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Brown Pelicans


A few days ago, while out driving around, we passed by a dock on an inland waterway near Rockpord, Texas, that held a plethora of water birds basking in the sun.  I stopped to try to get a picture of it using my Nikon 200-400 VR lens (hand held).  After firing off a few pictures, a yellow E caught my eye in the bottom of my view finder.  I had seen it twice before and thus, recognized it immediately.  No memory card!  Now, this is twice as hard to do with a Nikon D3s since it has two CF slots!  I had shot a few birds at a different location a few days earlier and had taken my cards out to upload the pictures to my laptop.  I had not returned them to the camera.  Not only that, but I’m traveling with a total of 7 memory cards, none of which were with me.  This is not the first time this has happen to me.  So, my New Year’s Resolution is the following.  I’m going to stick an old 4 gig card I have in my bag and plan to NEVER use it.  Never, that is, until the next time I forget to load CF cards into my Camera!

Northern Pintail Anas acuta

Well, you can see from the pictures here that I eventually made my way back to same spot.  The two Brown Pelicans above stood out from the many birds that surrounded themselves on the dock.  While shooting them, ducks swimming just on the other side of the Dock caught my eye.  I moved over to shoot some of them and faced a problem (and made another mistake!).  First the problem.  The landing of the dock was about 10 feet above the water level.  I would prefer to shoot the ducks from the water level.  I believe this makes for a more appealing view of them.  To do this I would have had to approach the ducks and get into the mud.  That would have been way too close to these ducks not to spook them and I had not come dressed to get muddy.  So, I was trapped with shooting them from above.  The mistake was that I had set my aperture on the dock to f/18 initially to make a shot down the dock and keep many of the birds in focus.  When making the shot of the two pelicans, I neglected to change my aperture to f/4 to blur out the background and visually separate the ducks.  I then continued this mistake as I shot the ducks in the water.  The result, the water shots of the ducks look like they were made with a point & shoot camera.  I do hope I learn from this.  I will be looking for another day when I can return to this spot to get better pictures!

Red Head Aythya americana

I’ve begun to keep a ‘life bird list’.  Besides bird books, I’ve downloaded the Audubon App for my iPhone for identification purposes and the great recorded bird sounds they have.  Being a Biology teacher, I’ve had interest in birds ever since I was young.  But, until now, I hadn’t taken the time to learn the birds names and actually do some background research on them.  This app, along with National Geographic’s Complete Birds of North America is very helpful.  I love the fact the app allows me to record notes and use google maps to mark where I observed the birds at.  In the next few days I want to figure out how to tie these maps that I create on the app into my own google maps I have my google account.


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