Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Owl-o-ween!

I stole that line from my friend Sally! So in honor of the celebration, I'm posting my newest wildlife photo of an Eastern Screech Owl. We've been watching this bird for almost 5 years now at the camp where I teach and it's been a dream of mine to get up high and shoot it (with the camera). So with the help of our director, I was able to photograph it from a deer stand 30 feet up in an oak tree. Thanks Del! At first, he seemed to be a bit interested in the new blob nearby (I was in my ghillie suit), but quickly relaxed and took a nap. Later he perked up and began looking around in all directions and even called a few times. I stayed until he flew off for the night.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The New Camera

The weather was a bit calmer today, so I've been trying out my new camera body. Here's the results from Round 1. This is the first year Red-breasted Nuthatches have been at my feeders. Hopefully they'll stick around all winter so I can get some shots of them with snow.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Craning My Neck

Two more trips to the blind. One resulted in a couple new shots, but yet again the cranes arrived after the best light. I like the darker, dreamy feel though. That is exactly what it's like sitting there. The other trip was cut short by the stormy weather we are getting tonight. The first group of cranes arrived at the same time as the first big thunderstorm. I debated staying and seeing if it would miss us, but I'm glad I got out. I would still be sitting there, 5 hours later, waiting for the rain to stop so I could carry my camera to the jeep. Not to mention dodging lighting bolts and funnel clouds.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sandhills From The Blind

I met a very nice family who are willing to let me set up a blind on their property at the edge of a wetland. So, after setting up the blind in the rain two days ago, a few hours were spent in it last evening. The cranes showed up later than normal and the light was falling away quickly, but I managed to get a few shots. Another attempt will be made after the rain moves through and the light is better. The wide angle shot is the last big wave of birds dropping in just before dark, as seen from my hiding spot. I stayed until it was totally dark and snuck away quietly, leaving 300 cranes peacefully sleeping.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Autumn Cranes

Well it's finally beginning to feel like fall up here in Michigan. I haven't been out to shoot any fall scenery yet because the leaves have been enjoying the warm weather and are slow to turn color. But this week the cool weather arrived and the birds are all stirring. This evening I went scouting for good spots to shoot Sandhill Cranes, as they are gathering in large numbers before making their trip down to Florida for the winter. One spot in particular looks good and I got a couple nice shots while watching them come in to roost for the night in a nearby wetland.