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Jan 012010

Takeoffone I can’t seem to get enough of the Great Blue Heron.

takeofftwoTonight was another night of overcast and cold.  TakeoffthreeIt was fun – again.  All worth it though even when I got stuck and had to ask others for help.  I love watching and photographing these birds.  Just as I was leaving  a very large group of swans flew in.  Sounds like an appointment for tomorrow!

 Posted by at 8:35 PM
Dec 272009

HoverHad a chance tonight to peruse my bird files from last summer.  One of my favorites is this shot.  Tonight I added a mask to give it some depth.  It is the same mask I used last night with the Kestral and the Hawk.  A little “artsy fartsy”, but I like it.

 Posted by at 9:40 PM
Dec 262009


Do you realize how many pictures I have of this bird “passing” by?  A bunch!  Tonight I sat at the bird refuge for about two hours.  I am hoping that patience will get me an opportunity to photograph this guy flying directly at me.   Tonight I made two obvious mistakes.  The biggest?  I forgot my two long lenses.  Makes of a real dumb and unprepared photographer.  Instead of getting the book Photography for Dummies, maybe I should just get a huge button that says “Dummy Photographer”!   The second mistake?  I didn’t lock the gate behind me.  I may have forgotten my long lenses but at least I didn’t forget to bring my brain.

Most of the photography at the refuge is done from the car (car-tography).  If you exit your car the subjects will run, fly or swim away.  While photographing the Kestral a car pulled up to mine.  And out comes Mr. Photogrtapher with camera in hand…..and off goes the bird!  Sure a few poses of the Kestral made it to my compact flash card.  I just wanted to get a pic’ of him in flight.  The killer?  The guy walked up to my car and asked “did ya get any shots of that bird”?  Deep breath Jim, deep breath.  I wanted to say “not now”.   but instead I said “what bird’?   Sometimes I can be real nasty!


 Posted by at 7:37 PM
Dec 222009


It’s snowing in Prescott.  At Links Lake the fog is thick.  Tonight was time for some “phoggy” photography.   The scenes took on the look of high key shots.


At least the water fowl were moving about.  Put the panning to the test!


I was lucky to be there.  As opposed to this frog’s luck.  As he was dinner for this duck.   Are frog legs a delicacy for a duck?

All shots were at ISO 3200 and 1/1600, f/3.8

 Posted by at 10:17 PM
Dec 192009


All day everyday.  He hunts.  Beautiful and deadly.  The Harrier is mesmerizing to watch.  Even more fun to………. photograph.

Farmington Bay Refuge: D3, 200-400mm lens, 1.7 teleconverter, f6.7 @ 1/1600, ISO 3200.

 Posted by at 11:02 PM
Dec 152009


Early this morning the hunter (Northern Harrier) was out.  He patrols the same areas throughout the day.  His flight is deliberate and not rushed.  The slight breeze keeping his wings apart only brief adjustments to keep him on course.  Always inspecting the ground.   Familiar though it may be his eyes seek movement and an eventual snack.

On the ground at waters edge is the hunted (Curlew).  A very small winged relative?  About the size of a dinner roll.  A beak at least the length of his body.   Fear emanates from his eyes.  As the hunter searches overhead this little guy shrinks in size and flattens to the ground.  Only just before the hunter approaches he sprints away only inches off the ground.  The short distance takes him to the other waters edge, out of site of the approaching hunter.  A lucky coincidence the hunter did not see the movement.   Hopefully the little bird has another day to experience.


 Posted by at 10:04 PM
Nov 122009


Have you seen these guys run?  Like in the cartoons their legs disappear because they are moving so fast.  A cute little bird.  Seems to like to run rather than fly.  The quail can be found in several areas here in Chino Valley/Prescott Arizona.  Finally had a chance to photograph them tonight.  Very, very photo shy.  This was a first for me.  Planning to photograph them is extremely difficult.   Today I was lucky.  Got a few shots.  Thank you Mr. Quail!

 Posted by at 10:27 PM