Bill’s Day Nature Log 12/15/2012

  • Slept in a bit after reading the unpromising weather forecast.  Was out the door at 9:00 heading to Shaw Nature Reserve.
  • I was a bit concerned with arriving at SNR so late, but then I remembered, if the conditions are anything less than perfect the majority will stay away.  I saw only a few folks on the trails.
  • Weather conditions were quite poor for bird photography: very windy, mostly cloudy with fast moving clouds causing constantly changing light.
  • Not very birdy.  Even usual favorite spots were quite slow. Looking for winter sparrows and BRCR, but finding neither.
  • Officially one of my favorite things: walking through a recently burned area.  Love the smell of the wildfire, the still-smoking embers, watching the Flickers pick through the ashes, assuming they are picking up half-cooked grubs and other goodies.
  • I would love to take a year off of everything and follow the Flickers.  So many questions that I would like answered: Why does it seem that whole groups or population? move in and out of areas.  One week, I’ll see dozens, then I won’t see a one for a month.  Why are they so often seen on the ground, even in turf?  What is the nature of these relatively large groups they seem to stay in?  Are they closely related?
  • I did see a few Wild Turkeys plucking around a recently burned section of new savannah.
  • Water in creeks!
  • Spring Peepers being quite vocal.
  • Kentucky Coffee Tree seed pods were dropping.  Of course I took one.  Ate a bit of the resinous and sweet goo that covers seeds.
  • I noticed the large river bottom prairie has been planted with trees!  Something in the red-oak family.  I’m sure the expert habitat restorers know what is best, but I enjoyed this area and the habitat edges it provided.  Usually overflowing with birds and one of the best spots for insects I know of.  We’ll see what it will turn into.

“Eastern Bluebird, SNR, Autumn 2012”

Technical details: Canon EOS 7D camera, EF500mm f/4.5L USM lens, ISO 640,  f/6.3, 1/1600 sec
  • Left for RMBS and arrived with a couple hours of light left to photograph the Trumpeter Swans.  Lighting and background clouds were quite nice.
  • A distinct Tundra Swan could be heard constantly in the larger group.  It never did come close enough to take that “species distinction” shot.

IMG_0114

“Changing Skies”

Technical details: Canon EOS 7D camera, EF500mm f/4.5L USM lens, ISO 640,  f/7.1, 1/2000 sec
  • First good workout with complete gear package of 500mm and the new Sidekick mount.  Worked beyond expectations.  So glad I decided to get the Sidekick, although I hated to make another expenditure so soon following lens.  So much better than trying to use ballhead alone for lens support.
  • Worked great on monopod and BH-30 ballhead for ~4 mile hike.  Very stable support for monopod.
  • Also worked great on tripod with BH-40.  I can’t imagine a much better support for this combo.
  • Many thanks to Iris Dement for the lyrics to use for the title of the pic below.  These are a pair of obviously worn birds.  Most of the birds today came in with muddy feet, being out in the fields feasting on “wasted” grain.

IMG_9103

“I Never Dreamed Today Would Come, When Love Was Young”

Technical details: Canon EOS 7D camera, EF500mm f/4.5L USM lens, ISO 800,  f/5.6, 1/1600 sec
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s