Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pic of the Day

Red-headed Woodpecker, Melanerpes erythrocephalus:
Guntersville Dam Recreational Area near New Hope, Alabama
     What a beautiful bird is the Red-headed Woodpecker.  Its black and white body plumage and red head makes it one of my favorite woodpeckers.  The pair I have been photographing near Guntersville Dam is a breeding pair and in prime plumage right now.  I feel so fortunate to have found a pair that is so approachable and photogenic.
     This bird is perched on the trunk of a longleaf pine and the background is green shrubbery about two-hundred feet away, thus the pleasing out of focus background.  I just love when everything comes together to make a pleasing image.

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/400 second @ f8

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Pic of the Day

    Life is interesting and full of surprises.  I like the good surprises, the bad ones, not so much.  Yesterday afternoon I needed to get out of the house.  So, I loaded the camera gear and headed to Guntersville Dam Recreation Area (north side).
     When I arrived I stopped at a small creek and listened for Prothonotary Warblers, but I didn’t hear one.  After the brief stop I dove further along and passed a small pond.   As I passed the pond I thought to myself  that I should stop and see if there were any Red-headed Woodpecker around.  I had seen red-headeds around the pond pretty regularly in years past, but not so often in the last couple of years.  I decide I would check on my way out.  That way I could pull off and shoot out of the driver’s window if there were birds there.

Red-headed Woodpecker,  Melanerpes erythrocephalus:
Guntersville Dam Recreation Area near New Hope, Alabama

     I drove on to the picnic area where I knew there was a colony of Brown-headed Nuthatches, thinking I might take a few photos of them.  On the way I spotted a couple of people I knew so I stopped to say hello.   Within a few minutes I was on my way.
     I had not driven two-hundred feet when I spotted a pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers flying from a picnic table.  I stopped to watch the birds for a few minutes to discover that they were gleaning something from the picnic table.   They appeared to be gleaning food crumbs.  As I watched I discovered the trees that they flew from before alighting on the table.

Red-headed Woodpecker,  Melanerpes erythrocephalus:
Guntersville Dam Recreation Area near New Hope, Alabama

     Being opportunistic, I parked my van close to one of the trees so I could take photographs.  My presences did not seem to bother the birds as they went about their business.  Using the van as a bling I was able to get some very nice close-ups.  After the bird had finished gleaning the crumbs I followed them around the picnic area for a few more shots.
    I had not photographed Red-headed Woodpeckers since the spring of 1975.  So I was pretty excited for the opportunity and quite surprised to find this pair of photographable bird.  When I left the area I was a pretty happy camper.  By the way,  I forgot all about stopping at the pond on the way out.

Top:  Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/500 second @ f/7.1
Bottom:  Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/160 second @ f/8

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Who's Lookin

     It has been many months since I have posted the flags of new countries from which viewers have logged onto the blog.  I would like to welcome each of the visitors from the following countries for visiting my blog.  If you like the blog, become a follower and invite your friends to check it out. 

Flags of each country and the order as they 
logged onto Bobby's Photo Blog:

                 Malawi 142nd                                          Vanuatu 143rd

              Saint Lucia 144th                                       Ivory-Coast 145th

           Congo (DRC)  146th                                          Oman 147th
                Curacao 148th                                                 Benin  149th

                  Guernsey 150th                                          Montserrat 151st

            San Salvador 152nd

Thanks for visiting the blog.  Come back soon.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Pic of the Day

Veery, Catharus fuscescens:  Magee Marsh, Ohio
     Back in spring of 1976, I was backpacking in the Great Smoky Mountains when I heard a beautiful thrush song that I could not identify.  I believed the bird to have been a Veery, but as hard as I tried to find the source, I just could not find the bird.  When I returned home I got my Roger Tory Peterson LP's on bird songs and listened to the thrushes on the record player.  As soon as I played the Veery's song I discovered my initial guess was correct.  I was mesmerized by the song and have listened for veerys every spring since.  
     Earlier this week I was at Magee Marsh, Ohio during the "Biggest Week in American Birding" when I came across a pair of Veerys feeding on the forest floor.  The birds paid little attention to me and allowed me to get great close-up photographs.  As much as I enjoyed photographing the Veery,  I would have much more enjoyed a serenade of its lyrical song.  

Follow this youtube link to hear the Veery for yourself: 

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4 with 20mm of extension tubes, 1/320 second @ f/7.1

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Pic of the Day

Yellow Warbler, Setophaga petechia: Magee Marsh, Ohio
    America's Biggest Birding Week is happening right now at Magee Marsh on the south shore of Lake Erie in Ohio. I was there for six days meeting many of my Facebook friends and enjoying the many migrants that are passing through.  I found this bird near Turtle Creek where it, and its mate had established a nesting territory.  This bird was easy to photograph as it sang its territorial song from its perch in a willow tree. 

Click this Link: to here a Yellow Warbler.

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/1250 second @ f/7.1


My apologies for not posting in more than a week.  I have been shooting migrants at Magee Marsh, Ohio.  I will be posting very soon, perhaps by tomorrow evening.  Please check back soon for new post.    Bobby

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Pic of the Day

     Those of you who visit my blog often know that I rarely post family matters, but like two years and 10 days ago, I'm doing it again.  I would like to introduce Landon Gerald Robison, my second grandson.  Landon was born yesterday, May 5th at 4:27pm, weighing in at 8.2 pounds, and 20 inches long.  Just what I've always wanted, a Cinco de Mayo baby!  Mom, baby, big brother and dad are all doing just great, and I am a happy Grandfather.
 Landon Gerald Robison

Parker (the big brother), Whitney (mom and my baby),
and Landon the newest edition

Whitney and Landon

Monday, May 4, 2015

Pic of the Day

Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Pheucticus ludovicianus:  Horse Cove, near Gurley, Alabama
     Back in the blind today shooting feeder birds.  Yesterday I had a couple of dozen Rose-breased Grosbeaks on my feeders at a time.  Today things were much different with less than a dozen at a time.  Looks like we are near the end of the grosbeak migration here in North Alabama.  I would be interested in hearing from others here in North Alabama on the numbers you are seeing.  I'm heading north myself, hoping to see these beauties at Magee Marsh.

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/400 second @ f/5.6

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Pic of the Day

Pine Siskin, Spinus pinus: Horse Cove, near Gurley, Alabama
     Yesterday I spent a couple of hours in the blind shooting Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Goldfinches and these guys, Pine Siskins.  The weather was perfect and the birds abundant.  I could not have asked for more.  

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/80 second @ f/7.1

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Pic of the Day

American Goldfinch, Spinus tristis:  Horse Cove, near Gurley, Alabama
     This American Goldfinch, perched in a sweet gum sapling, was shot this afternoon at my home.  Goldfinches are fully molted into breeding now and should begin nesting when the thistle begins to bloom.  They are continuously zipping to and from my feeders all day along with a flock of Pine Siskins, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and a slew of residents.  Soon, both the siskins and grosbeaks will be moving on north.  I hope to see them at Magee Marsh in about a week or so.

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/100 second @ f/8

Friday, May 1, 2015

Pic of the Day

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (female), Pheucticus ludovicianus
Horse Cove near Gurley, Alabama

     Yesterday I posted a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak so today I worked to get a shot of the female.  Though not as flamboyant as the male she is a beauty in her own right.

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/40 second @ f8

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Pic of the Day

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (male), Pheucticus ludovicianus
Horse Cove, near Gurley, Alabama
    Ten days ago I saw my first Rose-breasted Grosbeak for the year.  After that I would see two or three birds at a time on the feeders.  However, yesterday they really began to arrive with a dozen birds at a time on the feeders.  Finally this afternoon I had time to get in the blind and try a little photography.  The sky was a bit cloudy, but the shooting wasn’t half bad.  Though shutter speeds were slow, I was able to get a few shots that I am happy with.  Hope you like this one!

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm 4, 1/30 second @ f/9

Monday, April 27, 2015

Pic of the Day

Sharp-tailed Grouse, Tympanuchus phasianellus: Bessey Ranger District
Nebraska National Forest and Grasslands near Halsey, Nebraska
     In late March I spent two days on a Sharp-tailed Grouse lek photographing the dance of these very animated birds.  The grouse arrived on the lek more than a half hour before the Sun climbed above the horizon.  In the pre-dawn light they danced their hearts out, with little hope of getting the images I wanted.  As the light increased I began shooting, but it was not until the first ray of light struck the bird and lit the golden grasses ablaze that the images began to come alive.  This is one of my favorite images as one of the birds slipped into the grass after a bout of dancing.
     To read about my experience on a Sharp-tailed Grouse lek and plan your visit, click on this link:

Then scroll down and start with "Sharp-tailed Grouse in Nebraska I" to start the story from the beginning.
Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/500 second @ f/7.1