Thursday, November 26, 2009
I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. This is a special day to spend with our family and friends, and to reflect on the many joys that each of us have in our lives. I wish you all the very best!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I gambled with the forecast for an overcast sunrise on Sunday, and headed to the Radio Road Ponds in Redwood City to try for some new skimmer shots. Unfortunately, they weren't feeling too photogenic, and stayed on one of the interior islands during my visit. But I did have a chance to photograph the rest of the wonderful inhabitants of these ponds -- including this delightful black necked stilt. I always enjoy photographing these birds, as their contrasting plumage and elegant form makes for a great subject. And the rippled reflections were a nice bonus!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
American avocets are one of my favorite birds to watch and photograph. Their interesting feeding behavior of slicing their bill through the top layers of the sediment is quite entertaining! But what draws me in the most about them is their elegant form and beautiful plumage. While their summer colors are certainly much more striking, I think their winter look retains a subdued elegance.
Here's an extra shot I posted to Flickr over the summer of their wonderful breeding colors:
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.