Friday, February 25, 2011

A bird in the hand...

This has been a big week of birding opportunities for me, and all by luck and happenstance.

While waiting for a ferry, I looked out the truck window and noticed a belted kingfisher sitting on a rope at the dock.  I stepped out to zoom in and get a shot, and he flew down onto a rock near the water's edge.

As I focused on this little gem, I heard D next to me clear his throat and say "did you notice what is standing next to him?"  Not 5 feet from the kingfisher was a great blue heron.

After snapping happily away for a good 15 minutes, the great bird flew off.  I wandered back toward the truck then looked up and noticed a massive wingspan in the air, so I high tailed it back down towards the water, where I found the seagulls harassing a young bald eagle.

This is the closest I've managed to get to a baldy in the wild.  He stayed for maybe 5 or so minutes, dodging gulls with a sort of shrugging-off attitude... then I heard the heron call, and that was enough to send Mr. Eagle back to his perch high in the trees.  The heron came and replaced the eagle on the pillar for a few minutes, before gliding back down to *his* spot in the water.

All in all I shot about 150 images of just these three birds.  This 30 or so minute experience makes up for the months of winter dry spell for me.


Raindog said...

Great shots. As much as I like Heron, I like Kingfishers the more.

Jade said...

I was incredibly excited about the kingfisher... I've seen herons at a distance for years, but the first time I saw a kingfisher in the wild (and recognized it) was just this past fall. They are incredibly shy birds, so getting even this close was an amazing feeling.

The heron was much easier to shoot because he's bigger and generally moves slower, and this one seemed to *own* this little stretch of beach.

The eagle, I wish he would have come closer, what I love most about them is the expression on their faces - but I'm thinking if I want good uber-close up shots I'm going to need to go to the zoo.

My original desire for the trip had been to go up to Skagit specifically to shoot bald eagles, but we missed the big migration, so we decided on island hopping instead - which opened it up to "shoot whatever you find" instead of being so narrowly focused (no pun intended) on eagles. This trip gave me a better appreciation for generalized wildlife shooting, and re-taught me to keep my eyes open for all photo opportunities.

RD said...

There are many eagles between Conway and La Conner. You might want to try there at some point.

Brightdreamer said...

Too cool on the bird photos. (I still have horrid luck capturing the things on film - or, rather, capturing clear images of the things on film, as opposed to vaguely bird-shaped blurs and empty patches of ground or sky where they were just before the finger hit the shutter.)

deputydog said...

or go to Klamath.
bird bird and more birds.