…morning light is magic…

Posts tagged “Brazoria NWR

Crawfish Festival…YCNH Style

Headed to Brazoria NWR on Saturday to check out the Wood Storks.  Thanks for the tip Doug.  Slept in until 4:15 a.m. (not kidding) and headed to the NWR for some sunrise shooting.  The Storks typically aren’t there at sunrise so I had some time to check out the other birds in the area.

Found more Yellow Crowned Night Herons than I’ve ever seen on one spot before, around 100.  Most appeared to be juveniles.  My first reaction was that I already had too many YCNH shots, until I saw that they were feeding on crawfish.  Turned out to be a very good time.  Got about 50 shots in this series as he dove in for the catch and eventually flew to the road to chug him down.

Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II with 1.4X III teleconverter, handheld out the car window

1/800 sec @ F 5.6, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, 700mm

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1/800 sec @ F 5.6, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, 700mm

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1/800 sec @ F 5.6, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, 700mm

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1/800 sec @ F 5.6, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, 700mm

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1/800 sec @ F 5.6, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, 700mm

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1/800 sec @ F 5.6, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, 700mm

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1/2500 sec @ F 5.6, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, 700mm

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Caracara from Brazoria NWR

It’s been almost 2 months since I’ve taken any wildlife photos so it felt great to break out the camera again last weekend.  On my way to see the Dow Skimmers in Freeport, TX, headed to Brazoria NWR to check out the action at sunrise.  The NWR had an abundance of water, which leads to fewer photo op’s for shorebirds.  Was hoping for some Wood Storks but none were to be seen at sunrise.

My best luck came on the drive into the refuge when I spotted this Caracara along the paved entry road.  Had to turn around and slowly approach him with my car.  They can spook easily so didn’t want to get too close to him.  Took a few photos and then moved closer.  He checked out his feathers and flew off to another perch.  Tracked him down one more time for the last shot and went further into the NWR.

The sun had not come out yet from behind the clouds so had to crank the ISO up to 3200 to get any decent shutter speeds. Used positive exposure compensation on the first two shots with the bright sky in the background.  Used some noise reduction on the second shot but not on the first and last photo.  It would be very hard to go back to my old 7D.

Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II with 1.4X III teleconverter, handheld out the car window

1/500 sec @ F5.6, ISO 3200, evaluative metering, +2/3 exposure compensation

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1/160 sec @ F8, ISO 3200, evaluative metering, +2/3 exposure compensation

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1/200 sec @ F5.6, ISO 1600, evaluative metering

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Smiling Nighthawk

This Common Nighthawk appeared to be smiling at me as he did a fly-by.  However, it’s an illusion as what appears to be his nose is really his mouth.

Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II with 1.4X Teleconverter, handheld

1/3200 sec @ F8, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +2/3 exposure compensation

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Tri-Colored Focus

There was a “gaggle” of Tri-Colored Herons on this trip to Brazoria NWR in SE Texas.  My definition of a gaggle is >20, which is a record for me.  They were everywhere mixed in with Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Spoonbills, Ibis and a few Wood Storks.   It wasn’t very conducive to clean backgrounds but was fun none the less.

Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II with 1.4X III teleconverter, hand-held out the car window

1/640 sec @ F5.6, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation

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1/1000 sec @ F8, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation

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1/1000 sec @ F8, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation

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Lift-Off

One of my first decent bird photos was a Tri-Colored Heron back in 2005 at Armond Bayou.  Times have really changed in the past 9 years but I still enjoy taking photos of these birds.  This one was taking off at Brazoria NWR.

Taken with Canon 1DX with Canon 500mm F4 IS II and 1.4X III teleconverter, handheld out the car window.

1/800 sec @ F9, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation

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Size Does Matter

Most of the time it’s difficult to get real close to wildlife.  Sometimes though you can get lucky and get close enough for a head shot or in this case,  a little too lucky, when you can barely get their head in the frame.  From the comfort of my stealth Honda, got this shot of a Great Blue Heron at Brazoria NWR.  While shooting at 500mm, he came close enough for what I’d call a beak shot.  Used a pano crop to highlight the length of his beak.  Size does matter, in the bird world.

Taken with Canon 7D and Canon 500mm F4 IS II lens with 1.4x III teleconverter, handheld

1/200 sec @ F8, ISO 400, evaluative metering, + 1/3 exposure compensation, 500mm

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RWBB Close-up

This Red Winged Blackbird got his close up taken with my 500mm + 1.4x attached.  He was too close for a fully body shot and I got this full framed shot instead.  Taken handheld out the car window at Brazoria NWR as I was going back and forth between openings in the weeds at one of the ponds while shooting duck/Avocet photos.  I’ve never had good luck with getting a decent RWBB shot so I’m pleased with this one.  My 500mm lens is sharper than my 100-400 and the IS works much better so I’m having a blast using it.

Taken with Canon 7D and Canon 500mm F4 IS II with 1.4x teleconverter.

1/200 sec @ F8, ISO 400, +1/3 exposure compensation