Sunday, February 27, 2011

Spring Fever

Friday the 18th sure brought out the spring fever.  We were meeting friends in Matamoras on Friday evening so we could spend the next day looking for Eagles, Waterfowl and hawks.  We got "lulled" into dressing for good weather.  Saturday morning brought cold and high winds (up to 50 mph).  We saw a number of Bald Eagles, ducks and hawks though.  This winter was a great winter in our area for Rough Legged hawks.

Most of the migratory Bald Eagles have headed for "home" to rebuild their nests.  This adult Bald Eagle is one of the resident bald Eagles where the Lackawaxen River joins the Delaware River.  He did a couple of flyovers for us.

Canon Mk IV 1D, Canon 600mm f4 @ f13 1/1000 ISO500 
I would have normally taken that shot at f8 or faster and would have had about +1 EC.  However, it was a cloudy and "foggy" day with lots of light -so there was no need to counteract a bright sky. Also, since there was plenty of light I wanted to try a smaller aperture to be able to get ALL of the Eagle in focus. The image could still use some boosting of tonal change to make it "pop".  So, the following is one where I have shifted the curves and applied hue and saturation to the sky.

A large flock of Mallards kept floating down the Lackawaxen onto the Delaware and then they would fly back up the Lackawaxen to float down again.  I barely had enough shutter speed to stop wing and flight action on this shot.  Lucked out that I caught them just as they took off and did not yet have their speed up. 

Canon Mk IV 1D, Canon 600mm f4 @ f8 1/800 ISO500 

From the Zane Grey Boat launch we went to Liberty Loop trail at the north end of Liberty Marsh NWR. We sighted Red tail Hawks, Rough Legged hawks, Northern Harriers and a Merlin.  I plan to spend more time there before winter is over to get better shots of the Harriers-particularly the Male. 

By the time I was able to get shots of theFemale Northern Harrier, storm clouds had moved in with high winds and low light.  So, some digital noise resulted.

Canon Mk IV 1D, Canon 600mm f4 @ f6.3 1/1600 ISO2000 

The male Northern harrier kept catching me unprepared as he glided low to ground and was upon me before I could react.  I finally got a couple of shots of him.

EC +1
Canon Mk IV 1D, Canon 600mm f4 @ f6.3 1/800 ISO800 EC+1

Until Next Time.
Jim Borden


Sarah @ The Strength of Faith said...

Beautiful as always! I love that second shot.

I was out today shooting waterfalls and was dealing with the issue of too much light - I haven't had that problem in awhile!


Very cool photography! Enjoyed the site very much...

Wildlife Photographer - Roberto Fabbri said...

Hello all,

These are really nice photos. I am impressed with all the photos you take and your camera takes a fantastic image quality. Thank you...

Wildlife Photographer

Willard said...

An excellent post and photographs, Jim. I liked the example of making a photo "pop".