Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Pic of the Day

American Redstart, Setophaga ruticilla:  Magee Marsh, Ohio
     While I was at Magee Marsh last week I spent a bit of time atop the board walks canopy tower.   The tower rises to the forest midstory where warblers can be seen eye to eye.  While foraging among the tree leaves, this American Redstart landed on a dead branch with a perfect background.  It provided the perfect opportunity for a portrait showing off its brilliant plumage.  After a couple of clicks, the bird was gone, but what a striking pose it gave before taking flight.   

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, Exposure 1/125 second @ f8

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Palm Warbler

Palm Warbler, Setophaga palmarum:  Magee Marsh, Ohio
     I recently spent a week at Magee Marsh photographing spring migrants, and while migration was a bit slow at Magee this year there were a few days of great shooting opportunities.  This shot was taken form the birding tower just off the main boardwalk.  While I was photographing a Magnolia Warbler, this little brown capped, tail-wagging palm flew in just above my head.  As it moved from branch to branch it struck a few perfect poses.

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/500 second @ f/8

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Pic of the Day

Snow Egret, Egrette thula:  Saint Augustine Alligator Farm
Saint Augustine, Florida

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Pic of the Day

Snowy Egret, Egretta thula: Saint Augustine Alligator Farm
Saint Augustine, Florida

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Pic of the Day

Great Egret and chicks, Ardea alba
Saint Augustine Alligator Farm; Saint Augustine, Florida

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Pic of the Day

 Snowy Egret, Egretta thula:  Saint Augustine Alligator Farm; Saint Augustine, Florida

    This is the same Snowy Egret from the previous post.  The photo was taken in the same location as the sun began to illuminate the background.  Having my beginning in black and white photography I saw the perfect opportunity to convert the color image in to this black and white.  I usually prefer color images of birds, but the white egrets and herons, in my opinion, look perfect in black and white.  To place emphasis on the egret I darkened  the edges of the photo.

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/2000 second @ f/9

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Pic of the Day

Snowy Egret, Egretta hula:  Saint Augustine Alligator Farm;
Saint Augustine, Florida
    I found this handsome fellow the first morning I arrived at the heron rookery in Saint Augustine, Florida.  When I first saw this snowy he was displaying on a lower branch.  I shot dozens and dozens of images, but the he was partially hidden and the full display of its’ beautiful aigrette feathers were veiled.

     Soon after my first round of images, the sun fully lite the egret while leaving the background in shadows.  As the egret continued its display the aigrette feathers glowed against the dark background, but the bird was still on the lower branch.  As I shot a few more frames I kept saying……”move up to the next branch, move up to the next branch,” and all of a sudden the snowy stepped up onto the arching branch and continued to display.  
     Now, fully in the open, I could get the image I was looking for, with the fine feather filaments standing out against the background.   Over the next three days I photographed this egret displaying against various tonal backgrounds, but it is this one with that shows the true beauty of this magnificent behavior.

Nikon D-800, Nikon 500mm f/4, 1/2000 second @ f/8