I had a fantastic weekend for experiencing and photographing wildlife. We took a hike out to the end of Tomales Point in Point Reyes National Seashore, which goes through the Tule Elk Reserve there. We must have seen at least 100 elk along the trail! Then we also took our annual trip to Ano Nuevo State Reserve to see the elephant seals and their breeding season antics. As you can see here, this image is neither an elk or seal, but it was a shot that I had already processed and was just waiting to be uploaded. So since I have a few thousand shots to go through from this weekend and haven't had the time to do so yet, this is what I've got for now.
This shot was taken in a small dog park along the Bay Trail in Marin County near Bothin Marsh on Richardson Bay. I had used up the good morning light in the marsh but decided to wander up the trail to see if there was anything else interesting around. I wasn't expecting much, but a group of these little guys were playing in the shadows of some trees that hadn't yet seen the light of morning. This gave me some nice even lighting instead of the harshness that was in the rest of the park.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I have never had a great blue heron be quite as cooperative as this one, which I photographed in October at Bothin Marsh along Richardson Bay after spending the sunrise at the Golden Gate Bridge. I saw this GBH and its snowy egret posse a ways off by the shore of the bay, and decided to take a stroll along a side trail in that direction to attempt a few shots before the last of the nice light faded away. Much to my surprise, he showed very little interest in me as I approached, and as I casually crept closer over a period of 20 minutes or so, he occasionally glanced in my direction but never showed any signs of interest or distress. Eventually I was able to get close enough to take this full-frame portrait of him, as well as a few from other angles with different backdrops. While it was great to get some nice poses, it was almost a little boring, as he just sat there staring off at the bay! After I fired off way too many similar shots like this one, I thanked him (as I often do for my cooperative subjects), and slowly backed my way out of the area.
The nonchalance of this heron is one advantage I find to spending some time in more urban parks. I have had many fairly close encounters in Bothin Marsh, and I think its due to the fact that what seems like thousands of people use this stretch of the Bay Trail daily, and the birds seem to get used to the commotion and could basically care less if you are there snapping away.