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Posts tagged “High Island

Love Birds

“He’s  just not into you” doesn’t apply in this case.  Love was is the air for both of these Great Egrets  during mating season at High Island’s rookery.  Used spot metering on these white bird to get the proper  exposure which helped to darken the background.  It’s always my goal to get a heart shape formed between the two birds necks.  Got close on this one.

Taken with Canon 7D and Canon 500mm F4 IS II lens mounted on tripod with Wimberley II head

1/1250 sec @ F8, ISO 400, spot metering

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Wings-Up Spoonbill

This Roseate Spoonbill was doing a nice pose while coming in for a landing at High Island’s rookery.  Was able to get his head sharp with some motion in the wings with the slow shutter speed.  It was a cloudy day but it worked for this photo.

Taken with Canon 7D and Canon 500mm F4 IS II lens mounted on tripod with Wimberley II gimbal head

1/200 sec @ F4, ISO 500, spot metering

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Spoonbill Silhouette

Back to the birds, finally, as some of you are probably saying.  During my last trip to High Island, got there a few minutes late due to an accicent that had a road completely blocked off.  I was still there before the sun came up but the upper positions on the last platform were filled up already.  Had to resort to the lower platform which isn’t my favorite.

Found lots of Spoonbills flying around and was able to capture this one in silhouette as the sun was coming up.  Used negative exposure compensation to help darken the scene.

Taken with Canon 7D and Canon 500mm F4 IS II lens mounted on tripod with Wimberley II gimbal head.

1/1000 sec @ F 7.1, ISO 400, evaluative metering, -2/3 exposure compensation

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Nest Building Ritual

When the mate arrives back at the nest with a stick, the ritual begins with lots of squawking.  The stick is then transferred with an abundance of fanfare to the other egret.  They often both hang onto to the stick while placing it into the nest.  It’s quite the ceremony and interesting to watch and photograph.

I tend to keep my focus on one pair of birds that are in a good position with a decent background.  If you get lucky, they repeat the ritual time after time and allow for some great photo op’s.  This was one of those times.  One of my favorite shots from High Island so far this year.

Using manual exposure and exposing for the brightest spots on the white birds keeps the whites from blowing out, darkens the scene and resulted in the black background.

Taken with Canon 7D and Canon 500mm F4 IS II mounted on tripod with Wimberley II head

1/1250 sec @ F8, ISO 400, manual exposure, 500mm

High Island_04403022013-2


Backlit and Lovin’ It

I’m a major fan of backlit bird photos, especially from High Island’s rookery.  Sunrise is a very special time at the rookery.  The sun comes up in your face and provides some great backlit photo op’s.  This Great Egret was showing off it’s breeding plumage and backlit wings.

Taken with Canon 7D and Canon 500mm F4 IS II lens mounted on tripod with Wimberly II head

1/1600 sec @ F8, ISO 400, manaul exposure

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1/1600 sec @ F8, ISO 400, manaul exposure

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High Island Nest Building – Part II

Apparently only one stick is not enough to build a nest with, go figure.  Therefore, here are a few more sticks in transit.  The first photo is the same bird from the previous post as he was coming in for a landing.  All taken in manual mode to control the exposure on the white birds.  Stick transfer shots are next.

Taken with Canon 7D and Canon 500mm F4 IS II mounted on tripod with Wimberley II head

1/800 sec @ F8, ISO 400,  manual exposure

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1/1000 sec @ F9, ISO 400, manual exposure

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1/1250 sec @ F9, ISO 400, manual exposure

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High Island Nest Building – Part 1

The nesting activity has started early this year at High Island’s rookery.  It’ my favorite time when breeding plumage is on display along with the Great Egrets busy mating and building nests.  The rookery is filling up quickly with it being difficult to get isolated bird shots.

My keeper rate has gone up this year with my 500mm lens and using manual exposure more.  However, 500mm with a crop sensor camera is almost too close in some cases as I’ve clipped lots of wings on action shots.

Caught this Great Egret with wings spread flying back to the nest with a stick.  Unfortunately, the mosquitos have almost the same wing span. They are very nasty this year, at least around sunrise, so be prepared.

More to come…

 

Taken with Canon 7D and Canon 500mm F4 IS II lens mounted on a tripod with Wimberley II gimbal head

1/800 sec @ F8, ISO 400, manual exposure at 500mm

High Island_96203022013-2