Until this autumn, I never considered targeting our abundant white-tailed deer as a photo subject. When my friend, Miguel, brought up the idea along with a place with a lot of potential, I asked him to lead the way. We set up in a copse of trees located near the center of a scrub field in an area that does not allow hunting and Miguel’s predictions of worry-free males still on the hunt came to fruition.
Although I cam ill-prepared, leaving my tripod and any other means of support at home, the light was just sweet enough to allow for proper hand-holding the big 500mm. Once I took off the unnecessary teleconverter, it worked even better.
We counted at least two larger bucks that patrolled the area, but found this young spike buck as well. He was not quite as confident as the other two.
Females walked the area as well, but were more skittish. The bucks were more curious when they first heard the sounds of our shutters slapping and picked up our sent in the light morning breeze. The does, however, tended to trot away at first sign that something different lurked in our copse.
This spot turned out to be quite nice. With the rising sun to our backs, the trees at the far edge of the field provides for a nice backdrop for that warm light to hit against. These guys have probably, or will soon be dropping these nice racks. With any luck we can try more of this next year.
Thanks for paying a visit!
The 275th bird species I have photographed in Missouri and contiguous states turned out to be a special one. This Eastern Screech Owl is definitely the current most famous bird in the bi-state area. Many thanks to Miguel Acosta for the information. A long time coming.
Way back in April Steve and I visited Larue Road, AKA “Snake Road”, to visit the swamps of western Shawnee National Forest. We came up mostly short on snakes and found way to many naked apes on this particular Saturday, but we were pretty certain to find a good feathered reptile show, and we were not disappointed.
The Prothonotary Warbler is a staple of southern swamps and this area sure has its share. We were pleasantly surprised to find a number of these birds foraging along the road, without a care about what we were up to. This allowed for some very nice looks and photographic opportunities.
The image above shows how these guys (and most warblers) go about making a living. They know better than any entomologist that the best opportunities for finding caterpillars and spiders is to look under leaves and inside the folds and crevices of new leaves and flowers.
We didn’t find a nest cavity of one of these monks during this visit, but they were undoubtedly tending nests and potentially caring for eggs. If only this area were not a three hour drive!
Lastly, at one end of the road we were greeted by a gang of Coots feasting on Coon’s Tail.
Thanks for the visit.
In case you have not heard, Missouri had it’s first documented visit by an Ivory Gull this past month. This species is typically found north – way north. We’re talking fighting with Polar Bears for scraps north. Once in a while a species like this gets way off track and can be found far from home. This bird was found in the marina and lock and dam areas at Quincy Illinois and Missouri.
Folks flocked from as far as Texas and Florida, to the Carolinas and New England. This was a potential once in a lifetime bird, unless you took a trip to their normal range.
Although we were not fortunate enough to get super close looks in great light, Steve and I were thrilled with watching the bird for several hours over the course of an extremely cold and windy Sunday.
At least one photographer paid a local to motor him past the gull to get a closer shot. A truly surreal experience.