Today’s topic seemed a perfect fit for today’s blog for a number of reasons. For starters we just finished up our latest bird shoot down in Texas. Although that trip was somewhat exhausting (7 days, 7 different hotels) we did manage to shoot what we went there to find. Which, by the way, is absolutely awesome and can’t wait to post the results here. I was able to finish up not one, but two more phases of Project Auuunnooold. It’s the end of the month and lastly, the final wrap on our first two visits to the , Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve. This comes as a bitter-sweet event. Bitter in the sense that this shoot produced an amazing number of new checkmarks and interesting photos. The Sweet part is it will allow me to move on to the other shoots that have been piling up in the queue – and trust me, there is a LOT in the hopper at this particular point in time.
Let’s recap why the Henderson Preserve was such an amazing birding location!
Overall Posts Pertaining to Henderson: 22
Number of New Birds to the Blog: 21
Number of Birds Featured: 32
Number of non-Bird Posts: 2 (The Coyote and the Jack Rabbit)
No other place has come close to being this productive from a non-captive environment perspective. In closing this shoot out, I just wanted to provide a few more shots that caught my eye when closing out the catalog from the digital darkroom. First off is a few more of the Northern Harrier that was hunting in the area. This bird of prey must have known we were there since it would drift his hunting circles away from us every time we came close. It is hard enough to keep The Beast on target with something close, but downright nightmare trying to keep the focus on something that doesn’t even fill the focus point.
As a result, there are “plenty” of blurred shots that hit the cutting room floor, but some turned out decent enough to process. Not as crisp as the previous set (link here), but definitely closer so you can make out the features better.
The next one could use a little more lightening in the dark room – likely pushed the shutter speed in favor of keeping the blur down. Mainly putting it here because the composition looked nice in the frame.
Hit the jump to see the last of the Henderson shots.
My Quail pictures in the previous post (link here) were a little lacking in my opinion – especially the one with the fence in it – I try really hard to keep the man made objects out of the shoot, but in the first set they were basically hugging that fence line. On the second day, a couple of them popped out on the pathway ahead of us.
Would it at least have the common decency to LOOK at me at least one…
that would be a big fat NOPE. I come all the way from the Midwest to visit their pretty home and all we get is the cold shoulder. Not sure who is more smug at the moment.. the Elk in Yellowstone or these damn Quail. Next up is another shot (well, actually two) shots of another Ruddy Duck. This particular waterfowl made it to two post (link here and here). Still sticking with the females, but this one made me laugh when I was processing it. Partly due to the fact it was addressing an itch giving it a unique composition…
but mostly due to the hilarious expression it gave when it finally hit the spot…
Nothing spells relief like a well placed scratch! The Grebes definitely made their presence known on the ponds (link here). Thought this pose looked a little more stoic than the other shots that were posted. Also really like how the ripple gives an overall feel of motion to the image.
And of course there are the numerous screw ups. Generally there are other shots in a given series (thank you Continuous High sot mode) that will address the issue, but there are always one or two that truly disappoint. The picture might be blurred or maybe late on the snap and missed the perfect moment. More often than not, it is due to not taking the time to validate the composition. You can get so wrapped up in the moment that you forget to check all four corners of the frame. This is the case with the following two shots. This particular Egret was doing a ballet right in front of me .. dancing to and fro, waving the wings around in intriguing positions – all in all just being an absolute ham for the camera….but..
I was so busy watching the show that I missed the face that some near brush had crept into the shots. Just a second or two to stop and check the surroundings would have saved this shot and the one below.
Ughhhhh – this one hurts. Talk about perfect symmetry with the foot and wing. Even nicely framed along the top and right sides. I guess if wildlife photography was easy it wouldn’t be that much fun. I do find myself taking better care of the setting when taking shots these days. It is reminders like these that help make it more automatic.
I truly hope you enjoyed reading about Henderson as much as we enjoyed being there in person. In fact, we enjoyed it so much we made another visit out there this year. This is one of the sets that is in the queue – same setting, but a different season so we had some new opportunities. We’ll get to those soon enough!