Hello again! It’s been over 3 weeks since I posted my last blog entry. Sorry about that–it’s been a busy December at our house. Today I’m working on images I made at Ridgefield NWR on Nov. 20, 2013. Let’s get to the pictures on this bright, sunny, and cool day.
This is the day that I witnessed some amazing behavioral action between an immature Bald Eagle and a Red-tailed Hawk. I posted this series of shots to the Blog on Nov. 23rd. You may have already seen it, but if not, here is a quick link to that posting called The Eagle and the Hawk —33 photos of the action that occurred around noon. If you click away to the eagle/hawk series, be sure to come back here and check out other images shown below.
Early in the day, I noticed a Belted Kingfisher hovering over the slough between markers #3 & 4 and perching in some shrubbery further out in the field. I had the bare 500mm on and decided to take the shot even though the bird was way too far out to result in a quality shot. It wasn’t until I got home and processed the shot that I noticed the bird had caught a snack. The light was nice but other than that we’re looking at a documentary shot. Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1000, f4, ISO 800, 500mm. (8:26 a.m.)
[Click on the thumbnails to reveal larger more detailed images].
Next up is a few shots of what I think is an American Goldfinch. The day was getting brighter fast so I put on my 2x extender. Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1000, f8, ISO 800, 1000mm. (8:37)
Notice the dirt on its face.
Here, the bird appears to be taking a nap but it’s really trying to scrape the material from its face.
Just prior to lift off.
A close up of a Red-tailed Hawk. Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1000, f8, ISO 800, 1000mm. (8:46 a.m.)
This is the same bird as above. I loved the look I’m getting here! Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1000, f8, ISO 800, 1000mm. (8:46 a.m.)
The last couple of weeks I’ve noticed a pair of Double-crested Cormorants around marker #10. I wish I could get a killer shot of one of these but the location has lots of brush in the way and these birds seemed very skittish. Here’s a frame that came out okay. Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1000, f8, ISO 1600, 1000mm. (9:04 a.m.)
I’m back at the beginning of the loop parked at marker #3. Off to my left (against the sun) I see a Northern Harrier on the ground a couple hundred feet out. It didn’t take long and the bird took flight heading right for me. So I took some shots of it hovering and turning in flight as it hunted the area. It turned away from me before getting too close though. Here are a couple of the shots of this hunting harrier. Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1250, f8, ISO 1600, 1000mm. (9:45 a.m.)
The familiar hover pose.
Here the bird shows off how it can manipulate its wings in a twisted orientation, turning on a dime in mid-flight. Amazing fliers they are!
A couple hundred feet up the road is a lone Hooded Merganser in the slough to my right (the same location where the kingfisher was hunting). Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1250, f8, ISO 1600, 1250mm. (9:50 a.m.)
Another Red-tailed Hawk. I’m seeing many of these birds all around! Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1250, f8, ISO 1600, 1000mm. (10:09 a.m.)
This is a Pied-billed Grebe wondering if he should dive or not! Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1250, f8, ISO 1600, 1000mm. (10:53 a.m.)
A long distance shot of an American Kestrel in hover mode. I’m eagerly awaiting the day I can get this pose of a bird that is within about 70 feet. Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1250, f8, ISO 2000, 1000mm. (12:14 p.m.)
I’m wondering if this is a young male Norther Harrier based on the light markings on the face. Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1250, f8, ISO 2000, 1000mm. (12:17 p.m.)
After the bird took flight.
This is a full frame shot of a Great Egret maybe 20 feet off the road. Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1250, f8, ISO 2000, 1000mm. (12:57 p.m.)
And that’s about it for the 20th of November! Thanks for stopping by and take care as we move into a new year.