Heron Pond Birthday Report

Monday was my birthday and I took the day off from the day job. Went back to the Heron Pond and set up about 15 yards from my Sunday location because the shorebirds seemed to like that area. Action was some what sparse early since most of the birds were feeding at the upper (parking lot end). Luckily there were some terns fishing and watching them was quite entertaining. Trying to photograph them is quite a challenge since they are small and extremely fast.

About 30 minutes after sunrise, the shorebirds began to mill around and I believe that the migration may be starting. There was the mega flock of around 100 birds and several smaller groups of from 10 to 30 birds flying from one end of the pond to the other. The two flock shots have several birds cropped out to meet the 800 pixel size for the web– add that to the narrow field of view of the 500 with the extender and the pictures do not do justice to the number of birds in the air.

Favorite shot of the day is the Preening Pectoral Sandpiper. “Educational” shots of the day are the two flowers. If any of you know the name of the flowers,I’d appreciate you ‘educating’ me.

This post was edited 8/6/2012, because it described how to get down to the water’s edge to photograph the shore birds from the parking lot area. It seems that doing that is against the rules of the area. The regulations ( there is no sign that informs you) are to stay on the mowed paths.


Sunday at Heron Pond

The plan was to get up and be in Heron Pond before sunrise. Turns out that it really didn’t matter. Clouds and more clouds were over the river. Sunrise came and went with shutter speeds under 1/100.
Saw two things that I have not seen in quite some time.
Shorebirds and Rain
Dark skies to the West and a few breaks in the clouds produced that dramatic light that makes you understand why landscape photographers risk lightning to take a photo or two before it rains.
Years of duck hunting makes getting wet no big deal but by 7:45, it was time to go. Got to admit it was really nice to walk out in a rain shower.

Here are three for today. Tomorrow is my birthday (party today) and all the outlaws and in laws are showing up, so this is all for today.

Return to Kingbird Road

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As our custom, Molly chooses the place to photograph on Saturdays. She chose Kingbird Road…again. I expect to get a real estate tax bill since she spends so much time there 🙂 . Usual suspects showed up. I’m thinking Molly has them trained to perch where she gets the shot. At least she hasn’t named them yet.

It was a beautiful morning with temps in the low 70’s and a gentle breeze. Life is good.

Heron Pond looks like a few shorebirds are working the upper end. May be worth a visit tomorrow. Emphasis is on FEW!!!
Stay tuned for results.

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100-400 and some Magic by Molly

Molly is in charge of photography locations on Saturday so it was another run down King Bird Road. She let me use the 500 and she used the trusty 100-400. Some folks don’t like the push-pull zoom. Others say it isn’t sharp. We both learned to shoot birds in flight with it and for a good ‘all around’ lens it is hard to beat. Think of it as the ‘Swiss Army Knife” of nature photography.  🙂

From the way she is using her photo gear, she is showing it doesn’t matter what lens is attached to her camera– she gets the most from it.

Photos: Eastern Phoebe Juvenile Goldfinches,Sunflower and Insects  click thumbnail  to see larger version Use Browser Back button to return here

Molly flys solo with the 500mm

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Last Saturday, I had to attend a duck blind drawing (long story in itself )so Molly got up and went to one of her favorite places to take small bird photos by herself. She had the 500mm F4 attached to her Canon 40D and was trying out a new Apex Low Profile bean bag. The area has a gate that does not open until around 7am and she was there waiting. Normally, I set her camera up and tell her when the Exposure Compensation needs to change. She was on her own and from the look of these image’s exposure, she nailed it!

On her way out, she saw George Goeken ( “Honorary Mayor of Riverlands Migratory Bird Sancturary”) photographing the sunflower field at the juncture of Red Schoolhouse Road and Riverlands Way aka Jones Road. She knows to follow George’s lead when it comes to finding photo opportunities. As you can see, she got some excellent images.


Glad you took the time to follow the email link to our blog. We are learning how to use this software so we expect to have some ‘goofs’ in our posts and other pages. If nothing else, we hope our goofs will keep you as entertained as we hope our good posts will. 🙂

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Oh, by the way, if you click on the header image, it changes…try it

Molly and Bill