…morning light is magic…

Posts tagged “Great Egret

Great Egret in Flight

Headed back to High Island yesterday to get some more photos from the rookery for an upcoming presentation that I’m doing for Houston Audubon on April 7.

https://houstonaudubon.org/programs/adults/flight-in-focus.html

Had the platform all to myself, which was great and worth taking 1/2 day off of work.  Challenging to get flight shots from that location so moved down to the second platform and the flight opportunities were amazing.  Great egrets and spoonbills were flying back and forth from the rookery island to the trees on the south side of the pond.  They would occasionally bank right towards me like this great egret.

1/1600 sec @ F5.6, ISO 800, evaluative metering, aperture priority

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

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Great Egret Mating Dance Silhouette

It’s always fun to watch and photograph great egrets in mating season when they put on a display of their breeding plumage.  Caught this mating dance at High Island’s rookery at sunrise.

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

1/60 sec @ F4, ISO 3200, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation, aperture priority

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Back-lit Great Egrets

Finally, some sunshine in SE Texas.  This day was a little to windy for Bolivar Flats and my gut was telling me to head to High Island to see if there was any activity yet.

Got up at 3:15 a.m. and make it there well before sunrise.  One of the challenges at the rookery at sunrise is the mosquitos, which can take swarming to a new level.  In preparation for the skeeters, bought a mosquito net to fit over my had, which worked wonders.  Best $10 ever spent at REI.

https://www.rei.com/product/780999/sea-to-summit-head-net

Got to the last platform in complete darkness so it was difficult to tell if there were very many birds present yet.  Could hear the pig-like grunting from some cormorants, which always show up first.  Once the pre-dawn light started falling over the area, finally could tell that there were enough great egrets to make it a worthwhile trip.  Before the sun came up, several more great egrets came to the rookery and started displaying their breeding plumage.  Didn’t take long for the courtship’s to begin.  Only a few minutes were required for them to arrive, find a match, mate and then take off to find sticks to build a nest.

I always go to the rookery at sunrise to get back-lit photos.  Exposing for the brightest areas of the birds with the sun coming through their feathers can make for some amazing photo opportunities.

This is a photo of a pair of great egrets that I watched after the sun came up.  One would take off to find sticks and then arrive with great fanfare and pass of the stick to their mate for nest-building.  Felt great to get back in my element.

Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F5 IS II lens on tripod with Wimberley II gimbal head

1/1600 sec @ F8, ISO 400, evaluative metering, +1/3 exposure compensation, aperture priority

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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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Wing Span

Got to practice some flight shots at Dayton, TX while waiting for the Kites to show up.  Found that I was in the flight path of several Great Egrets.  Took my camera off the tripod to get these shots.

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

1/1600 sec @ F10, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +2/3 exposure compensation

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1/2500 sec @ F10, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +2/3 exposure compensation

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Love in the Air

Made my first trip to High Island’s rookery last Monday and the birds are out in force.  Lots of activity with mating dances in full breeding plumage.  Some Great Egrets sitting on eggs already. Caught this Great Egret mating shot before the sun came up.  Not enough light to get sharp photos so went into blur mode.

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

1/13 sec @ F4, ISO 5000, evaluative metering 082_High Island_03232015-2


My 2014 Favorites

As 2014 comes to a close, I wanted to share some of my favorite photos from this year.  It was challenging for me to get out and shoot on a routine basis but ended up with some photos that made it worth while.

Highlights in 2014 included seeing the Sand Hill Crane migration in Nebraska, leading successful workshops and field trips at Galveston’s FeatherFest, getting published again and finally upgrading to a pro series camera.  Now that I have all of the tools, just need some more trigger time to further develop my skills.

Thanks to everyone around the world that checked out my blog and especially to those who left some comments along the way.  Appreciate your support.  Looking forward to more wildlife photography in 2015.

Great Egret from High Island’s rookery

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Sandhill Crane from Nebraska

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White Morph Reddish Egret from Bolivar Flats

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American Oystercatcher from Texas City Dike

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Reddish Egret from Bolivar Flats

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American Avocet from Bolivar Flats

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Graphic of where people were from that visited my blog in 2014

Blog Hits 2014