Eastern Pondhawks At Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

We usually like going to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge outside of Cambridge Maryland for photographing Bald Eagles. It usually has one of the largest amounts of Bald Eagles in the Northeast. But in the Summer I also like it for the large amounts & different types of Dragonflies you can find. Here I am posting some images of Eastern Pondhawk Dragonflies. Blackwater has a long Wildlife Drive so you can find a large variety of Dragonflies because of the different varieties of habitats along the Drive. Some of the best areas are by the Observation Platform that goes out above the grasses over the water & along the Wildlife Drive where there is standing water on both sides of the Drive.

Female Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly, 400mm DO lens, 1.4x Teleconverter, Canon 1D mkIV
Female Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly, 400mm DO lens, 1.4x Teleconverter, Canon 1D mkIV

Monarch Butterfly On Buttonbush

I was looking for Dragonflies to photograph at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge near Cambridge Maryland, but came across this Monarch Butterfly on this Buttonbush plant. I was using a 400mm DO lens with a 1.4x Teleconverter on a Canon 1DmkIV. I thought it looked interesting hanging upside down on the spherical pincushion blossoms. They are composed of dense clusters of tiny white tubular flowers. Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) is often lauded for its utility rather than its beauty. Its commercial introduction in 1735 was primarily for beekeepers (hence, its other common name of honey-bells), who cultivated this deciduous shrub as a pollen and nectar resource for honeybees. This wetland shrub can be found in low-lying areas, swamps, marshes, bogs, and wetlands, and along the edges of ponds, streams, and rivers. It is often used to develop and restore wetlands, control erosion in riparian areas, and create wildlife habitats.

American White Pelican Flying In At Blackwater NWR

These are from a past trip a couple of years ago in April. I was photographing a Bald Eagle when I noticed a lone American White Pelican heading straight towards me. I started photographing it and was shooting a series of images as it was coming towards me. It banked sharply and landed in the water. After it landed in the water I noticed a whole flock flying in from the side that was apparently following the lone Pelican. So I guess he was the leader of the group. The bright white Pelicans really stood out against the deep blue color of the water. Also you can see the lone American White Pelican was in Breeding Plumage with the fibrous epidermal plate on it’s upper mandibles about one third of the way up their bills. All images were taken with a Canon 400mm DO lens with a Canon 2X Teleconverter on a Canon 1D mkIII.

American White Pelican with in Breeding Plumage with the fibrous bump on upper bill
A small section of the Large Group that was following the lone Pelican .
A small section of the Large Group landing in the water that was following the lone Pelican .

Blackwater NWR iPhone Multi-Image Panoramas

On our visit to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge I was traveling light thinking only of Birds & Wildlife images. I only was using a Canon R with a Tamron 150-600mm lens. But when we got there the clouds with the landscapes were amazing. So I tried shooting quite a few multi-image panoramas with a variety of the iPhone lenses. The featured image is 10 vertical images (4:3 format iPhone format) assembled and blended in Photoshop.

BWR landscape, iPhone 11 Pro, 4img, 1.5mm lens (Full Frame Camera field of view ~ 13mm)
BWR Landscape, iPhone 11 Pro, 4.3mm lens, Panorama mode (“bowing” Horizon Distortion from iPhone pano mode corrected in Photoshop)
View from Visitor Center – 9 image, iPhone 11 Pro, 6mm lens (Full Frame Camera Field of View ~52mm)
BWR Visitor Center, 1.5mm lens, iPhone 11 Pro, (Full Frame Camera field of view ~ 13mm)
BWR Wildlife Drive, 10 vertical images, 1.5mm lens, iPhone 11 Pro
BWR Observation Platform, 1.5mm lens, 6 Horizontal images panorama
BWR Observation Platform, iPhone 11 Pro, 4.3mm lens, 4 vertical image panorama

Blackwater NWR Sunsets

Here are some Colorful Sunsets from a few different visits over the years to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge near Cambridge, Maryland. Besides photographing Eagles & other birds it is a Great place to photograph colorful sunrises & sunsets. The featured image was taken along the Wildlife Drive with a Canon 24-105mm lens @40mm, Canon 1Ds mkII.

Blackwater Sunset, 24-105mm @ 105, Canon 1DmkII
BWR Sunset, Panasonic LX1, 6.3mm lens, Full Frame Equivalent 28mm
BWR Sunset, 24-105 @90mm, 1Ds mkII
BWR Sunset, 24-105mm @ 73mm, 1Ds mkII
Firey Clouds @ Sunset 24-105mm @ 105mm 1dmkIII

Blackwater NWR Sunrise

This image is from a previous trip to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Cambridge, Maryland. We arrived as the sun was coming up, so I stopped near the entrance to take a few shots of the trees along the entrance with the warm glow of the rising sun behind the trees. This was my favorite of the series, shot with a Canon 17-40mm lens @ 17mm. This is a lens I hardly ever use and is not my favorite lens for landscapes, but it was in my bag so I gave it a try anyway. In the end I liked the image. I usually use a 24-105mm and shoot multiple images @24mm for a slight panorama view.

Bald Eagle Close-Up Flyby

I am going through my array of backup hard drives to cleanup and remove unnecessary files and make more room to add files. Also to go through and see what sessions I my not have worked on. I was surprised to find this image of a Bald Eagle from many years ago from a trip to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Cambridge Maryland. It flew out of a tree along the Wildlife Drive. I was photographing a different view when I noticed this Eagle fly out of a tree on my side. So I quickly tried to get a shot but just managed to lock on to get this image in focus. I was shooting verticals so I did not have time to change orientation before it changed direction. I have learned that photographing Eagles tail views are not my favorite images. Eagle image shot with a Canon 400mm Canon DO lens with 1.4x Teleconverter on a Canon 1D MkIII Camera body.

Ospreys In Flight

One of my favorite photo subjects are Ospreys in flight. Over the years I have enjoyed photographing them in many different locations. Quite often you can see in the photos their eyes keeping an eye on you. The featured image was taken at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland. Featured image was taken with a 400mm DO lens with a 1.4X Teleconverter. Other photo locations for the images here were the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, Briganine Division and The Celery Farm Natural Area in Allendale, NJ.

Osprey v2_BWR_MA_1135Osprey_Flt_v1_MA_9127Osprey_v4_Bwr_MA_9277Osprey v1_BWR_MA_9190Osprey v2_BWR_MA_1135 copyOsprey_w_lunch v3 Brig_MG_5903Osprey _v1_BWR_MA_9261

osprey 1test

Osprey In Flight

I was going through some older backup drives and found these files I never worked on from a Blackwater NWR trip about 8 years ago. I remember them now because these were taken on the Wildlife Drive when there used to be an Osprey platform close to the Wildlife Drive. This Osprey Platform was near the last turn before the straight way to the exit. This Osprey put on quite an aerial show. It was so close I clipped its wings a few times. I did not want to stay too long in case I was bothering the nest. But it was so close to the busy Wildlife Drive I would think it was used to cars. Maybe that is why it is now gone.

Osprey _v1_BWR_MA_9261Osprey v2_BWR_MA_9240Osprey v1_BWR_MA_9263Osprey_Flt_BWR v1_MA_9264Osprey v2_MA_9265Osprey_v3_BWR_MA_9270Osprey_v1_BWR_MA_9267Osprey_Flt_v1_MA_9127_MA_9139Osprey_Flt v1_MA_9146Osprey_v4_Bwr_MA_9277

 

Bald Eagle In Flight

I was going through some old Raw images from Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge and found this image of a Bald Eagle that I never worked on. Sometimes it is fun to go over old Raw files to see if the newer software can pull more details or colors out of the Raw files. Usually, Yes you can get more from your old files. This Eagle flew out of a group of trees on the bend in the Wildlife Drive before the middle exit. I liked the blue sky background with the soft clouds. I was using a 500mm lens on an older Canon 1D MkIII body. Blackwater NWR is one of my favorite locations to photograph – Especially for the Bald Eagles.

I was asked about the lower wingtip being cut off. It did not bother me when I posted it in the beginning as that is how it was photographed. But I added it in and viewers can choose / decide which one they like better.

eagle v9 copy

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