Western Bluebird Feeding Young

Feeding baby Bluebird

Feeding baby Bluebird

Feeding baby Bluebird

Feeding baby Bluebird

W Bluebird feeding lizard to young

W Bluebird feeding lizard to young

W Bluebirds with young

W Bluebirds with young

W Bluebirds with young

W Bluebirds with young

Feeding hungry chick

Feeding hungry chick

Our backyard Western Bluebirds have produced their second batch of young this year- April and now July with 3 young each time. They just fledged last night all at once and are nowhere to be seen today. Usually the parents take them away from nest and often return to the area a couple of weeks later. We have 2 bird baths that they frequent so we see the adults and last years young often.

Great Blue Herons

Great Blue Heron Fishing

Great Blue Heron Fishing


Great Blue Heron Landing

Great Blue Heron Landing


Heron Fishing

Heron Fishing


Heron Catching Fish

Heron Catching Fish


Heron Catching Fish

Heron Catching Fish


Heron Catching Fish

Heron Catching Fish

Great Blue Herons arriving and catching fish at Seabeck, Wa on the Hood Canal west of Bremerton, Wa. This is the same location for the Bald Eagles, both arriving at the same time for the abundance of the sculpin fish at low tide. The morning light was the best at around 8-9 am depending on tides. Once the Herons arrive signaling the low tide and availability of fish, the Bald Eagles follow.

Mt Rainier National Park

Reflection Lake-Mt Rainier

Reflection Lake-Mt Rainier

Reflection Lake sunrise

Reflection Lake sunrise

Reflection Lake- sunset

Reflection Lake- sunset

Reflection Lake sunrise

Reflection Lake sunrise

Reflection Lake sunrise

Reflection Lake sunrise

Northern Flickers

Northern Flickers

Northern Flickers

Northern Flickers

After photographing the Bald Eagles we went up to Mt Rainier National Park to the Paradise area at around 5400 ft, which still had quite a lot of snow on June 25th. Reflection Lake is only a short distance from Paradise Inn and Visitor Center. It was partially thawed but still covered with ice and snow, but enough of the water to get a good reflection of Mt Rainier. I found that the best time was at sunrise for an hour or 2 as the water is more still, and you get a better reflection. Also the mountain was better lit with the rising sun and also better clouds than the previous night. You can see the difference in the 3rd photo with no clouds(sunset) and the sunrise images are all the rest. I shot with a 17 to 40 mm Canon Lens with the Canon 1dx mark ii and used varying focal lengths. Also I did multiple panoramas which I have not processed yet but will use 4- 5 exposure to stich together in Photoshop. The Flickers were done near the Paradise Inn with an equivalent of 420 mm lens.

Bald Eagles at Seabeck, Wa

Eagles catching fish

Eagles catching fish

Bald Eagle Fishing

Bald Eagle Fishing

Eagle on Branch

Eagle on Branch

Eagle takeoff

Eagle takeoff

Eagles fishing crows

Eagles fishing and crows

transfer talons to beak

transfer fish talons to beak

Eagle transfer fish to beak

Eagle transfer fish to beak

I photographed at Seabeck, Wa June 21 to 24th before and after low minus tides the gathering of Bald Eagles. They congregate only when the sculpin fish are trapped in the low tides in the oyster beds. The Great Blue Herons also arrive to catch fish and the Eagles try to steal from them. I shot all of these with a Canon 1DX II and a 300 mm f2.8 Canon II lens with a 1.4 extender ( total of 420 mm) although a slightly longer lens would be helpful at times. The 1.4 extender combination seems to focus faster and is sharper than the 2x extender. This year there were fewer birds with around 10-15 birds in a small area versus as many as 50-60 last year. In the next Blog I will include some of the Great Blue Heron images and also Mt Rainier Nat Park landscapes.

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Peregrine Falcons

The Peregrine Falcons at Torrey Pines, San Diego have just fledged 4 chicks and are flying. The young falcons are practicing their aerial skills at transferring food in mid-air and catching prey on the wing at speeds over 200 miles per hour! Peregrines are literally the fasted bird or animal on earth at approx 260 mph in a dive. The young only stay around for about a month after fledging and learn to find prey on their own. They then find their own territories away from their parents.

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3 peregrines on branch

3 peregrines on branch


juvenile peregrines

juvenile peregrines


Peregrines aerial

Peregrines aerial


peregrines on branch

peregrines on branch

Peregrine Takeoff

Peregrine Takeoff

Peregrine young flying

Peregrine young flying


Peregrine Takeoff

Peregrine Takeoff


peregrine Falcon young

peregrine Falcon young


Peregrine Landing

Peregrine Landing


Peregrine in Flight

Peregrine in Flight


Peregrine with plane

Peregrine with plane in background(not photoshop)


Peregrine full tail feathers

Peregrine full tail feathers


Peregrine landing on yucca

Peregrine landing on yucca

Peregrines at Coast

Peregrines at Coast

Peregrines in flight

Peregrines in flight

Peregrine chicks

Peregrine chicks

Puffins and Swans

Puffin with flowers

Puffin with flowers

Puffins mating

Puffins mating

Puffin at burrow

Puffin at burrow

Puffin Landing

Puffin Landing

Puffin Landing

Puffin Landing

Puffins on cliff

Puffins on cliff

Puffins on cliff

Puffins on cliff

Swans and cygnets

Swans and cygnets

We traveled to England to the Farne Islands off the NE coast of England about 1 1/2 hrs from Edinburgh, Scotland to photograph Puffins. This is one of the few places that you can actually get fairly close to nesting Puffins on an island, as the National Trust maintains and protects the birds. You take one of several boats from Seahouses, England to see the birds. A 300 to 400 mm lens is ideal as they are fairly close. The chicks are still in the burrows and when they fledge at night in late June they don’t return until mature and stay at sea. The Swans were in Edinburgh at the Leith harbor. The puffins are the Atlantic Puffins and are very comical. I managed to get them in flight, mating, building nests, waddling around, and landing. The weather was not ideal as it poured rain for nearly an hour with high winds coming off the cliffs and horizantal rain. Fortunately I had a rain cover on my camera and lens- a necessity. It did calm down to only a drizzle later and was easier to shoot. Mostly I used a 300 mm f 2.8 Canon lens with Canon 1`dx mark ii body with a 1.4 extender on about 1/2 the shots. If you go in mid or late June you can get the birds returning to their nest with the small eels that they feed on but I did not observe that behavior.

 

 

 

 

 

Ecuador Bird Photos

We photographed Birds in the Cloud Forests and Subtropical areas in Ecuador including the Tandayapa Valley, Guango,  Rancho Suamox, Milpe, and San Tideo, Papallacta Pass, and Antisana. Elevations ranged from 1200 ft to 14,000 ft. The lodges we stayed at  were at around 8,000 ft and 6500 ft. The trip was with Tropical Birding and they did an excellent job of taking us to various habitats and getting us close to the birds. Our guide was Pablo Cervantes who is an excellent photographer and helped to find the target birds. I used my 300 mm f 2.8 lens with and without a 1.4 extender or 2 x extender. As I process more of my images I will post more over the next few weeks.

 

 

 

 

Booted Racket-tail Hummingbird

Booted Racket-tail Hummingbird

Buff-tailed Coronet

Buff-tailed Coronet

carunculated Cara Cara

carunculated Cara Cara

crimson rumped toucanet

crimson rumped toucanet

 

Long-tailed Sylph

Long-tailed Sylph

Rufous Motmot

Rufous Motmot

Toucan Barbet

Toucan Barbet

Giant Antpitta

Giant Antpitta

Sword-billed hummingbird

Sword-billed hummingbird

Black-chinned Mt. Tanager

Black-chinned Mt. Tanager

Black-cheeked woodpecker

Black-cheeked woodpecker

Golden Olive Woodpecker

Golden Olive Woodpecker

Cock of the rock

Cock of the rock

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird

Golden-headed Quetzal

Golden-headed Quetzal

Larry Moskovitz 14,000 ft in Andes

Larry Moskovitz 14,000 ft in Andes

Booted Racket-tails fight

Booted Racket-tails fight

Arches & Canyonlands Nat. Pks

cottonwood_colo_river-1343

Balanced Rock, Arches

Balanced Rock, Arches

Balanced Rock Sunset

Balanced Rock Sunset

Courthouse Towers, Arches

Courthouse Towers, Arches

Deadhorse Pt

Deadhorse Pt

Deadhorse Pt

Deadhorse Pt

Goblin Valley St Park

Goblin Valley St Park

Goblin Valley St Park

Goblin Valley St Park

Mesa Arch, Canyonlands

Mesa Arch, Canyonlands

South Window Arch

South Window Arch

Deadhorse Pt

Deadhorse Pt

Sunset Clouds

Sunset Clouds

Sunset Deadhorse Pt

Sunset Deadhorse Pt

Twisted Juniper

Twisted Juniper

Windows Arches

Windows Arches

We spent 8 days photographing Arches and Canyonlands Nat Pks trying to get up before sunrise and also shoot at sunset- the best light of the day. I had wanted to do some night photography but it was cloudy at night most of the time. These 2 parks had some spectacular scenery with some of the best rock formations in the U.S. Most of the images are with a Canon 1dx mark ii and a Canon 17-40 mm wide angle lens  and in a few cases a 14mm Rokinon lens.  Moab is a great place to stay with good motels and a few good restaurants, especially Desert Bistro. We pretty much stayed on the main road but if you have a 4 wheel  drive hundreds of miles of roads are available, especially in Canyonlands.

More Alaska Bears, Puffins, Otters

More images from our Alaska trip with a few landscapes. The landscapes were on the Kenai Peninsula while the Bears were at Lake Clark across the  Cooke inlet. We were able to get fairly close to the Bears with an experienced guide, which is essential, not only to find the bears but to be able to read their behavior and know how far to position ourselves safely. The welfare of the bears is the highest priority and our time was limited so as not to alter their behavior or interfere with their daily routines. The fact that we were in a coastal grassland habitat made it easier for us to spot bears at a distance and for them to see us well in advance. The problem is that if you surprise them in a forest on a trail with no visibility then they can get defensive or aggressive, especially with cubs. Also if you are in a group of 3 or more people they seldom attack if you stay close together and use common “bear sense”.

cub with stick

cub with stick

Mother with cubs

Mother with cubs

3 cubs

3 cubs

2 year olds play-fighting

2 year olds play-fighting

Horned Puffin

Horned Puffin

Sea Otter portrait

Sea Otter portrait

Tern Lake, Kenai Peninsula

Tern Lake, Kenai Peninsula

Upper Trail Lake near Moose Junction

Upper Trail Lake near Moose Junction