Posts tagged “bird

Unafraid

Last week, we spotted a roadrunner coming into our back yard several times each day. One day, Carol and I were out there for over an hour with our cameras, and the roadrunner was everywhere! We even watched him kill a large lizard by- sorry!- whacking him repeatedly against the rocks (don’t worry- no photos). At one point, he came down to the lower level and drank from the fountain- leisurely and unafraid.

Here he is in all his glory:


Sweeeet

I’ve taken many, many hummingbird photos over the years. And now I am trying to take better ones. The hard thing is to take them in flight, in focus, and in a good spot in the frame (good composition and background). So far, I have many, many shots of their tails as they take off- or just sitting at the feeders. At least in this shot, the wings are outstretched and moving.


Mr. Quail

Here is another shot of Mr. Quail. I love being able to get closeups with my long lens.


Long Lens Technique

Thanks to the expert tutelage of my friend, Carol, I am finally able to use my long zoom lens with the gimbal head I got for my birthday. I am working on assembling and disassembling the lens and tripod combo, as well as focusing and panning techniques for bird photography. I am far from competent, but am thrilled with my results so far!

Meet Mr. and Mrs. Quail, regular visitors to our backyard:

 


Toucan!

At the beginning of our visit with our grandboys, we went to Butterfly World and the new OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale. I fell in love with this toucan (I had never been so close to one) and spent a lot of time watching him watching us. He was in a fairly unreal environment, which I enhanced in post-processing.


More from Willow Lake

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Wise?

This eagle owl may be wise, but he is also pretty stern looking!

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A Hawk and a Windmill

There was a windmill in the background while we took photos of the two hawks last Saturday. I kept composing my images with that in mind- and then ended up cloning it out in the sepia portrait I posted Tuesday of Emily, the Swainson’s hawk. This is the Harris’s hawk with the windmill in the background- with a little texture editing.

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Being more of a windmill photographer than a bird photographer, I also took several photos of the windmill, including a multiple exposure shot. I will be posting those next week.


Marlee Again

Here’s that sweet face again!

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Hoot!

This is Marlee, a female Barn Owl! I can’t decide which I love more- that sweet face or her beautiful feathers.

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For a bit of a change of pace. . .

I seldom photograph birds, especially since my friend, Carol, has set the bar so high with her amazing, professional quality bird photography (oh, THAT’S what a bird photograph should look like!)- but I went along with my camera club on an outing to the  Arizona Raptor Experience. It was fantastic! We were there by 7:00 a.m. and had beautiful light for most of the morning. And the birds were magnificent!

I’m not posting any action shots- although I did get 3 acceptably sharp shots out of dozens I took.  It was operator error- my camera and lens did pretty well.  I did get some pretty raptor portraits.

Today it’s a Harris’s Hawk (which I always thought was a Harris Hawk). Tomorrow will probably be a Swainson’s Hawk. See you then!

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Beach Yoga

20161014-mma_7230_melinda_andersonObserved practicing a one-legged standing pose (yes, he did have 2 legs)


Alone in a Crowd

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from our Alaskan boat trip


Upcycled Cardinal

I’m back among the land of the living again! I haven’t quite returned to photography as yet, so today’s photo is a reworking of one I took last summer in Tucson. I played with it in Photoshop and added some textures to create a painterly look.

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At the Rookery

Last week in my photo class I overheard someone mentioning a path by the rookery- and I interjected, “What rookery? Where?” It turns out that deep in a grove of cottonwoods at Willow Lake there are huge old trees containing enormous heron, egret, and cormorant nests. Although I am sadly lacking in bird knowledge, I love to take photos of them- and the idea of a rookery close by was impossible to resist. A few days later, Lonnie and I found the right path at the lake- and we were there!

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As we entered the area, we could hear wingbeats and gutteral squawks overhead before we even saw the nests- which are impossible to miss. I don’t think I managed to convey the enormity of the nests in the photo below, but you can get an idea of how numerous and high up they were.

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In the first tree, there were 10 or 12 herons perched on nests or branches and occasionally flying around.  The next tree was packed with cormorants actively nest-building. We didn’t see egrets, although we heard they were around. It was an amazing sight!

I think this is the first time I’ve ever photographed herons from below- probably not a wise place to be.

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Stay tuned for more rookery photos tomorrow!