
And, one of the most common birds on the refuge is the Song Sparrow. This one jumped up on a cattail for me. It was very close and I failed to stop down the lens leaving my depth of field quite shallow. Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1000, f4, ISO 1000, 500mm. (9:15 a.m.)
It’s sunny so I switch over to 1000mm, which wasn’t the greatest idea for this flight shot of a Great Egret. The 2x extender really slows the AF and makes getting a sharp flight shot difficult–at least for me. I have a lot more practice to do with the 1000mm set up, especially on flight shots. And of course, I’m not planning on making the 1000mm set up my “go to” set up for BIF’s. But that doesn’t keep me from trying it now and then. 🙂 Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1600, f8, ISO 800, 1000mm. (9:49 a.m.)
These next two shots are of the same American Kestrel. I was using the 1000mm set up on both. For this first shot, I stopped pretty far away from the sign not knowing if the bird would flush. My guess is about 75 feet. The next shot I moved about 25 feet closer and the bird let me get a few shots off. I’m posting both just for the fun of it and to compare them. Canon 5D Mark III, 1/400, f10, ISO 1600, 1000mm. (10:15 a.m.)
I think the shots are very similar in quality. The second one may have a slight edge in feather sharpness around the back of the head but it’s hardly noticeable. Guess that’s kind of a silly test!
Canon 5D Mark III, 1/400, f10, ISO 1600, 1000mm. (10:19 a.m.)
This shot was taken at marker #2 (Long Lake) where the sun is usually behind the subject. The Great Egret is just chilling out (literally!) on a frosty log. Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1000, f8, ISO 1000, 1000mm. (10:26 a.m.)
I’ve seen groups/families of River Otters around the refuge from time to time but I have never seen 10 of them at once! There may even be more in there. Other folks were also getting shots of them and it was difficult finding a spot that wasn’t obscured by the trees and bushes. This was taken in the Ash tree forest. Canon 5D Mark III, 1/800, f8, ISO 2000, 700mm. (11:45 a.m.)
I continue to try to get close to a Sandhill Crane but so far, I have failed. This is the best I could come up with on this day. I’m really just asking for 100 feet–and I’ll be happy! Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1000, f8, ISO 1600, 700mm. (12:16 p.m.)
And then I blink, and this is what happens! Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1000, f8, ISO 1600, 700mm. (12:16 p.m.)
That wraps it up for Dec. 5th. Thanks for viewing The Blog and take care. See you next time!