Sunday, January 12, 2014

A long time coming

Late this afternoon my wife and I ventured to Dune Road since we were already out east.  So far I am 0-3 this season trying to find Snowy Owl's alone - and my wife is batting 1.000.  I already had heard there were multiple owls along Dune Road from a fellow photographer so I figured it would be a lock, and sure enough my wife spotted the bird in the marsh (though we were tipped off by some birders who had literally parked their car in the middle of the road).  The bird was pretty far out, and I have quite a few good images of this species so far so we moved on hoping to find another or at least something else of interest.

When we reached Quogue, we turned around and headed back scanning again for birds - aided by the lack of direct sun blinding us.  I noticed a female Kingfisher perched on a telephone pole and figured I would get my obligatory kingfisher on a telephone pole image (I probably have hundreds).  The bird was perched above a small watering hole and I was about to give up hope that it would do anything interesting when it swooped down and hovered about 10' above the water.  I photographed the bird from my car snapping away as it flapped its wings for what seemed like a very long time compared to other times I've seen this species hover.  It never ended up diving for a fish and flew to a different perch, but the result was very exciting as I have longed for photos like these of this species since I started photography over 5 years ago.

After scoring the shots of the kingfisher, we continued east along Dune Rd. when I spotted a Northern Harrier.  This is another species I've had an extremely difficult time photographing in flight (particularly along Dune Rd) but the stars appeared to be aligned today because I pulled off this shot

The Snowy Owl was still in the marsh - but by this time the sun had just about set and it was still a distance away, so we packed it in.  Below are a few photos I got earlier in the afternoon at the inlet where there was a nice mixed flock of Scoters and Eiders as well as some monster waves in the ocean and a very large flock of gulls fishing.  The best of them all is the immature male King Eider I photographed (by accident really).  This is a species I have hoped for years to get, often spotted in single numbers off of Montauk Point.  There have been reports of multiple king eiders (male and females) at Shinnecock recently.  I was lucky that the ocean was rough and brought these birds inside the cut and even more lucky that I photographed this one without really knowing what I was looking for

Here is a "beachscape" showing off the large number of gulls present

Lastly - an Immature Common Eider with some food

If you want to learn more about the natural world that is Long Island - check out this book by John Turner which features many of my photos

No comments:

Post a Comment