The Skinny Tree has Occupants

A pair of Great Blue Herons have started a nest in the “skinny tree.” On December 28 I posted that this tree hadn’t sparked much interest among the nesting birds.

These were shot with the Sony Alpha 6500, 55-210 mm lens at 1/1000 sec, 129mm.

Great Blue Heron Pair Nesting
Great Blue Heron Pair Nesting

The leafless trees in the background reflect a very harsh light which I toned down with Lightroom and Color FX Pro.

Great Blue Heron Pair Nesting
Great Blue Heron Pair Nesting

The male had a successful landing but the female had to brace herself to keep her footing.

Great Blue Heron Pair Nesting
Great Blue Heron Pair Nesting

This pair may only be testing each other out as mates. Despite bringing sticks for the nest and some attention to the female, the male flew off to take a stick to another tree.  The female didn’t look pleased and eventually flew off and came back with her own stick.

White Ibis 2

Now that I’ve gotten more comfortable with the Sony Alpha 6500 for landscape images I’m spending some time working with the 55-200 mm lens for bird photos. Making adjustments is less intuitive than the Canon gear I’ve become accustomed to, but these Ibis were just hanging around which gave me some time to think about what I was doing.

White Ibis
White Ibis – click on image for larger view

In addition to the poser above, several Ibis were pecking at the edge of the pond. Their blue eyes are one of these birds’ claim to fame.

White Ibis
White Ibis – click on image for larger view

I don’t usually do this but in this last image I did edit out the poop on his back side. The White Ibis are so white that it just bothered me.

White Ibis
White Ibis – click on image for larger view

I’m making progress but more practice is definitely in order!

Yellow-rumped Warbler 2

The Yellow-rumped Warblers are elusive, raise the camera and zip, they are gone. Like most photographers of small birds I have plenty of shots of their “butter butts” disappearing into the underbrush.

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler

On occasion they land in a twig free zone, and may even flip directions in the same spot, providing multiple views.

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler

This one was a little puffed up to meet the cold of the day.

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler

Great Blue Heron Presenting the Stick

I had wandered away from the heron rookery when not much was going on. When I returned about an hour later this Great Blue Heron nest building action was unfolding. It was much darker in the shade than I anticipated but I didn’t want to risk loosing the stick presentation so didn’t change camera settings, ending up with underexposed images.

I liked the artsy silhouette look and look forward to another opportunity to get brighter images.

Great Blue Heron Pair Stick RitualGreat Blue Heron Pair Stick Ritual

After the female gave the stick her approval the male lined it up for the pass off.

Great Blue Heron Pair Stick Ritual
Great Blue Heron Pair Stick Ritual

The female turned the stick…

Great Blue Heron Pair Stick Ritual
Great Blue Heron Pair Stick Ritual

…nearly wacking her mate in the head.

Great Blue Heron Pair Stick Ritual
Great Blue Heron Pair Stick Ritual

The female placed the stick in the nest while the male got a closer look and gave her a gentle nudge.

Great Blue Heron Pair Stick Ritual
Great Blue Heron Pair Stick Ritual

The male stood back as the female poked the stick into its proper place.

Great Blue Heron Pair Stick Ritual
Great Blue Heron Pair Stick Ritual

Click on any photo for larger view.

01/14/2018

Great Blue Heron in Profile

This nest didn’t require as much updating to get ready for this years’ nesting season. It’s position in the V of solid tree branches may have helped it survive the summer and fall storms with more of its bulk intact.  It’s always surprising how flimsy some of the successful nests look.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron  standing on its nest

This was one of the first nests with serious Great Blue Heron activity a few weeks ago and now there is just a lot of waiting.

Click on photo for larger view.

Pond Reflections 2

Today had none of the brilliance of my last images from these spots: it was grey and few sprinkles of rain had graced us. But the pond was just as still and the reflections as clear.

Pond Reflections on Grey Day
Pond Reflections on Grey Day

Our recent cold weather has slowed the nesting activity with only a few herons tending to nests today.

Pond Reflections on Grey Day
Pond Reflections on Grey Day

01/10/2018

Click on photo for larger view

Taken with the Sony Alpha 6500, 18-105 Lens, Processed in Lightroom and NIK Color FX Pro 4.