…morning light is magic…

Posts tagged “Coyote

Coyote at Anahuac NWR

Had a most excellent adventure with a coyote yesterday at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. I arrived at Anahuac around 6:30 a.m. and headed to Frozen Point to try to find the short-eared owl. With the cloudy conditions, it was very dark before sunrise and couldn’t spot any activity.

Drove back towards Shoveler’s Pond and saw a couple of trucks tracking something along the canal. Found my buddy Doug in full camo pointing out where a coyote was working the opposite bank of the canal. Luckily, he started coming back towards us and we started shooting away. He eventually got back to the main road and I backed my car up and followed him for a short distance until he started hunting in the grass along site the road. It was very cool to see him jump up and down like a mousing fox.

Got a couple of decent head shots and he then came up with his prey, a field rat. He brought it out on the road and ended up playing with it like a puppy would play with a toy right in front of my car. Tried to take photos of him out my car window but my car wasn’t in the best position with my side mirror kept getting in my way and it was challenging to shoot over it. Didn’t want to spook him by opening my car door initially. Stopped taking still photos a couple of times and took video with my iPhone. I’ll post one of those later. Eventually opened my door to get an unobstructed view of him.

Parents always tell their kids not to play with their food, but this coyote was a master at it. He would pick up the rat and throw it around and then try to intimidate it by baring its teeth as he stood above it. He eventually ate the rat and then started staring at something to my right, which ended up being Doug laying down near the right side of my car. He slowly started to stalk Doug and then Doug showed up next to me.

Here is one of my favorite shots. Don’t worry Doug, I would have repositioned myself to get the shot if he wanted to play with you.

With the low light, had to use full open aperture and sacrificed depth of field to get the shot. Initially was using ISO 6400 but backed off to 3200 for this photo.

1/125 sec @ F 5.6, ISO 3200, evaluative metering, + 2/3 exposure compensation, aperture priority, 700mm

 

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Coyote at Bolivar Flats

Got up at 4:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, like usual, and checked the weather.  Looked cloudy on radar but I don’t trust the weatherman.  Went outside and looked up.  Stupid weatherman was right, for once, at least in my neck of the woods.  Decided to go out and shoot anyway since the radar looked similar to Sat morning which turned out to have some sun.  Decided to head South this time to Bolivar as I haven’t been there is a few weeks.  Not a good sign at the ferry with some flags blowing in a stiff wind.  Got to the beach and saw that the waves were fairly high and decided that it was going to be a bust for bird shooting.  Had someone following me driving on the beach so I decided to turn off and let them by.  Headed down the beach again and saw what I thought was a dog taking garbage out of one of the garbage cans near the fence.  Quickly realized that it was a Coyote.  Pulled up fairly close with my bright lights on  and watched him.  Then decided that I should try to get a picture even though it was pitch black out with only my headlights for illumination.  Said what the heck and then remembered that my camera was in the trunk.  Decided to back up and drove backwards down the beach for a ways and then got out and grabbed my camera.  Headed back towards him and he was luckily still there.  Cranked the ISO up to 3200 and tried to get some shots after opening up my door and shooting between the door and the car.  He apparently couldn’t see me with my headlights in his eyes.  Got very slow shutter speeds.  Moved the ISO up to 6400 and got off a few more shots before he ran away.

It was very cool to see a Coyote that close.  Just wish that it would have been after sunrise but I’m sure that he wouldn’t have stuck around like he did.  Took this shot at ISO 3200 and 1/25 sec shutter speed.  No noise reduction on this shot.  Not a sharp picture by any means but decent enough for me to remember what happened.  He had lots of garbage at his feet that I cloned out.  I had seen animal tracks at Bolivar before and often wondered if there were any Coyotes around.  Guess there are.  Continued down the beach to the parking area, turned the car around and headed back to the ferry.  No birds for me at Bolivar that day but a cool encounter with a Coyote made the trip worth it.