Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pic of the Day

     Tree Swallows – Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Ohio:  At the end of my first day at Magee Marsh the light cloud cover of the day began to thicken, thunder rumbled and a light rain began to fall.  I left the Magee Marsh boardwalk about 5 PM, and by the time I drove out of the paring lot the rain began to fall.  With the rain falling and light levels low, I decided to explore the surrounding area just to see what other opportunities might be available the next morning.
     My first stop was the Ottawa NWR, which lays adjacent to Magee Marsh.  The road to the visitor’s center was lined with bluebird boxes that were spaced about 300 feet apart.  Instead of Bluebirds, each of the boxes were occupied by a pair of Tree Swallows.  In front of one nest box was a small tree that provided a perfect perch for the attending swallows.
    Using my van as a blind I parked about twenty feet away from the perch and began shooting photos of the female.  Within a few minutes of shooting the male flew-in and began copulating with the female while  on the wing.  Shutter speeds were slow, but the slow speed added motion blur, which in turn added movement and action to the image.  
    When I left Magee Marsh that evening I had thought the days shooting was over.  I had no idea that another great opportunity would present itself to me.  Even though the light was quickly diminishing, shutter speeds were slow, and a light rain fell, the final images of the day were the highlights.  Shooting seldom seen behavior is exciting, especially when unexpected.

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 500mm f4, 1/160sec. @ f7.1

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