One of my favorite Eider shots.
We were taught as children that Robins were harbingers of spring. Ain’t so. American Robins can be found here in Northern Massachusetts throughout winter. These were shot last Saturday right here in Essex County.
One of the greatest things about being in Gloucester are the Common Eiders. You can find them here year round. They are very gregarious and this time of year the will flock together. I found this motley crew diving for mussels off of the Boulevard. It was the first day out with the D7100 and I wanted to test its capabilities. It was a very cloudy day, which has its advantages, but having lots of light isn’t on of them. So I pumped up the ISO to 500 and let it rip.
Be sure to visit Wild Bird Wednesday this week!
With great determination last Sunday morning I decided to go out to Plum Island again to see if I could get a good shot of a Snowy Owl. Just past the Plum Island Airport is a pink abandoned house. There’s a Snowy on top of it.
As you can see, the weather was overcast and looking at the chimney you can see that the wind was blowing the snow that was falling.
He flew off and landed on a power pole, a little closer. Okay, it’s a kind of a beauty-ugly juxtaposition composition.
After a while it took off and gave me a suitable image to build a new banner.
It flew onto the roof of a house in a nearby neighborhood. I decided to relish the moment that we had (there were a few other photographers and twitchers enjoying the show). I’m not so keen on pointing cameras and scopes at stranger’s houses and I happily tucked my gear and went off to Plum Island Light to see if I could get a good shot of the lighthouse in the snow.
There was another Snowy Owl right by the beach access! By now the snow had picked up.
Very cautiously, I worked with it for about ten minutes when he showed the slightest bit of distress, I slowly turned around and walked away.
It looks like it has a meal in its talons. I’m not sure what it is.
This morning I took a trip out to Plum Island and ran into photographer Charlie MacPherson. He was leading a workshop. They were pulled over by the side of the road and were working with a small flock of Turkeys. Since it would be rude to dive through their photo-shoot, I decided to join in. They graciously accepted me into their group. The students were just doing a great job with the Turkeys.
I struggle with Turkeys. I have a difficult time getting shots that I really enjoy. It’s probably because I when I see their feathers, I just go into a state of bedazzlement. They are very iridescent and complex. Turkeys are not black, look a the shades of greens and reds in this hen’s feathers.
I exchanged cards with Charlie and the students and requested that the send me an email if they posted any photos online. I’d love to see what they came up with.
Charlie MacPherson’s website is TheAmaizingImage.com. He has some wonderful images and some really great resources…tips, workshops, tours and what-not. An easy-going guy with the right attitude. I think you’ll enjoy his work.
Just a simple post today of some random images from the desert just outside of Palm Springs, California. We started out on a walk in Murphy Canyon. The trail head is at this oasis.
At the base of these boulders, we found these mortars where the Indian women used to pulverize mesquite meant, acorns and wild oats.
My dad used to smoke White Owls back in the 60s. He gave them up by 70s, thank goodness. I used to get a headache from the smoke. Now my family reads my blog, but the statute of limitations has run out on bone-headedness. My brother and I used to sneak into his pickup truck and light up the buts. Nasty. That was just boys being boys and I’m sure we got busted somewhere along the way.
I was always fascinated by the White Owl logo. I can remember driving by this building in Rutland, Vermont hundreds of times in the 60s and 70s when I was a kid. I was fascinated by the White Owl cigar add mural that was on this building. It was interesting to see that when the building was repainted, they put another owl up. It adds a touch of nostalgia and when I saw this for the first time, I thought, “That was nice of them to do that for me. I still have my landmark.” And thanks to the interweb I don’t have to drive the 167 miles to get this shot.
As a youngster I didn’t think that I’d ever get to see one of these birds in person. Snowy owl are found in the far north. Fast forward 45 years and now I’m shooting my own white owls. Pretty slick, especially since I only had to drive 15 miles to get my real white owl. Yes, I’ve had a fascination with this bird for a long time, and now that we are having an irruption I’m getting some opportunities. Well, sort of.
I was beside myself to get my life Snowy Owl a couple of weeks ago in the front yard. I even stooped to digiscoping without the proper gear. The other day, just to get out of the house and (more importantly out from under the Mrs.’s feet) I headed up to Plum Island. And sure enough I spotted a Snowy. He flew over the dunes and landed on a fence. Okay, okay, I think I can work with this.
I walked around to a different spot in hopes of getting a better background, let alone foreground. By the time I walked around the building, he flew down to the ground. Geese Louise! There are only four rusty fences in the frame, and he’s tight up against one!
I walked around to a neighboring dune. Hmmm, there are only six fence sections in this photo! AAAAHHH!
Okay, it is what it is! I’m keeping my distance so as not to stress the bird. I took some shots and left him to enjoy his visit to Massachusetts.
I went into the Plum Island Wildlife Refuge for a couple of hours and returned to see if I could get a better shot. Nope, but what a wonderful creature!
Good birding! Enjoy Wild Bird Wednesday this week!