…morning light is magic…

Magnificent Frigatebird

Paying attention to bird behavior really paid off on Friday morning.  Was taking photos of a reddish egret when he started looking up in the air.  Reddish egrets don’t usually pay attention to other birds in the sky unless it’s another reddish egret.  This one kept glancing to the sky which peaked my couriosity so I decided to look up from my prone position and got a fantastic surprise when this magnificent frigatebird was right above me. 

Decided to quickly take my camera off of the ground pod and rolled onto my back and started shooting straight up in the air.  The wet sand in my hair was a new experience but well worth it.  She was almost too close as I was clipping wings off of the frame.  Got a few shots from that position but it was too difficult to control my 500mm lens so rolled over and sat up to shoot.  Didn’t want to stand up and potentially spook her.  She kept circling me and I wondered if she was checking me out, which I confirmed was the case after looking at the photos on the computer.

Magnificent frigatebirds are huge with a 7 ft wingspan and a forked tail.  Have seen them at the east end of Galveston Island and while in my car on the ferry several years ago but never at the flats.  Getting that close was a major bucket list event for me.  Was thinking about frigatebirds a few weeks ago while on the ferry and envisioned having a close-up encounter.  I need to start dreaming about birds more often…

8 responses

  1. Joe Benzenhoefer

    Thanks Tim. Very cool.

    June 21, 2020 at 8:24 am

  2. Thanks Joe. Was a great time.

    June 21, 2020 at 9:30 am

  3. Diane

    Congratulations….dreams do come true! What an amazing experience for you. Your photos are fabulous…I can’t even envision a bird that huge flying so close to me!

    June 21, 2020 at 11:56 am

  4. leasafley

    Those are WOW pictures! Glad to see you’re out enjoying the Flats.

    June 21, 2020 at 12:02 pm

  5. Thanks Diane! It was quite the surprise but very cool to experience. Probably one of those once in a lifetime photography events.

    June 21, 2020 at 12:56 pm

  6. Thanks Lea! I’m not a major fan of high tide this time of year but it worked. Also a little toasty with waders in June.

    June 21, 2020 at 12:58 pm

  7. Gorgeous shots! I got to see and photograph my first Magnificent Frigatebird back in February in Key West. It was an overnight ferry boat trip, so packing light I didn’t take my long lens, I was really disappointed but still got photos for perfect ID with my 24-120mm lens I had brought. They are indeed Magnificent to see!

    June 21, 2020 at 7:44 pm

  8. Thank you very much Donna! They are very cool huge birds and this was quite a treat to be able to get full frame shots.

    June 21, 2020 at 8:31 pm

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