Archives for July 2010

Fort DeSoto Morning

With an eighteen hour day today and a 4:00am wake up call for tomorrow I’m going to have to let this morning’s photos speak for themselves…

Images created with Nikon D300S, AF-S 18-200mm (first image), Nikon D3S, AF-S 600mm, TC-14E II on Lexar Digital Media

A Fitting End To A Great Day

Our reward for sticking it out in the hot, humid weather…

Something I always tell my students is to stop and look around once in awhile. It’s so easy to get focused on one subject and not see what else is happening around us. While pausing to reflect and enjoy the sunset for a moment I looked down and saw the water reflecting the brilliant colors of the setting sun…

Image created with Nikon D300S, AF-S 18-200mm VR on Lexar digital Media

One Good Subject

This morning found us back at Fort DeSoto in search of the Oystercatcher family we found yesterday. Sure enough, they were in the same place and oh were they cooperative! We found the parents first, working the surf for little morsels of food so we stuck with them knowing their baby had to be close at hand. After the parents had eaten their fill one of them found a nice oyster, shelled it and flew to the baby calling as it went. Suddenly out from the camouflage of the grasses the baby came running to get it’s breakfast…

It was really cool to watch the parents training the baby to get food. One parent would bring in some food and drop it on the ground and then pound it a bit to soften it up. The baby would pick it up and try to swallow it. If he had trouble getting it down the parent would break it up into smaller pieces and drop it for the chick to get pick up. Each time the parent came in with food it would call which was our signal to be ready for a quick moment. Each time we watched the parent do something different with the food, training the chick to forage for it’s food. One time the parent brought the food in and dropped it in the water to simulate foraging for food in the water…

After several trips back and forth with food, the adult Oystercatcher stopped to take a bath. I trained my lens on the bathing knowing that when it was done it would do a wing flap. Sure enough…

Imitating it’s parent, the chick did a wing flap too…

A few times both parents would leave the chick to go find food and while they were gone the chick would “hide” in the grasses…

We spent the entire morning working one subject, watching as the parents protected, fed and taught their chick the ways of the world so it would be able to survive on it’s own.

Three hours after we had arrived, the Oystercatchers moved off and with both the sun and the temps getting higher (95 degrees at 10:00am) decided it was time to call it a morning. What a great morning working one cooperative subject, making some excellent images and observing bird behavior. Life just doesn’t get any better…

Images created with Nikon D3S, AF-S 600mm VR, TC-14E II on Lexar Digital Media

The Early Bird Catches The…

…Crab! And you thought I was going to say worm didn’t you! Not this Yellow-crowned Night Heron. He was looking for a delicious breakfast of crabs and I can safely say that he didn’t go away hungry…

Images created with Nikon D3S, AF-S 600mm VR, TC-17E II on Lexar Digital Media