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Posts tagged “Texas

More Harris Hawks

Here are a few more Harris Hawk photos from last weekend.

Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 100-400 II lens or Canon 500mm F4 IS II mounted on tripod with Wimberley II gimbal head

Aperture priority, 1/3200 sec @ F7.1, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, -2/3 exposure compensation, 400mm

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Aperture priority, 1/6400 sec @ F5.6, ISO 3200, evaluative metering, 400mm

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Aperture priority, 1/2000 sec @ F9, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, 500mm

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Aperture priority, 1/4000 sec @ F8, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +2/3 exposure compensation, 400mm

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Aperture priority, 1/3200 sec @ F8, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation, 500mm

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Harris Hawk Landing

Made another trip to Santa Clara Ranch in south Texas over the weekend.  Had a great time, as always.  Thanks Hector.  Finally got to experience the raptor blind and it was awesome.  With a somewhat slow start, the action picked up with Scott and I maxing out with 10 raptors at the same time with a couple of Harris Hawks and the rest being Caracara.

Started out using my 100-400 lens and later switched to the 500.  Got several decent flight shots and wing spread photos when they came in to land.  This juvenile Harris Hawk put on a good show.

I’d go back just for the raptors.  Hope to make another trip next year.

Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 100-400mm II lens, mounted on tripod with Wimberley II gimbal head

Aperture priority, 1/5000 sec @ F5.6, ISO 3200, evaluative metering, 400mm

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Dance of the Reddish Egret in B&W

Partial sun turned into a cloudy morning at Bolivar Flats along the Gulf of Mexico.  The colors were somewhat muted so I converted these into B&W to bring out the feather detail.

Watching Reddish Egrets dance around while fishing is always a good time and provides some great photo opportunities.  This egret was very energetic and would launch himself out of the water to look for unsuspecting fish as the tide was slowly receding.  In the last shot, he got all puffed up while chasing a white morph reddish egret away.

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, 1/2500 sec @ F9, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation, 700mm

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Aperture priority, 1/2500 sec @ F9, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation, 700mm

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Aperture priority, 1/1250 sec @ F9, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation, 700mm

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Lying Eye Level with an Alligator

It’s been several months since I’ve been to Brazos Bend State Park so I got up last Sunday morning and decided to head that direction to check out the local wildlife.  It was very dead from a bird perspective.  The weeds growing in 40 acre lake have killed most of the action along the trail on the north side of the lake .  Luckily found this alligator lying along the trail.

Took the first shot from a standing position with my tripod to give the perspective of him near the trail but thought that it was a boring photo.  Got closer and took my camera off of the tripod and went down on one knee for a little lower shot.  Didn’t like that one either so ended up lying on the trail to get the second shot, handholding my camera/500mm lens.  Only minor cropping to panoramic format.  Needed elbow pads for that one.

The gator looked pretty calm so I walked past him on the left side of the trail.  He didn’t move his body but raised his toes up off of the ground as I walked by, which was interesting.  Got to the other side and laid down on the trail again for the last photo.

Getting down low works great for gators as well as birds, as long as they are well fed….

Aperture priority, 1/1000 sec @ F 4.5, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, 500mm

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Aperture priority, 1/1600 sec @ F 5, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, 500mm

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Aperture priority, 1/640 sec @ F 10, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, 500mm

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White Tipped Dove

White tipped doves don’t really show how colorful they really are until they extend their wings.  Very beautiful birds.

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

Aperture priority, 1/1250 sec @ F 6.3, ISO 1600, spot metering, 500mm

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Aperture priority, 1/1000 sec @ F 6.3, ISO 1600, spot metering, 500mm

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Drinking Roadrunner

The roadrunners were the highlight of my last trip to Santa Clara Ranch in south Texas in June.  On the last day, they were very cooperative and came to the pond to drink.  Up close, they are very beautiful birds.

On the last photo, you can see the reflection of the pond in the water drop.  They scoup up the water in their bill and tilt their head back to drink.

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

Aperture priority, 1/2000 sec @ F9, ISO 3200, evaluative metering, 500mm

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Aperture priority, 1/2500 sec @ F9, ISO 3200, evaluative metering, 500mm

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Aperture priority, 1/1600 sec @ F9, ISO 800, evaluative metering, 500mm

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Bronzed Cowbird

One of my favorite birds from my last trip to Santa Clara Ranch was the Bronzed Cowbird.   They have a bronzed iridescence and their eyes turn red during breeding season.  When trying to impress a potential mate, the male will vibrate his wings and hover in the air a few feet off of the ground.  Got lucky on the last day and caught that behavior with the last two photos.

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

Aperture priority, 1/640 sec @ F8, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, 500mm

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Aperture priority, 1/800 sec @ F8, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, 500mm

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Aperture priority, 1/640 sec @ F5.6, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, 500mm

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Aperture priority, 1/800 sec @ F5.6, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, 500mm

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Roadrunner Stare-Down

He must have been wondering where the machine gun fire was coming from nearby.

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

Aperture priority, 1/1250 sec @ F8, ISO 3200, evaluative metering, 500mm

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Roadrunner Close-up

During my recent trip to Santa Clara Ranch, our goal was to see bobcats that have been frequenting the ponds lately.  The ponds in front of the blinds are the only water source on the ranch so they attract lots of wildlife, especially during the hot summer months.

It was looking very promising for us with the previous visitors seeing bobcats at multiple blinds.  Our hopes were dashed when it rained on both days.  With water available elsewhere on the ranch, the cats didn’t show up.  Bummer…

However, we did hit the jackpot on roadrunners.  Our guide, Hector Astorga, is an expert at getting roadrunners to come into the blind area.  He was calling one with his voice and it tried to come down the stairs into the blind.

This Greater Roadrunner eventually made his way to the pond and started drinking.  He was too close for full body shots at the pond so I kept my focus on his eye for head shots.  They are beautiful birds that are very colorful and look a little prehistoric, in my opinion.

More photos to follow with direct eye contact and drinking out of the pond.

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

Aperture priority, 1/2000 sec @ F9, ISO 3200, evaluative metering, 500mm

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