…morning light is magic…

Posts tagged “Snowy Egret

You Lookin at Me??

You lookin at me?  Better not be.  My boys behind me will come after you.

Made another trip to Bolivar Flats over the Memorial Day weekend while guiding three clients for two days.  They were at the end of a 3 week trip across south Texas with the Galveston area their last stop.  Thanks again to Kent, Bill and Ian for allowing me to show you around this part of Texas.  Had a great time and got to see lots of birds.

Made two stops to Bolivar Flats and found some avocets, reddish egrets and lots of snowy egrets.  Had several opportunities for some interaction shots which are always fun.  One was a little weird with an avocet trying to mate with an inanimate object.  More on that later.

While focusing on a avocet, saw two snowy egrets walking behind him.  Switched my attention to the background and visualized this shot coming as they crossed behind him.  The avocet cooperated by staring at me while getting some scratching action in.  Made for a cool shot.

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

1/1250 sec @ F10, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation

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Reddish Egret Attacking Snowy Egret

Reddish Egrets are very territorial and will usually chase off other birds that invade their feeding area.  This Snowy egret got more than he bargained for when the Reddish Egret attacked.  He quickly dove at the Snowy and grabbed ahold of his tail feathers, swinging him around.  He then grabbed the Snow’s head with his beak pinning him in the water.  The Snowy ended up escaping and didn’t come back.

Made for some exciting shooting with 37 photos in 3 seconds.

Previewed the last photo at a presentation that I made at the Houston Audubon Nature Photography Association on Wed night, which was also a great time.

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

Aperture priority, 1/1000 sec @ F9, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 1/3 exposure compensation

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Aperture priority, 1/1000 sec @ F9, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 1/3 exposure compensation

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Aperture priority, 1/1000 sec @ F9, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 1/3 exposure compensation

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Aperture priority, 1/1000 sec @ F9, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 1/3 exposure compensation

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Aperture priority, 1/1000 sec @ F9, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 1/3 exposure compensation

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The Landing

Caught this Snowy Egret as he was coming in for a landing while fishing.  He ended up catching the fish but his landing poses made for better photos.

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

1/1250 sec @ F14, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, -1/3 exposure compensation

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1/1250 sec @ F14, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, -1/3 exposure compensation

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Snowy Launching

Caught this Snowy Egret as he was getting ready to take-off with wings extended, leaning into the wind and some catch light in his eye.  Looking at the bird in the distance helped to give the photo some more interest.

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

1/2000 sec @ F11, ISO 1600, +1 exposure compensation

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Flock O’ Snowy’s

My first trip in 2014 led me back to my favorite location, Bolivar Flats.  Along the gulf coast, Bolivar is a premier location for shorebird photography, especially if you like to get down and dirty with a ground pod.  The tide was going out at sunrise with several exposed sandbars.

My favorite targets, American Avocets, were all bunched up near the jetty behind a group of white pelicans.  Didn’t want to spook the pelicans while trying to get to the Avocets so decided to divert to a favorite spot closer to the shoreline around the bend.  This area is usually very muddy and it didn’t disappoint.  Laid down to see what would come my way when a flock of Snowy Egrets flew in to feed further away from me.  Didn’t want to scare them away with standing up and contemplated the best way to get to them.  The terrain looked almost like a moonscape with holes in the muck like craters filled with water and higher flat areas like plateaus.  Decided that crawling wasn’t a great idea so ended up walking on my knees using my flash bracket as a cane for balance.  Went about 30 yards and laid down again to shoot and rest.  The muck was smoothed out at this point and then belly crawled the rest of the way.  The muck was so slick I was almost gliding.  Got fairly close to the flock and a single Snowy off to the left feeding.  Was getting some decent shots when the flock suddenly flew away.  Looked to my right and another photographer had walked up along the shoreline and spooked the birds.  Goes with the territory sometimes.  Stayed put and some of the birds came back to finish off the session.

When I got up, I couldn’t see the camo pattern on my waders as the mud/muck was caked on so thick.  Good times.

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

1/640 sec @ F11, ISO 400, evaluative metering, -1/3 exposure compensation

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1/800 sec @ F11, ISO 400, evaluative metering, -2/3 exposure compensation

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1/1250 sec @ F11, ISO 400, evaluative metering, -2/3 exposure compensation

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Snowy Egret on the Move

Spent some quality time yesterday morning at Bolivar Flats.  The tide and sun were cooperating for once.  Found a decent spot where birds were feeding and laid down on a sand bar for about 1.5 hrs to get some shorebird action shots.  There was a White Morph Reddish Egret feeding along with this Snowy Egret.  They would tolerate each other to a point but the White Morph finally had enough and tried to chase the Snowy away.  Caught this shot when the Snowy was running from the White Morph.  Luckily he didn’t leave and I ended up with over 3200 photos to sort through.  Used manual mode for shooting these white birds to maintain the proper exposure as they were on the move.

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

1/1000 sec @ F9 on manual mode

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Snowy Egret Catching a Fish

It always a good time when you see a shorebird plunge his head into the water and come up with a fish.  This Snowy Egret was working his way towards me and put on a good fishing display.  A high-speed camera comes in handy in this situation as you can get a series of shots of the action.  Had to use negative exposure compensation to keep the whites from blowing out on this bright white bird.

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

1/2000 sec @ F8, ISO 250, evaluative metering, -1 exposure compensation

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1/2000 sec @ F8, ISO 250, evaluative metering, -1 exposure compenation

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1/2000 sec @ F8, ISO 250, evaluative metering, -1 exposure compenation

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1/2000 sec @ F8, ISO 250, evaluative metering, -1 exposure compenation

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