Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Back In The Saddle

Like the Alewife that are drawn back to their home rivers to spawn and the Osprey that are drawn to them, I am drawn by them both with my camera to photograph them. It's been a long time since I've done any serious photography with my camera. So it was a mix with great anticipation and a little trepidation that I awoke before the sun and drove to Maine for the day.

It is the curse of the nature photographer to alternate between moments of great activity interspersed with long intervals of waiting. Today the intervals were prolonged, but thankfully the other photographers were pleasant and soaking up the warm sun was a welcome change from the extended cool spring.

Light Chronicle | Photography: 2016-0523 ME Osprey &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: 2016-0523 ME Osprey &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: 2016-0523 ME Osprey &emdash;

When there are birds overhead, it is always interesting. Will they see fish to catch? Will they be successful? Will they be able to hold on? Photographers like fishermen regret the ones that get away.

Light Chronicle | Photography: 2016-0523 ME Osprey &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: 2016-0523 ME Osprey &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: 2016-0523 ME Osprey &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: 2016-0523 ME Osprey &emdash;

Sometimes during the lulls in the action there are other subjects around. Several eagles visit the area. After all stealing a fish from an Osprey is so much easier than catching one yourself. They are both juveniles and full grown adults. Of course if something opportunistically presents itself, either fish or fowl, it's worth making an effort.

Light Chronicle | Photography: 2016-0523 ME Osprey &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: 2016-0523 ME Osprey &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: 2016-0523 ME Osprey &emdash;

There are always opportunities to sharpen your skills on the gulls. Their slow motion flight good practice fo acquiring and focusing on your subject. When one gets a fish you better be quick, because it is swallowed quickly. Failure to do that results in all the the other gulls trying to grab the catch, like some jealous two year child that doesn't know how to share.

Light Chronicle | Photography: 2016-0523 ME Osprey &emdash;
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Light Chronicle | Photography: 2016-0523 ME Osprey &emdash;

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Fishy Story

Like the Alewife, I too have been drawn to the rivers of Maine.  They come to spawn and raise the next generation.  I come because they come, which attracts the Osprey, which attracts me and my camera.  Thursday started as a slow day, but finished with a special treat.


Here are a few of my favorites from the day.

Light Chronicle | Photography: 2015-0521 ME Osprey &emdash;

The photographers call this the "Doggie Shake". Shortly after they take off following a dive, they do a whole body shake to shed excess water & weight.

Light Chronicle | Photography: 2015-0521 ME Osprey &emdash;

Osprey will maneuver the fish so it will be flying head first in its most aerodynamic orientation

Light Chronicle | Photography: 2015-0521 ME Osprey &emdash;

Catching two fish simultaneously is only the start of the challenge

Light Chronicle | Photography: 2015-0521 ME Osprey &emdash;

With two feel you can firmly grasp one fish

Light Chronicle | Photography: 2015-0521 ME Osprey &emdash;

The eagles are sometime attracted to the Osprey. They will harass an Osprey that has caught a fish. They then chase the Osprey until it drops the fish. The eagle then snatches it....Wouldn't it be easier for the eagles to just fish themselves?

Light Chronicle | Photography: 2015-0521 ME Osprey &emdash;

The eagles will even harrass each other for fish

Friday, May 15, 2015

Mainely Osprey

Yesterday waa the sort of day that makes you glad you woke up at 3:30AM and drove 3+ hours to Maine to take photographys. This is the time of year where alewives make their migration from the sea, up rivers to fresh water to spawn and raise the next generation. Whenever there are lots of fish, you generally find lots of birds.

Reports from Down East had been sketchy but I decided to take a chance and make the day trip. (Especially since was the only day that my schedule & the weather would cooperate for over a week.)

 While the migration may not have not yet been going full steam, there were enough fish to attract enough osprey for it to have been worth my while getting sun & wind burned. Here are a few shots from yesterday, for you viewing pleasure. (Click on the photo to see a larger version.)

Light Chronicle | Photography: 2015-0514 ME Osprey &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: 2015-0514 ME Osprey &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: 2015-0514 ME Osprey &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: 2015-0514 ME Osprey &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: 2015-0514 ME Osprey &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: 2015-0514 ME Osprey &emdash;

Saturday, August 10, 2013

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

I'm a big advocate of photography projects. This summer I've assigned myself a project of photographing loons. After a bumpy start with car and physical problems I was able to engaged in this project with full force. With the help of several of my birder friends and the internet I've been able to photograph loons in all three of the northern New England states on a number of lakes and ponds. The project is very much a work in progress, so I don't know what the final result will be, but until then here are some of my favorite photos from the summer. Let me know your feedback of your favorite images
Light Chronicle: 2013-0803 Loons &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0709 Loons &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0709 Loons &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0709 Loons &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0718 Loons &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0718 Loons &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0718 Loons &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0718 Loons &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0718 Loons &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0718 Loons &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0718 Loons &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0803 Loons &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0803 Loons &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0803 Loons &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0803 Loons &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0803 Loons &emdash;

Friday, June 7, 2013

Forsythe (Brigantine) Trip

Several of us from camera club made a pilgrimage trip down to visit the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge's Brigantine division and surrounding areas for a couple days of primarily bird photography. Located along the Atlantic flyway, this is a great spot to see both migrating birds and many shorebirds of various types. We like it because you can see a large number of birds in a relatively small area.

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

This refuge had been seriously battered by hurricane Sandy. Waves had destroyed the seven mile wildlife drive. The storm surge littered the refuge with over 100 boats, carrying fuel, oil, propane tanks, roofs, lumber, and many other potentially hazardous materials. The US F&WS has rebuilt the road, cleaned out much of the debris and is working hard to return the refuge back to more normal conditions to support the wildlife.

One theme of this year's trip was Oystercatchers. Certainly their orange eyes, help make them exotic and photogenic. Last year there were a couple, but they were somewhat distant and tough to photograph. Not this year. In fact one Oystercatcher built their nest right next to the edge of Wildlife Drive. So close that F&WS and to put out cones & tape to keep people a safe distance away and avoid accidentally running over the nest.

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;
This couple chose to build their nest on the side of a busy road. Don't miss the chick in the photo.

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

There are numerous shorebirds. Our trip was timed for days where the high tides corresponded with the morning sunrise and evening sunsets. If all goes well you get the photographer's dream of great light combined with tides pushing the birds closer to shore. We batted .500 with two nice sunrise / sunsets and two overcast.

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Another treat was the many herons, egrets and ibises that are in the area. While we get them at home there are more of them, closer to the road, and somewhat less skittish. It also gave us a good opportunity to see the various sorts of marine life in the area.

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;
One of my favorites. If you click thru to see the large version of this photo, you'll notice that the fish's eye is also sharp & in focus.

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

As you would expect near the shore you also have a nice collecdtions of gulls, terns, cormorants, and skimmers.

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

After finishing your seven mile (one way) loop of wildlife drive, you drive for a mile or so through fields and forest. There we were likely to see more of the migrating birds that we see back home.

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

At Forsythe almost all the nesting platforms had pairs of osprey rebuilding their nests destroyed by Sandy.

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;
At one of our other stops, we saw this eagle / osprey dogfight. They are always fun to watch. This one was somewhat unusual because the osprey doesn't have a fish in its talons that the eagle is trying to steal.

Certainly this trip was much more enjoyable that last year's. (Of course not breaking your long lens and primary camera just before you leave, made it more fun from the outset. How did I enjoy the trip?

Light Chronicle: 2013-0514 Forsythe &emdash;
I guess you could say I loved it.