A short break

I admit that I got a bit stir-crazy this morning.  I’ve been working on the draft of our India book and fighting a cold.  I’ve been pretty attached to the computer and monitor for what seems like way too long.  I decided to take a short trip out to Ridgefield to clear my head and see what birds might be lurking and wanting their portraits taken.

I left home about 09:30 and knew that the light was going to be somewhere between flat due to clouds and harsh due to sun breaks.  Arriving at Ridgefield, it was more the cloudy, flat light that prevailed but the sky was showing signs of “sucker holes”.  I geared up and headed out on the loop as one of the few cars in view.  I stopped when I saw that the red-winged blackbirds were sitting nicely on the cattails near the road.  This one posed for about 5 shots, called out and then took off.

My friend Eric enjoys images where the birds are looking directly into camera so I chuckled and toasted Eric when I saw this image on the LCD.  I can’t honestly say that I’m enamored by the stem crossing over the bird’s back but I will say that I am consistently in love with the backgrounds that the Nikon 200-400 can produce as well as the clarity it can achieve.  A big but worthy investment!

There were very few birds to be seen.  No blue herons at all.  One egret way in the distance. A few robins and fewer sparrows.  Midday?  Season?  Who knows.  Looked like I was going to have to be mostly content with just being out and enjoying a dry day.

I saw movement on my left half way through the hardwood forest. An immature bald eagle flew down from a low perch and landed in a confusion of stems, branches and debris.  Most of the time I end up shooting up into the sky on these birds as they perch high on the trees in the area.  Now I had one about 25 feet from me but sitting on the ground and among a bunch of visual debris.  I moved the car a bit, moved the lens bean bag a bit and shot a few.  I’m glad I did.  The truck servicing the outhouses came by and its diesel engine was enough to spook the bird.  I suppose I can consider this a head-and-shoulders portrait.  I love the clarity and always marvel at the features of a bird and the detail of the feathers.

I finished the loop and didn’t see anything worth stopping for.  I sat by the side of the road and ate my sandwich and enjoyed the sound of the wind and the remote bird calls.  It’s great to be home again. Now back to work on the India book.

One thought on “A short break

  1. Bruce, enjoyed your post of your relatively brief visit to the refuge. I could picture myself there as you are describing the scenes. A lovely couple of photos! My last trip there was also relatively quiet, activity-wise. I’m working on a post for that day. What a perfect background for that blackbird! A lot of the hawks seem to be juveniles and look so ‘cute.’ Catch you later!

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