Our second field trip for Bird Photography I at Dade South was this morning, we went to Shark Valley, ENP, and were blessed with a bright overcast day. Plenty of birds,lots of dancing in the water for fish and fun morning.
The highlight of the day was the Crawfish we found on the road, totally belligerent, showing his claws to us in a menacing way. WE took to the ground and everyone got full framers of him. No one dared pick him up and put him back in the water…Maybe a bird dropped him while in flight.
After a while of getting straight shots, I decided to play with blurs at 1/40 of a second.
It was an incredible bird to see!
I’m usually one to plan ahead and enjoy the future trips even before they happen. But after New Year, we heard there was a wild Great Gary Owl in the Kingsville area, Ontario. I know Ray Barlow had pictures of her and he lives not too far, so we called him and sure enough he was able to give us a couple of days of his busy time. we were lucky to find flights and off we went within a week. I had to postpone a class that was supposed to start in the 5 day period of the trip, but telling the truth usually works and the school gave me no trouble.
Unfortunately, we only got to see the star of the show on our arrival day, but that made our trip worthwhile. In our session, no bating or calls were used nor necessary, since she is one tame animal. At least she was then.
Ray also took us to the Canadian Raptor Conservancy, where I partly made my life dream come true, a Snowy Owl. Although I’m not a big fan of captive animals, seeing this bird made my heart rate go up, especially when I took my glove off to pet her.
We saw a few of them in the wild and even walked in the snowed corn filed towards them, but in a open field, no way they would let you approach. Ah well, there is always next year.
After Ray was gone, the locals adopted us and took us around even to Point Pelee, what a beautiful place. A few birds around, the resident Owls were tucked in since it was very cold and snowing.
Thanks for Kevin Norris and Rodney Brown for taking us to their special Short Ear Owl location, it was very exciting, although we had practically no light and had to use ISO 5000 to have a decent, if not great, shutter speed. I had not used all points focusing since the 1d3 fiasco, and have to admit that the 1d4 did a great job of tracking even with poor light trees in the background. Will be using it more often.
The Snowy Owl, Harris Hawk, Bald Eagle and Kestrel are captive.