Wishin’ for a Wigeon

I have been fascinated with the American Wigeons (Anas americana).  I guess it’s because I’ve always seen them from a distance and they always looked strange to me.  They have a white crown that, from far away, always looked fuzzy and out of focus.  I never could get a decent photograph, but I kept wishin’ that an opportunity would someday arise. 

That changed a couple of mornings ago.  I happened to drive by this little pond that is in the Bluffs residential division.  It was really cold and nasty.  Windy and blowing rain.  I was having second thoughts of being in the area.  The storm hadn’t hit yet when I had left the house.  But as I drove by the pond, there were a couple of these ducks fairly close to the road on the right.  I decided to drive on by, turn around and come back and see if I could get a photo from the car.

American Wigeon

I was in luck.  The rain stopped for a few minutes.  I crept closer along the left side of the road and rolled down my window.  I was able to use my Canon 7D with a 500mm lens and 1.4 tele-converter from that position.  I was only about 60 feet away and was able to nearly fill the frame.  Exposure was 1/1000 sec. @ f7.1, -0.3EV, ISO 2000.  Spot metering and aperture priority.

Random Sunday Morning Images

After the rains the past few days, I got out of the house for a few minutes this morning.  It was cool and damp.  I drove by San Angelo State Park to see if anything was stirring.  Not much action there, then I drove by the little pond in the Bluffs Addition.  Here are a few images from my expedition.  All were taken with my Canon EOS 7D with 100-400mm lens.  I will put exposure information beneath each photo.  Click on any of them to see an enlargement.

Northern Bobwhite

Northern Bobwhite, (Colinus virginianus).  1/640 sec. @ f7.1,  ISO 2000.

Curve-billed Thrasher

Curve-billed Thrasher(Toxostoma curvirostre).  1/640 sec. @ f9, ISO 3200.

Spotted Towhee

Spotted Towhee, (Pipilo maculatus).  1/400 sec @f9, ISO 3200.

American Wigeon

American Wigeon, (Anas americana).  1/640 sec. @ f9, ISO 800.

A Coot, A Wigeon, and a Heron

Here are a few more images from our little birding trips earlier this week..

American Coot

American Coot, (Fulica americana).  Mia McPherson told me that this specie is one of the hardest to photograph, because getting the exposure right is so difficult, with the dark blacks, and that white bill.  I can certainly agree with her.  On several occasions I have tried to get decent images, and I came up short.  This time I think I may have got it right.  Photographed with my Canon EOS 7D with Canon 500mm f4 lens and 1.4 tele-converter.  1/1000 sec. @ f8, ISO 250.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron, (Ardea herodias).  I photographed this wading bird in the waning light.  He seems to be just content to stand and just enjoy the day.  Actually, I don’t think the light was really waning, but I have always wanted to say that, so I reduced the exposure to make it look that way.  It sounds poetic.  Canon EOS 7D with Canon 500mm f4 lens and 1.4 tele-converter.  1/1250 sec. @ f6.3, -0.7EV,  ISO 100.

American Wigeon

American Wigeon, (Anas americana).  I caught this guy swimming in a small neighborhood lake, hanging out with some Ring-necked Ducks.  They were pretty far away, so this photo is tightly cropped.  In the original image, he was just a smidgeon of a wigeon.  Canon EOS 7D with Canon 500mm f4 lens and 1.4 tele-converter.  1/6400 sec. @ f5.6, ISO 800.

Today’s birding photos

Wow, what a nice day this turned out to be.  The temperature as I write this is 75 degrees and sunny.  Ann and I went out for a couple of hours, mostly to San Angelo State Park.  After that we went down to that little lake off of Sunset Drive.  Lots of little duck types in there.

While at the park, we spotted two Red-tailed Hawks, one Sharp-shinned Hawk and one Harris’s Hawk.  And you guessed it.  I missed the shot of the Harris’s Hawk.  Such a beautiful bird, but also so quick.  I didn’t even have time to pick up the camera.  However, I did get a nice shot of an American Kestrel.

These are some shots that I got today.  Enjoy.

American Kestrel


American Wigeon

Northern Pintail

Loggerhead Shrike