Archive for the ‘Birds’ Category

I recently spent a bit of time sitting in a reasonably comfortable bird blind that one of the members of my local photo club constructed.  It is a great way to get closeup photos of birds in the area and is an excellent resource.

Here are a few of my photos from my time in the bird blind. At the bottom of this post are two birds that I can’t identify (other than that one is some type of woodpecker).  I’d appreciate any information anyone can provide about these “mystery” birds.

Blue jay

Bird Blind - October 22, 2014 - 0099

I don’t know if these are immature Blue jays but they don’t have the full-blown distinctive crest you typically associate with a Blue jay (the bird in the second photo may be developing that crest).

Bird Blind - October 22, 2014 - 200 Bird Blind - October 22, 2014 - 285

 

Male Downy Woodpecker (in the second photo it is getting a grub out of a tree branch)

 

Bird Blind - October 22, 2014 - 0020 Bird Blind - October 22, 2014 - 0027

Female Downy Woodpecker

Bird Blind - October 22, 2014 - 0040Bird Blind - October 22, 2014 - 0079

Male Cardinal

Bird Blind - October 22, 2014 - 178-Edit

 

Female Cardinal

Bird Blind - October 22, 2014 - 302-Edit Bird Blind - October 22, 2014 - 306

Goldfinch

Bird Blind - October 22, 2014 - 0103

 

Mystery Woodpecker

Bird Blind - October 22, 2014 - 0031

Mystery Bird 2

Bird Blind - October 22, 2014 - 335

Advertisements

I have been in North Dakota for the last 2 weeks and have been so busy traveling and taking photos to post anything.

I know this is no excuse, but I hope what I will be posting over the next few weeks will make up for some of my negligence.

I took this photo last week at the Audubon National Wildlife Refuge, which is north of Bismarck and south of Minot off of Highway 83. There is an 8 mile long gravel road along the south shoreline of Lake Audubon. Remarkably, during the day I was there ((admittedly a weekday), I met only one other person on the road and as a result I was able to park my car and sit and just see what was going on and wait for photo opportunities. When I was moving, it was often at one or two miles per hour.

While I was at the refuge I saw eagles, owls, egrets, antelopes, numerous birds that a birder could identify but I could just photograph and admire, as well as some spectacular scenery. Here is an example of what you might see (the bird in the distance is an owl carrying a recent catch).

Audubon National Wildlife Refuge

 

Ducklings - May 31, 2014 - 269

I continue to go through the hundreds of photos I took of a duck and her ducklings the other day. Here is another photo of a duck exercising its wings; this time with a straight on view. It is pretty cool how they instinctively “know” that they have to be doing this. Somehow it seems like a nifty symbol of striving.

FYI, I strongly suspect that the motion blur behind the duckling was due to the ruffling of the larger duck’s feathers although it almost makes it look like the duckling was landing, which it was not. The exposure was ISO 400 1/90 sec. at f/5.6

Ducklings - May 31, 2014 - 137

I was out with my camera recently having no intention of photographing ducks when I ran into a duck and her ducklings. It was a beautiful day. I had a fully charged battery in my camera as well as a large memory card and, most important, a willingness to wait and watch for several hours to see what might be seen. In summary, I saw both more and less than I expected and hope for.  There was no troop of duckling waddling down to the water and launching themselves off from shore as a small flotilla, which would have been fun but is also visible enough so that it has been photographed a lot. What I captured instead were images like this one – a duckling exercising its wings. I’m sure this is a common enough event in the life of a duckling but it isn’t so in your face cool (like a duckling flotilla) that it gets a great deal of photographic attention. I don’t recall having seen a photo of this necessary little piece of a duckling’s life before, so in that sense I captured more than I expected. I hope you enjoy seeing it as much as I did.

Double Bald Eagle- February 15, 2014 - 2064

Few people I know think of “Orange”** when they think “bald eagles” and yet there they were — two of them orange from the cloud-filtered sun. I photographed them as they cavorted along the Wisconsin River this winter, but I took hundreds of photos of the bald eagles along the river and didn’t even look at this one for more than a month after it was taken. When I did, I did a double take. Not only did I have orange bald eagles but I had two of them, but with only one head. While a bit unusual, I thought viewers of the A Word a Week Photograph Challenge: Orange might enjoy this date with nature.

** To be clear, the beak and claws of mature bald eagles are a fairly bright orange and if you happen to be focusing your attention on either or both of these parts of a mature bald eagle, orange may indeed leap to mind.

Bald Eagles Pair

These two bald eagles appear to be very close, not only aerodynamically but perhaps in other ways as well, as they fly near each other In the Air over the Wisconsin River

Great Blue Heron Takes Off - October 02, 2013 - 192-(Black and White)

The moment when a bird, any bird, just takes off is here and gone in a millisecond. When a Great Blue Heron has just taken off from a branch overlooking the pond at Warner Park in Madison, Wisconsin is just as fleeting if a bit more noticeable. This photo is my contribution to Black & White Sunday: A Fleeting Moment.