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Green Jay vs. Bee

This Green Jay was distracted by a bee doing a fly-by, which made for an interesting photo.

Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II lens mounted on tripod with Wimberley II gimbal head

Aperture priority, 1/800 sec @ F8, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1/3 exposure compensation, 500mm

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More Harris Hawks

Here are a few more Harris Hawk photos from last weekend.

Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 100-400 II lens or Canon 500mm F4 IS II mounted on tripod with Wimberley II gimbal head

Aperture priority, 1/3200 sec @ F7.1, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, -2/3 exposure compensation, 400mm

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Aperture priority, 1/6400 sec @ F5.6, ISO 3200, evaluative metering, 400mm

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Aperture priority, 1/2000 sec @ F9, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, 500mm

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Aperture priority, 1/4000 sec @ F8, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +2/3 exposure compensation, 400mm

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Aperture priority, 1/3200 sec @ F8, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation, 500mm

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Harris Hawk Landing

Made another trip to Santa Clara Ranch in south Texas over the weekend.  Had a great time, as always.  Thanks Hector.  Finally got to experience the raptor blind and it was awesome.  With a somewhat slow start, the action picked up with Scott and I maxing out with 10 raptors at the same time with a couple of Harris Hawks and the rest being Caracara.

Started out using my 100-400 lens and later switched to the 500.  Got several decent flight shots and wing spread photos when they came in to land.  This juvenile Harris Hawk put on a good show.

I’d go back just for the raptors.  Hope to make another trip next year.

Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 100-400mm II lens, mounted on tripod with Wimberley II gimbal head

Aperture priority, 1/5000 sec @ F5.6, ISO 3200, evaluative metering, 400mm

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Reddish Egret vs. Great White Egret

While taking photos of a Reddish Egret fishing, a Great Egret flew in to challenge the Reddish for the best fishing spot.  The Great Egret won this confrontation.

Although the sun was reflecting off of the water, had use positive exposure compensation to get lighted up the birds.  It blew out the water but it still works.

Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II with 1.4X teleconverter mounted on Skimmer ground pod with Wimberley II gimbal head

Aperture priority, 1/3200 sec @ F9, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation, 700mm

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Aperture priority, 1/3200 sec @ F9, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation, 700mm

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Dance of the Reddish Egret in B&W

Partial sun turned into a cloudy morning at Bolivar Flats along the Gulf of Mexico.  The colors were somewhat muted so I converted these into B&W to bring out the feather detail.

Watching Reddish Egrets dance around while fishing is always a good time and provides some great photo opportunities.  This egret was very energetic and would launch himself out of the water to look for unsuspecting fish as the tide was slowly receding.  In the last shot, he got all puffed up while chasing a white morph reddish egret away.

Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II with 1.4X III teleconverter mounted on Skimmer ground pod with Wimberley II gimbal head.

Aperture priority, 1/2500 sec @ F9, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation, 700mm

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Aperture priority, 1/2500 sec @ F9, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation, 700mm

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Aperture priority, 1/1250 sec @ F9, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation, 700mm

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White Morph Reddish Egret

Found two White Morph Reddish Egrets at Bolivar Flats last weekend while guiding my old buddy Newton.  He brought along Ruth Hoyt, who is an excellent professional photographer/guide at south Texas ranches, like Laguna Seca, where I first met her.  It was great to see both of them again.

The tide wasn’t low but the birds were out in force.  We started with a group of Willets and other small shorebirds with a lone Avocet nearby.  There was a group of Avocets within striking distance but they were spooked and took off.

Spotted a couple of Reddish Egrets further down the shoreline and headed that direction.  The Reddish Egrets weren’t very active initially so Newton and I headed back up the shoreline to a group of Black Skimmers.

We then spotted at least two White Morph Reddish Egrets back down the shoreline so we headed back in that direction.  Lots of up and down on this trip.  Found two White Morph’s and two Reddish Egrets along with one Great Egret standing around.  They eventually started to catch fish with one of the Reddish Egret’s trying to chase the two white morph’s away.

This White Morph was striking some nice poses with his feathers all perked up as he was checking out the other egrets.

Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II with 1.4X III teleconverter mounted on Skimmer ground pod with Wimberley II gimbal head

Aperture priority, 1/1600 sec @ F9, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation, 700mm

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Aperture priority, 1/1600 sec @ F9, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation, 700mm

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F-35 Stealth Fighter Over the Moon

It was a very busy weekend with my trigger finger needing some well deserved rest.  Between two days at Wings Over Houston air show and going to Bolivar Flats for the first time in several months, ended up taking over 11,000 photos over the last three days.

Friday started out with Doug, David and I taking photos of the abbreviated special show for Wings Over Houston.  The Blue Angels were back in Houston to show off their precision flying skills.  A first for Houston was the new F-35 Lightening stealth fighter, which was on static display and participated in the heritage flight with a P-47 Thunderbolt and a F-16 Fighting Falcon.

The moon was still out on Friday morning, which made for a cool back drop for this photo of the F-35 and the P-47.  Converted it to B&W to help bring out the detail in the moon.  When the F-35 took off, it looked like a F-22 Raptor from a distance.  Can’t wait to see it perform during an airshow.

Went inside the gates on Saturday to get some close-up shots of the F-35 and the usual array of aircraft on static display and when they performed.  More air show posts to come as there were too many photos to go through after a most excellent weekend of photography.

I’ll also be posting some shorebird photos from Bolivar with the action being off of the charts.  It’s prime time for Bolivar and I’ll be a frequent visitor there this fall/winter.

Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II, handheld at 500mm

1/2000 sec @ F 6.3, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation

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