Saturday, March 21, 2015

Photos from Recent Outings

Like sparrows or seagulls, Mallards are so common they are not particularly admired. I'm not sure why that is. What makes a Bald Eagle, say, more worthy of admiration than a Mallard? And yet, look how beautiful this female is, not to mention graceful.

One of the things I love about cameras — and particularly telephoto lens — is how you can limit what a person sees, helping them to focus on the interest in one small subject to the exclusion of everything else. This image could have been taken out on the prairie of Nebraska for all anyone knows. But, if you could see what was behind me when I took this photograph you might be surprised to find that it is a busy administration building in the county seat. Hopefully, I haven't spoiled it for you.

Here is another photo where I knew what I wanted to do to the image as soon as I saw it — and it had nothing to do with keeping it real. It came pretty close to what I envisioned, though

This goose had a lot of personality. You may notice it's wing. I am pretty sure it was injured in a hunt. It may heal on it's own. If not, it is a good place for surviving. It is walking on the ice that was covering the pond at that time.

Many varieties of shore birds are migrating now. Sometimes, the marsh where this image was taken is the destination, and sometimes it is just a way point to rest and refuel before moving on. Like hawks, these little sandpipers can be devilishly hard to identify. I believe I am correct, however, in calling these birds Lesser Yellowlegs. I often see them on the river in the summer along the shore.

Another common shorebird more people may be familiar with is the Killdeer. They will often nest far from the shore in fields, building a minimal nest. If you happen to stumble upon the nesting site, the female will start crying and dragging her wing as though it has been broken. As you follow her, she will lead you away from the nest. They do the same with animals that threaten to discover the nest. There are many plovers which look very similar to a killdeer, but they are the only ones having two black bands around their neck.

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