When I returned to my favorite spot on the Peconic River. I was hoping that spring would be arriving, but instead winter was making a last cloudy, foggy gasp. Below is a thumbnail.
For a larger image click on this link to the Peconic River in Late Winter.
There were reports of a snowy owl at Jones Beach on the south shore of Long Island. I went into the cold and wind, expecting to get nothing because all prior expeditions have been fruitless. The fates (or maybe just this one owl) took pity on me. The bird was sitting along the dunes on the edge of the beach, posing. I’m almost ashamed to admit this, but after an hour I went home, even though I would have loved a flight shot, because he or she seemed quite content to stay in the vicinity of the dunes all day.
While in Florida a few weeks ago I got these flight shots. The first is of a Cooper’s hawk at Green Cay. The second and third are of a red-shouldered hawk at the Loxahatchee National Wild Life Reserve.
6:30 AM. Sunrise at 7:00 AM. 31 degrees. Dressed in layers. Visions of the Pillsbury Doughboy or the Michelin Man.
Ducks seem to scare easily so I figure if I get out while it is still dark, I might not scare them. I move along an eastern arm of Cedar Beach Lagoon. I set up and level the tripod and lens and open my small folding chair. I sit absolutely looking for ducks. Silence.
Just a moment before sunrise, I see movement to my right in the direction my lens is pointing. I look through my camera and see two female buffleheads (our smallest duck) that weren’t there a moment before. I follow them through the lens as they swim west. The only sound is the soft clicking of the camera. Finally the two reach a point just in front of me and I can’t swing the camera more without moving the tripod. I slowly look left. There are dozens of buffleheads on the water to my left. Do I dare to try to move the tripod to photograph them. I left one tripod leg a quarter of an inch. Every one of the buffleheads take flight at the same instant and they are all gone.
But I did get a shot of a female bufflehead that morning, and the next day I set up further west, didn’t try to move my tripod, and got a nice shot of a male and two birds in flight. By the way, the male’s magenta and green head looks black from a distance.