Taken during "The Biggest Week in American Birding."
Red-eyed Vireo is just one of the many neotropical migrants
that can be found during “The Biggest Week in American Birding” at Magee Marsh,
Ohio.Magee is a mecca for migrants,
birders, and bird photographers.If you
have never been to Magee Marsh, you’re missing out on a fantastic experience.My favorite time to visit the marsh is between
May 6 and the 21st.So, mark
these dates on your calendar and perhaps I will see you there in 2017.
Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/640 second @ f/7.1
photographed during the "Biggest Week in American Birding."
In May, I spent a week at Magee Marsh to photograph neotropical
migrants.I was fortunate to photograph
this Wilson Warbler as it winged north from its wintering grounds of Mexico and
Central America.The background is
out-of-focus foliage about twenty feet behind the bird.Finding clean backgrounds that place emphasis
on the bird is hard to find at Magee.Usually distracting branches are in the way to distract the viewer.I was lucky to be in the right place at the
right time for this photo.
Western Grebe, Aechmophorus occidentalis: Bear River National Wildlife Refuge, Utah
This photo was taken on my last day at the Bear River
National Wildlife Refuge near Brigham, Utah.I had driven past the location of the nest numerous times, but never
noticed it.On my last drive through I
actually drove past the nest before my brain registered that I had just seen a grebe
on a nest.I quickly backed up and sure
enough, a Western Grebewas on a nest. I quickly grabbed my camera and camouflage cover
and slipped down the edge of the road to photograph the grebe. I captured this image as the grebe climbed
onto the nest.Note the feathers
underneath the grebe opening to expose the brood patch as she sits on the eggs.
July 20th, 1969 is a day I will
never forget as long as I live.It was
one of the most exciting days of my life and perhaps yours as well.It was the day that man landed on the moon.
Long before I was a hard-core birder and bird photographer, I was a space junky.During my junior high
and high school years I lived and breathed astronomy and space travel.How could I not?I lived just 20 miles from Huntsville,
Alabama at the time.Werner Von Braun
was director of the Marshall Space Flight Center, and Von Braun and his team
designed the Saturn V rocket that carried man to the moon.For me it was an exciting time to live!I spent nights in the backyard with my telescope
observing the moon, planets and nebulas.I mapped the rotation of the Galilean moons of Jupite,
observer comets and cut my teeth on astrophotography.
Later in life I got to
meet some of those heroes of the early space program.Buzz Aldrin was one of them.I first met Buzz in 1992 when he was visiting a local bookstore to promote his book, “Encounter with Tiber.”I was asked to photograph the event, and
of-course,I jumped at the
opportunity.The first hour-and-a-half was very busy with a constant flow of autograph seekers (me being one), then there
was no one there but Buzz and me.The
two of us sat and talked for over an hour.I asked questions and he happily told stories to answer them.It was fascinating to have Buzz Aldrin to
myself as he told me stories of flying, his time at NASA and his favorite
aircraft the F86 Saber.He flew the
Saber during the Korea War, and you should have heard him talk about that
jet.His eyes lit up as he talked about
its design, maneuverability, and how sharp it looked.He spent more time talking about the Saber,
than he did about his time in space.This
was another moment in time that I will never forget.
In 2006 I had another
opportunity to meet Buzz.Tim Gallager
(editor of Living Bird Magazine) and I had been elected to the Explorers Club in
New York City in 2005.In 2006 we were
among the honorees at the clubs annual dinner to receive the Explorers Club
Conservationist of the Year Award.When
I arrived at the pre-dinner events there was Buzz and number of other Great
Americans such as astronaut Kathy Sullivan, oceanographer Silvia Earl,
entomologist E.O. Wilson (a fellow Alabamian), and others.We were all seated together on the dais, and I
must say it was a pretty cool, another day I will never forget!
March 18, 2006 Explorers Club Annual Dinner
Left to Right, Kathy Sullivan, Bobby Harrison, Sylvia Earle,