Greetings all! I’m here with the 27th of January’s episode of my Ridgefield photo shoots. I arrived at sun up and the refuge greeted me with fairly heavy fog–fog that did not really lift all day. There were spots on the refuge where the fog would clear up but that meant that somewhere else, it was even foggier. The sun never showed itself so this made for some challenging photo situations.
Some of the shots I’ve posted for today needed some heavy-duty post processing to remove fog and bring some life to the photos. There were a few spots I happened to be in where the fog at ground level had mostly gone away. Here the image quality goes up a notch. In locations where the fog had not lifted, shots needed a little more help in post-processing. You’ll see what I mean as we look at them.
Let’s start off with a little Golden-crowned Sparrow–one of gazillions on the refuge, that love to forage on the road. As I drive up, they all fly over to the edge of the road and land quite close.
[As always, please click on the pictures once, to see a larger more detailed view.]
My best find of the day came when I spotted one of our resident Peregrine Falcons on a popular perch at the three-tree area. I was hoping the sun might pop through and shine in from the left but it was not to be. Here is a collection of some of the best poses.
“It’s been weeks since I trimmed my nails!”
“I’m in complete control here!”
Waving at me.
Staring at me.
Don’t get any ideas!
“Ah, I’m so cute!”
It’s always a good day when I can get some falcon shots! I’m now driving down the home stretch and just passing by the Bald Eagle nesting area off to the right. All of a sudden one of the eagles takes off from the nest and heads over to the post #2 area ( a good 150-200 yards away). It’s continually dive bombing the waterfowl there in the water. I begin to move a little faster (staying within the speed limit, 🙂 ) to see if I can get some low flying eagle shots. Just a few seconds later and I see the eagle flying back toward me (and toward the nest) but now with a duck or coot in its talons. Here are a few not-so-great shots that were taken in fog and low light. They’re noisy and soft but I wanted you to see what I saw.
I’m back in the Ash tree forest where a male Spotted Towhee is perched on a mossy branch. This is a flash shot at 1/500 shutter speed.
A raccoon is scratching. I noticed it appears it has an injury on its scratching foot.
Here are my first photos this year of a Harlan’s Hawk. Again, fog is fairly heavy and a lot of processing was needed on these images. Both of these were taken at 1/1000 and ISO500.
I’m beginning another loop around the auto tour when I see this pretty Lesser Scaup in the canal to the right near post #3. This was at a spot where the fog had temporarily subsided. She was amazingly cooperative.
A House Finch is busy foraging for food.
Another Golden-crowned sparrow perches on a carpet of moss rounds out today’s photo shoot.
Hoping for less fog and more light in the coming weeks at the refuge. See you next time on The Blog. Take care!