Some of the other birds at Lock & Dam 14 from the other day. I have 3 images for you today.
I enjoy photographing the gulls that are always present. I know some of the other photographers at the dam probably wonder about me ripping off 20 shots of a common gull flying by but it is good practice and keeps up your panning technique. 🙂
I am going to have to defer to my friend Andreas, on the identity of this water fowl. I think it might be a wood duck but I’m no expert on water fowl. Two of the other photographers there that day both got up close to the bird and took photos of it. They both asked me what it was and I was of course clueless. So I don’t feel so bad knowing other photographers don’t always know their species.
This pelican swam past me so close I had to back my focal length off to get him all in the frame. They are methodical fishers until they find some fish then all hell breaks loose as they get into a feeding frenzy.
That’s all I have for today. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Enjoy your day and be careful.
I have Eagles for you today. Yesterday I had to go to the Quad Cities to take my laptop in for a new battery. I had decided earlier in the week that I was going to check out Lock and Dam #14 at LeClaire, Iowa as my friend Burt had said the eagles were there. So after dropping off my laptop I headed over to the dam.
The shooting conditions were terrible. If I hadn’t had to take my laptop to the repair shop I would have taken one look at the weather and said I’ll go to LD#14 another day. Gray sky, foggy, biting wind, occasional mist and downright cold. I knew it wasn’t going to be a banner day when I pulled into the parking lot and saw only 3 people on the observation deck. Usually it is packed and there are people down on the rocks (as you can see in earlier posts.)
I walked up to a lady closest to me and asked her if there had been any action. She turned around, gave me a look (like duh) and said no and then turned around again. I noticed that there was one adult eagle sitting on the “eagle tree” so I thought I might as well get my gear and see what I could come up with.
Turned out it wasn’t too bad (as far as eagles go.) There were four adults, one young adult and later two juveniles showed up. The young adult provided most of the action but occasionally the mature ones would take a stab at getting lunch.
I have to admit I went back to my car a couple of times to warm up. My body was okay but my hands and face were like ice and the camera and lens needed drying off and warmed up. Anyway I used that as an excuse for going back to the car. 🙂
This young adult couldn’t handle this large fish. He never got more than a few feet in the air when he lost the fish. He made several attempts to recover it with the same results. 😦
It took me all the way to Dubuque before I felt warmed up. On the way back I almost hit a fox. He was trying to cross the four lane highway at an intersection and was confused running from one side of the intersection to the other. Fortunately I was able to slow down and miss him. I followed him for about a mile hoping to get a shot of him but he took off across a field so he was safe but no photo opportunity.
That’s it for today. Probably more eagle pictures tomorrow as I have a bunch. I shot 1,229 images yesterday and I was happy with the results. I really like the Tamron 150 – 600 mm lens. Very sharp and fast focus plus lightweight enough to hand hold. I used a tripod and gimbal most of the time yesterday but missed some shots because of the tripod. There were some throw away images but for the most part I mainly threw away duplicates. At 11 fps the D4 captures a lot of duplicates. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day and be careful.
Happy Saturday and Happy Valentine’s Day!
I had yesterday off. I took it off because we have a holiday Monday for President’s Day and I wanted to make a 4 day weekend out of it. My plan was to travel to Lock and Dam #14 and capture eagle images.
Best laid plans as the saying goes, I knew there was a problem when I pulled in the parking lot. Very few cars and less than 6 people on the observation deck with cameras. It was a gray and cloudy sky so that was the first problem and there wasn’t an eagle to be seen. I talked with one of the guys on the deck and he said the eagles were staying away because of all the pelicans.
There were lots of pelicans to be sure. They were coming in 4 – 6 at a time and sometimes just a single pelican would come in. A few geese and some ducks but no eagles. The Eagle trees were barren.
So I stayed there a couple of hours and shot 385 images of pelicans and a few geese and then gave up and headed home. Of course by the time I got home the sun had finally broken through and the light was fantastic. I traveled 3 hours for these shots. Nothing wrong with pelicans, don’t get me wrong I’ve photographed them many times and been thrilled with what I got. But it’s like having your mouth set for a steak and you find out you’re having chicken. They are both good but…
I was hoping to at least catch some pelicans fishing but they were not even doing that. They would come in, land, and then just float. At one time there was a dust-up between three pelicans and a duck that had wandered into their territory but I had my hands in my pockets getting warm and by the time I got my camera ready the action was over.
That’s all I have for you today. Thanks for stopping by the blog. I hope you enjoy your weekend.
Prayers for my dear Friend Kathy. There are a lot of people working for you my Friend. 🙂
Eagle Week – Day 4
Hard to imagine having so much fun in such a short period of time. I can see why Burt goes to the lock and dam nearly every day.
This pair of eagles must be mates because throughout the afternoon they taunted each other. If one of them took off the other one wasn’t far behind. I was lucky enough to capture this clash in midair. No it’s not tack sharp but in my view it’s a keeper just for the dynamic action it captures. 🙂
Eagles weren’t the only wildlife at the dam. Toward the end of the day this lone pelican flew in over the lock. While perhaps not as majestic as the mighty eagle none-the-less Andreas and I were both excited to see this guy. I love to watch pelicans fly and when they get into a feeding frenzy it is really fun to watch. I shot several images of him floating in the water with the soft golden sun on his feathers. He was kind of far away after he landed so I’m probably not going to post those images.
Finally this skirmish between the have and the have not. Like I said on an earlier post, eagles are lazy and would often times rather steal a fish as to have to catch their own. I shot close to 80 images of this battle and I can report that the eagle that caught the fish finally ended up getting to eat it. 🙂
That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by. Thanks for your nice email Ron, wish I could find a cardinal for you.
Enjoy your day and be careful.
Eagle Week Day 2.
Through no fault of my own, nor from any elaborate planning I just happened to be sitting where the eagles tend to fly over to get to what the photographers call the “eating trees.” I shot about 54 images of this eagle from far away (the D4 has a huge buffer) and as he got closer and closer I was concerned about losing him because I was trying to shoot from a tripod. This was my last shot as he flew over the top of me. 🙂
The eagle flights were few and far between. They seemed content to sit in the “eagle trees” across from the lock and just rest. Occasionally one or two would take off, skim over the water, and I actually saw a couple catch or attempt to catch some fish. There were, however, no shortage of gulls flying and fishing, so between the eagle flights and to just to help get better at my panning and timing I would shoot the gulls. I had almost as many gull images as I do eagle images. The gull images have already been deleted though. 🙂
This image doesn’t really do justice to the number of people on the observation deck. It was shoulder to shoulder and then there were another 20 or more along the banks of the river and on the rocks (where I was.) Then in the parking lot there were a number of photographers taking images of the eagles in the “eating trees.” Quite the sight.
If you live in the area and are looking for something to do it would be worth your while to stop by the lock and dam. It’s easy to get to and as Burt says, “it’s a real treasure.” I don’t know which is more fun watching the birds or the photographers. 🙂
Speaking of Burt, here is the link to one of his websites. If you want to see some amazing eagle and other wildlife images it’s worth a visit.
That’s it for today. Tomorrow more eagle images. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Enjoy your day and be careful.
Happy Tuesday! ~ 276
Just your common, everyday, run of the mill, ubiquitous Robin. Making an image of one is kind of like making an image of a cow. They are everywhere and we don’t seem to pay much attention to them.
In the early Spring when we’re waiting for signs that Winter is finally over the sighting of that first Robin is an exhilarating feeling. Spring is finally here. After that they become so common place that they blend into obscurity.
So why all the images of Robins? Well as I was working on my bird feeder project I followed the antics of this particular Robin. He is in all the shots today. He was oblivious of me and just did his thing going from the basketball backboard, to the bird bath for a drink, and then finally off to the big tree at the back of the yard. Kind of fun just to watch him do his thing.
Busy day at work yesterday, lots going on and trying to fit it all in during the normal work hours is a challenge. Generally Summer with all the vacations and temporary help is a fairly slow time for me but not so this year. I had lunch with my good friend and then had to go to LeClaire, Iowa. I don’t get there very often but it is a wonderful community.
I was a little early for my appointment and since it was close I drove by the Lock and Dam 14. The last time I was there it was eagle season and the observation area all around the observation area was full of photographers. Yesterday it was (not quite as full) the fishermen who were in charge. Lots of them sitting in chairs and on the rocks with their fishing poles in the water waiting for the elusive bite.
After dinner Jeanne had PEO so I sat on the back patio with my tripod and camera finding an image for the bird feeder project. I am enjoying this project a lot and unlike the 365 project I don’t have to think about what I’m going to shoot each day. I just set up by the bird feeders and shoot away. It’s great fun watching the turf wars and the parents feeding their young. Often times the young ones are as big as the parents. 🙂
Each night I have to chore. Clean out the bird bath (crazy birds poop in their own water.) Then replenish the favorite feeders and then of course hose off the patio closest to the feeders from the birds left overs. It looks like I’m going to have to make another run to the store for more supplies. They are hungry guys.
That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by the blog. I hope you enjoy your day and be careful.