Thursday, May 8, 2008

Great Blue Heron - 400mm Style

Well, to be honest, I didn't get any good quality shots with the big lense:-( I did get one interesting shot compositionwise which I'll show below. I don't know how I managed to get the tripod mounted lense/camera lined up for that one, but I'm glad I did!

Wow! That's a Great Blue Heron!

I got up early and went back to Lake Wheeler by myself this morning. I had Starbucks (bottle), digital camera, and my 'real' camera with me:-) I saw the forecast and saw the clouds but thought just maybe some sunlight would squeeze through right at daybreak. It didn't really, but seems I had enough light to get some decent pictures anyway.

There must be 20 Great Blue Herons around Lake Wheeler at least. I saw them flying all over as soon as I arrived. They were up near the dam, and they were back by the boat dock area.

I settled on the dock that I've been on the past two days and waited to see what I could get. What I posted below is off the digital camera. Hopefully later today, I'll get the 400mm prints printed and uploaded.

I never did see the birds wading on the side of the lake where I took shots the last two days, but I did get some shots of them up near a little gazebo area with the 400mm lense. And some inflight (hopefully in frame) pics. I kept hoping they'd go to 'their spot'. But, then this one Great Blue Heron decided to come hang out on the dock beside mine. And, he stayed there for over 10 minutes! I got 400mm lense pics and then lots of digital pics of him. Wow! What a show!

He pranced around a bunch, and he also bent down into the water and snagged a few fish. Do you see the size of what's in his mouth? Wow! The bird off to the right in that shot is a Cormorant again.

I really enjoyed this outing and hope to do it again sometime.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

OK, that's it, I'm going back to Lake Wheeler tomorrow with the real 35mm camera and my 400mm zoom lense! I was so excited to get another shot of the Great Blue Heron today, but I just can't quite get the shot that I want. I think the bird on the piece of wood sticking up out of the water (2nd bird pic below) is a Cormorant. According to a bird loving friend of mine, Jackie Trickel, when the beak is yellow it's a Double Crested Cormorant, and when the beak is gray, it's a Great Cormorant. This picture shows a yellow beak. Jackie is also Assistant Park Manager for Crowder Park.

The boys were great helpers this morning. We took crackers instead of bread to feed the ducks, and Johnny discovered that he loves eating saltines:-) Johnny was excited to see the 'big bird' we'd been talking about too. And, yes, we were on our way to school.

On Saturday, at Yates Mill Pond, I also get a picture of Cormorant.

The rest of today's pics are here.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Great Blue Heron at Lake Wheeler

On Tuesdays, I take Joey to school. Johnny goesn't go to school on Tuesdays; he heads to the gym with Rick. Lately, I've been wanting to take pics a lot. I know, you hadn't guessed that, right? Anyway, I've been heading out early for school so we can take pics along the way. Sometimes Joey just plays his video game and lets me get out and take pics of some flowers or something and is content. Today I decided to try to make it more fun for him. We went to Lake Wheeler park to feed the ducks and see what we could see. It's a very different place on a weekday morning. There were hardly any people there. There were fewer birds. It was calm and relaxing. I saw a big bird way away from us, so we walked closer, quietly to investigate. I took some pics from a distance and then risked moving closer and potentially scaring them away to get a better pic. I was lucky, and managed to snap the best shots that I could get given the distance (over 100 feet) and the zoom capability of my camera. When I got back to my computer, and inspected the photos, I'm happy to report that I finally got my picture of a Great Blue Heron. Big smiles. It's not print quality, but Joey and I saw it together and enjoyed it and it was great. Hope you enjoy too.

The rest of the pics are here.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Another Day, Another Picture (or 100)

It was Monday, and I was back to work, but I basially refused to be denied taking a few pictures anyway. I had to run to town this morning, so I stopped for the Southern Magnolia and spooky tree red winged blackbird shots on the way home. Then, after work, I took the pictures of the kids, wood thrasher babies, and the cowbird. I have spring fever so bad! I just want to be out in nature watching what's going on and taking pictures.

The rest of today's pics are here.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Spring Has Sprung

The boys and I had our typical slow Sunday. I figure if I'm gonna lug them around Wal-Mart for 2 plus hours for groceries, that I should give them a chance to run around first. Well, they did get to run around, but first they got to sit in the van while mom snapped some more pictures;-) Then, we made our way to Yates Mill Pond and walked around the pond and then over to Lake Wheeler to feed the ducks (and the boys got their feet wet). Here are a few of the best pics of the day.

All of Sunday's shots including some cute pics of the kids are here.

The best nature shots are here.