Friday, March 11, 2011


The weekend of March 4 was forecast to be dreary, cold and wet in our area and Joan suggested she take me somewhere for my 60th birthday.   I looked at the weather in southern Pa and decided that it was time to visit the Middle Creek Wildlife management area.  We arrived there early Friday morning and were immediately treated to "lots" of Tundra Swans and 1000's of Snow Geese.  Later in the day we learned that the Pa Game Commission estimated 60,000 plus Snow Geese and over 8000 Tundra Swans.  The lake was covered with the Geese-it was truly moving to see such a wonder.  It was awesome when two immature Bald Eagles flew along the top of the water which spooked the Geese.  We also got to see Gadwall ducks, Ring Neck Ducks, Black Ducks, American Wigeon, Mallards, Hooded Mergansers, Buffleheads, Kill Deer, Northern harriers, Red tail hawks and Kestrels.  I had a great time practicing taking flying shots.  the geese and swans gave me plenty of opportunities to hone my skills.  Joan also had a ball getting used to her 80-400 lens with flying shots.

Swans in formation.   Did not quite capture lighting correctly on this one.

Canon MK 1D; canon 600mm f4 @f8 1/2500 ISO 500 

Tundra Swan against Blue Sky
Canon MK 1D; canon 600mm f4 w 1.4TC @f7.1 1/2000 ISO 640 EC +.33

Snow Goose coming in for Landing
Canon MK 1D; Canon 600mm f4 @f8 1/1250 ISO 500 EC+1

Joan got this Snow Goose coming in for landing on a small pond.
Nikon D300; Nikon 80-400 @400mm f8 1/1000 ISO 500

Nikon D300; Nikon 80-400 @116mm f8 1/1600 ISO 500

Two Snow Geese and a Blue Phase flying in

Canon MK IV 1D; Canon 600mm f4 w/1.4TC @f9 1/1000 ISO500 EC+1

Ring Neck Duck
Canon MK IV 1D; Canon 600mm f4 w/1.4TC @f9 1/640 ISO400 EC+0

American Wigeon Male
Canon MK IV 1D; Canon 600mm f4 w/1.4TC @f8 1/500 ISO400 EC+.67

I captured this one at same time as Joan did.  I was very lucky that the goose was almost at the end of the landing and was almost stopped in the air-my shutter speed was low for a flying bird-but lucked out!
Canon MK IV 1D; Canon 600mm f4 w/1.4TC @f8 1/500 ISO500 EC+1

The following shot illustrates the technique of diagonals in composition--it is one of the basics that draws viewers to photos along with rule of thirds.
Nikon D300; Nikon 80-400 @400mm f8 1/1600 ISO500

Action shots are always interesting.  having the camera set so that shutter speed is fast enough to stop action is important.  the following image illustrates how the shutter speed of 1/1250 stops even the water droplet action-the drops seem to float in the air.

Nikon D300; Nikon 80-400 @400mm f7.1 1/1250 ISO500

Until Next Time

Jim & Joan Borden


Sarah @ The Strength of Faith said...

Jim, these are incredible! Thanks for sharing - as always!

John S. Mead said...

These are superb all the way around! I especially love the shots of landings as they look so ungainly with feet outstretched! Thanks for brightening up my day !

Willard said...

A wonderful group of photographs, Jim. I find that the lighting is often very difficult at Middle Creek, not to mention that it is hard to get close enough to the smaller species, but in spite of the obstacles these are photographs to be proud of. BTW, we are both officially the same age now.

Anonymous said...

Wow - these shots are fabulous! Just gorgeous. Poetry in motion!

eileeninmd said...

Fantastic shots! I was at Middle Creek the same time. The geese are an awesome sight to see.

Coy said...

Great set of Middle Creek shots Jim!

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