…morning light is magic…

Posts tagged “Northern Harrier

Happy New Year!

Hoping that all of you had a great 2017.  My plan was to post my favorite shots for 2017 before now but I got tied up over the holidays so it will have to wait for early Jan.

2018 will start out with a bang for me from a photography perspective and then have some challenges.  It’s going to be an interesting year for sure.

Spend the morning of Christmas Eve at Bolivar Flats along the gulf coast taking shorebird photos, along with a few raptors.  While walking out along the shoreline, saw a dark spot out on the sand that looked out of place.  Trusted my instinct and picked up my camera and spotted a peregrine falcon.  Got very excited and walking slowly closer to him, laid down, took a couple of shots, went to check my histogram and he took off.

Walked away from that area over to one of my favorite spots around the corner and spotted a couple of hundred Avocets feeding just off shore.  Laid down and belly crawled towards them.  The muck was very slimy and ended up on my knees and pushed my ground pod along for about 60 ft and stayed put for a couple of hours.

All of a sudden, all of the birds flew away, which usually means that either a raptor or human was nearby.  Spun around on my stomach thanks to the slimy muck and caught this Northern Harrier flying along the vegetation line.

Ended up seeing a couple of Harriers and four Caracara’s.  Tis the season for migrating raptors.

Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II with 1.4X III teleconverter mounted on Skimmer ground pod with Wimberley II gimbal head.

Aperture priority, 1/1000 sec @ F5.6, ISO 3200, evaluative metering, +2 exposure compensation.

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Northern Harrier

Found this Northern Harrier at Bolivar Flats while taking shorebird photos.   Tracked him from my prone position as he flew along the shoreline for a good series of shots.  This photo is my favorite pose but sometimes you can’t control the backgrounds.

Taken with Canon 7D and Canon 500mm F4 IS II lens with 1.4x III teleconverter mounted on Skimmer ground pod with Wimberley II gimbal head

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Incoming Harrier

While focusing on shorebird shots at Bolivar Flats, the small birds would frequently spook and fly away.  Didn’t pay much attention to why until the photo op’s died down.  Then I noticed that they were scattering due to raptors flying overhead.  I was laying on a sand bar within about 30 ft of the shore line and the Northern Harriers were doing flybys over the grassy area on shore.  Spotting this one flying towards me.  My 7D did a great job with maintaining focus as he flew behind the weeds and then landed on a log nearby.  Caught him landing with his talons out which was cool.  He stayed around for only a couple of minutes and took off with outstretched wings.

Taken with a Canon 7D and Canon 500mm F4 IS II and 1.4x III teleconverter mounted on Skimmer ground pod with a Wimberley II gimbal head.

Aperture priority, 1/640 sec @ F7.1, ISO 400, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation, 700mm

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Aperture priority, 1/640 sec @ F7.1, ISO 400, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation, 700mm

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Aperture priority, 1/640 sec @ F7.1, ISO 400, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation, 700mm

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Aperture priority, 1/640 sec @ F7.1, ISO 400, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation, 700mm

Bolivar Flats_66002032013-2


Northern Harrier Fly-by

Caught this Northern Harrier in flight while taking shore bird photos at Bolivar Flats in Dec.  I was laying in the muck with my ground pod at sunrise when this Harrier came up over the grass at the shoreline.  He didn’t see me at first which gave me a chance to focus and track him for several shots.  It’s always a challenge to get close to these raptors so I was pleased to get this shot.

Taken with Canon 7D and 100-400 lens mounted on Skimmer ground pod with Sidekick gimbal mount.

1/500 sec @ F5.6, + 1 exposure compensation, ISO 500, spot metering, no flash.