Cedar Waxwings From The Audubon Plainsboro Preserve

We went for a walk at the Audubon Plainsboro Preserve near our home looking for dragonflies. As we were walking down the path that extends out into Lake McCormick we were surprised to see a pair of Cedar Waxwings. One flew off to a higher branch behind the leaves but the other posed for us giving me an opportunity to get a few fairly close images. I shot a few images than moved a little closer hoping to get some closer shots before it flew off. I was using an Olympus OM-D -Mk1 camera with a Panasonic 100-300mm lens @300mm (Full Frame Camera Equivalent ~ 600mm.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Misty Morning @ The Celery Farm Nature Area

The Celery Farm is a small 107 acre freshwater wetland in Allendale, NJ. There is a small lake, Lake Appert, so there is a wide range of birds to photograph in a somewhat confined environment. There has been 240 bird species sighted here with 53 species breeding there. The best times for photos were early morning and early evening. I used to like photographing Ospreys fishing here in the afternoon. The most I had seen there was 6 at the same time circling above. With the small lake it was great for photographers to get Ospreys diving in the lake for fish. Years ago it was a carp farm, so it was strange to see them flying off many times with a bright orange fish! If you walk the trails you can also find a wide range of birds and mammals. So you have a lot of photo opportunities in a relatively small area. Especially for flying birds.

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Everythings Ducky

Some more images from our trip to the Brigantine Division of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Oceanville, NJ. We saw a large variety of Ducks on our visit there. Some were in large groups and others were either a pair or just single ducks swimming by. Most, as usual were farther out in the channel, but a few cooperated and swam closer by. All shot with a 400mm D.O. lens with a 1.4X teleconverter on a Canon R. The sky was very overcast when were photographing the ducks, so I did my best to brighten my Duck subjects. The featured image is a Male Northern Shoveler Duck. Always loved that green head with bright yellow eyes!

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Red-breasted Merganser Duck

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Hooded Mergansers

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Bufflehead Ducks

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Male Northern Pintail Duck

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Male American Black Duck Swimming by a Female Northern Shoveler Duck

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Pair of Northern Shovelers Feeding

 

A Study In White

I was following this White Ibis when this Snowy Egret flew in. I was setup with a Sigma 300-800mm zoom which helped, so I could frame my subjects while they were interacting with each other. They just seemed to dance & prance around each other, not seeming to notice the other was there. Usually I use a little minus exposure compensation with white birds, but it was still early in the morning and a little dark. This time I used +0.33 exposure compensation with aperture priority after checking the histogram. This sequence only lasted a little over 2 minutes.

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Coming In
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800mm DG APO f/5.6 lens @ 687mm, f/8, 1/320 sec., ISO 640, +0.33 exposure compensation, aperture priority.

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Touchdown w/ Full Wing Spread
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800mm DG APO f/5.6 lens @ 687mm, f/8, 1/320 sec., ISO 640, +0.33 exposure compensation, aperture priority.

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What’s for Breakfast
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800mm DG APO f/5.6 lens @ 687mm, f/8, 1/320 sec., ISO 640, +0.33 exposure compensation, aperture priority.

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Looking for a Meal
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800mm DG APO f/5.6 lens @ 687mm, f/8, 1/400 sec., ISO 640, +0.33 exposure compensation, aperture priority.

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Well I found something
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800mm DG APO f/5.6 lens @ 687mm, f/8, 1/400 sec., ISO 640, +0.33 exposure compensation, aperture priority.

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Still Looking
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800mm DG APO f/5.6 lens @ 687mm, f/8, 1/400 sec., ISO 640, +0.33 exposure compensation, aperture priority.

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Looking, Looking
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800mm DG APO f/5.6 lens @ 687mm, f/8, 1/400 sec., ISO 640, +0.33 exposure compensation, aperture priority.

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Coming Over
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800mm DG APO f/5.6 lens @ 687mm, f/8, 1/400 sec., ISO 640, +0.33 exposure compensation, aperture priority.

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Crossing Paths
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800mm DG APO f/5.6 lens @ 687mm, f/8, 1/400 sec., ISO 640, +0.33 exposure compensation, aperture priority.

Rainy Day

I came upon this Tricolored Heron sitting on a branch, feathers puffed out because of the drizzly rain. I thought the heron looked interesting because of the different look of the feathers and the larger look of the body. A different look from how I usually find them.

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Another Wet Tricolored Heron
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm DO f/4 IS, handheld @ f/4.5, 1/200 sec. , ISO 1600

Great Egret – Shy, Bad Feather Day or Just Wet from the Rain?

Found this Great Egret along the Rookery at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. The Rookery at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm is a great place to get closeup shots of wild birds in their natural habitat. The alligators are below the boardwalk, a lot of birds build nests right above the board walk in the surrounding trees, because they feel safe from predators. I saw about 20 nesting in one tree alone. The only problem they have is the occasional meal they provide the alligators if they are too close on the ground. The best times are early in the morning before they fly out or later in the day when they come back to roost. Sometimes the nests are so close you can get great shots with even a 200mm lens. We were trying to get there on our way home, but got delayed and did not get there until they were almost closing. It also started to lightly rain and got darker. We went in anyway and I got quite a few interesting shots, even with the lack of light, gray skies and the rain. I used a high ISO and opened up the lens to help stop the action, ( More my movement from handholding the camera on the gray day, The Egret was standing very still).

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Egret Eye Closeup
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm DO f/4 lens, f/4.5, 1/640 sec, ISO 1600

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Egret Closeup
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm DO f/4 lens, f/4.5, 1/640 sec, ISO 1600

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Egret Portrait
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm DO f/4 lens, f/4.5, 1/640 sec, ISO 1600

Tricolored Heron Hunting

Northern NJ got another snow storm and frigid below normal temperatures, so I thought I would warm up by going through more of my photos from our trip to Florida. This Tricolored Heron was hunting along an inlet that I was walking along. They were formerly called the Louisiana Heron and are a medium sized Heron, smaller than a Great Blue, but larger than the Night Herons. This one was concentrated on walking along the shore giving me an opportunity to get many shots as it walked towards me and then away from me. On the header photo, even at 1/400 sec, I got a little motion blur on the left leg. I still liked the photo though, it gave it a little sense of movement and the bubbles coming up with the rest sharp so it looked a little less static.

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Tricolored Heron Taking Wide Strides
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm DO f/4 lens, Canon 1.4X Teleconverter, f/11, 1/400 sec, ISP 1250, -0.33 exposure compensation

Yellow-crowned Night-heron

I found this Yellow-crowned Night-Heron in the shade on the roots of Mangrove trees. It did not seem to be bothered by my presence so I was able to get a few shots and then moved on so I did not bother the heron. Because it was sitting in the shade I used a -1 exposure compensation with aperture priority to get a proper exposure for the light colored bird in the dark shade.  I also used ISO 1250 because I was handholding the camera and wanted a higher shutter speed. Even though it is a stabilized lens, with a 1.4X teleconverter, I wanted the higher shutter speed since the 400mm, with the 1.4X teleconverter and the 1.3X crop factor equals an effective focal length of 728mm.

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Great White Egret Swarmed by Gulls

This Egret had just caught a meal and was quickly swarmed by gulls trying to steal its dinner. The Egret kept moving ahead trying to finish the meal but the Gulls kept circling and buzzing him. He eventually got to finish but was continually interrupted. I just thought it was interesting to watch the interaction between the Egret & Gulls.

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Great Egret trying to evade the Gulls
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm DO f/4, Canon 1.4X Series II Teleconverter, f/7.1, 1/5000 sec, ISO 1250, +0.33 Exposure Compensation

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Great Egret with other Egrets & Ibises, Trying to Finish its Catch
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm DO f/4, Canon 1.4X Series II Teleconverter, f/7.1, 1/5000 sec, ISO 1250, +0.33 Exposure Compensation

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Great Egret trying to move away from the Gulls with its meal
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm DO f/4, Canon 1.4X Series II Teleconverter, f/7.1, 1/4000 sec, ISO 1250, +0.33 Exposure Compensation

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Great Egret Still Dodging the Gulls
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm DO f/4, Canon 1.4X Series II Teleconverter, f/7.1, 1/4000 sec, ISO 1250, +0.33 Exposure Compensation

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Great Egret with Gulls Trying to Steal its Meal
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm DO f/4, Canon 1.4X Series II Teleconverter, f/7.1, 1/4000 sec, ISO 1250, +0.33 Exposure Compensation

White Ibis Portrait

This White Ibis was feeding along the shoreline. The Ibis kept coming closer until it was getting too close to even focus on. I got quite a few shots but I liked the portrait head shot. I especially liked the intensity of the eye and the prominent distinctive shape of the Ibis beak.

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White Ibis Working the Shoreline Closeup
Canon EOS1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800mm DG f/5.6 lens, f/8, 1/800 sec, ISO 640

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White Ibis Closeup showing the Distinctive beak, legs & feet
Canon EOS1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800mm DG f/5.6 lens, f/8, 1/800 sec, ISO 640

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White Ibis Closeup
Canon EOS1D MkIV, Canon 400mm DO f/4, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, total 560mm
f/11, 1/400 sec, ISO 400

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