Osprey and Great Egrets……


Ann and I took a ride to Spring Creek Park this Thursday morning.  We were looking for the arrival of migratory birds.  They are still slow in coming, but saw the arrival of the first Double-crested Cormorant of the season, so I guess that is a start.  We watched an Osprey hunting up and down the waters.  It took me by surprise and caught a fish, but I tracked it and I saw it land in a tree.  Fortunately, it was nearby and I was able to hand-hold my new Canon 70D with a 100-400mm zoom lens.  The first shot is of him perched, then I took the second shot as he began to fly off.  Then I was lucky enough to catch him in flight.

Osprey perched with fish.

Osprey perched with fish.

Osprey taking off.

Osprey taking off.

Osprey in flight.

Osprey in flight.

Farther on as we drove around the horse-shoe drive in the park, we looked across the water and saw four Great Egrets in the trees.  At that point the water is about 300-400 yards wide.  I propped my Canon 7D with the 500mm lens and tele-converter on my window sill to try for the shot.  I really thought it was to far for a quality image, but my state of the art Canon equipment performed as advertised.  Here is the result.  By the way, it is also tightly cropped for composition.

Two Great Egrets in a tree.

Two Great Egrets in a tree.

As always, these images were post processed through Photoshop applications.  Click on any picture to see an enlargement.

Bird of the Week – Great Egret


Today I inaugurate my new series Bird of the Week.  Hopefully each Friday, I will post a photograph of a bird that I will choose at random.  I will provide a photograph or two, along with some useful information.  I think this may become informative for all, including myself, as I will be doing a bit of research to provide information.  Also you may click on the Bold Bird Name to go to a Wikipedia link for detailed info, if available.  My own resources will be my handy Bird Guides.  So here we go.

Great Egret. (Ardea alba).  The Great Egret is one my personal favorite water birds.  Long-legged and graceful.  Tall, slender and long-necked.  Length 39″, wing-span 51″, weight 1.9 lbs.  All white, yellow bill and black legs and feet.  When foraging, they will walk slowly thru open water or reedy areas, watching for fish.  When they spot their quarry, they use their bill as a spear, instantly stabbing their prey.

This first photo was taken along the Concho River in downtown San Angelo.  I was walking along the bank.  I spotted the egret flying down the river.  I hand-held my Canon 7D with the 100-400mm zoom lens.  I picked him up in my view-finder, the auto-focus locked on, and I just panned with him as he flew by.  I got lucky, with the background.  When this image was captured, the background was blurred of course, but also there was a large building completely in shadow.  Hence the completely black background.  The stats are ISO 1600, 1/500 sec at f9.

Great Egret

 This image ISO 100, 1/640 at f8 .  Canon 7D, 100-400mm zoom lens.

Great Egret

This final shot is an older one that I shot with a Canon Powershot SX10 that I tried for awhile.  ISO 80, 1/640 at f5.7  

Great Egret

Click on any image for an enlargement.