Top Navigation  
 
U.S. Flag waving
Office Hours Momday - Friday  8 am - 5 pm Pacific 1-800-835-2418
 
Facebook   YouTube   Twitter
 
Features
 Home Page
 Current Issue
 Article Index
 Author Index
 Previous Issues

Bookstore
 Subscriptions
 Kindle Subscriptions
 Kindle Publications
 Anthologies
 Books
 Back Issues
 Discount Books
 All Specials
 Classified Ad

Advertise
 Web Site Ads
 Magazine Ads

More
 BHM Forum
 Contact Us/
 Change of Address

Forum / Chat
 Forum/Chat Info
 Lost Password
 Write For BHM


Link to BHM

Where We Live by John Silveira and Richard Blunt. Photos and commentary from Oregon and New England.

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.



Archive for the ‘Great egrets’ Category

 

Early morning great egret

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

I was heading into the magazine, early in the morning, but made a side trip to the Port of Gold Beach, here in Oregon. The air was still to the water in the port was almost unrippled and there was a great egret stalking its breakfast in the shallow water. I saw an opportunity to get some reflected photos, but I didn’t realize how good they might be. Here’s what I shot.

G83C5994 cropped for blog

G83C5997 cropped for blog

G83C5998 cropped for blog

G83C6000 cropped for blog

G83C6001 cropped for blog

G83C6002 cropped for blog

G83C6004 cropped for blog

 

Great egrets in Oregon, Part 3

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

I go to the Port of Gold Beach almost every day, and I do so about three times a day. I’m looking for birds. In my last post, I promised some photos of a great egret doing something I’d never seen before, and here they are.

It started several days ago when I went to the port and on the other side of the water was the great egret I usually see down there. I took a few photos, all the while hoping it would take flight so I could get some photos of it flying. I got more than I expected. However, because he wasn’t flying (yet), I slowed down my shutter speed to 1/250th of a second so I could drop the ISO. As you’ll see, that was a mistake.

I was using my Canon 5D Mark III with my EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM lens. I also had my EF 1.4x II Extender between the camera and lens, which expands the focal length by 40%. (This was several days before I dropped the extender on the floor, which is grist for another post in the future.) Most of these photos are cropped.

I should also add that the 5D Mark III is  fantastic low-light camera and that I probably shouldn’t be worrying about the ISO speed, especially when it’s only around 800. But old habits die hard.

Minutes after I arrived, a blue heron showed up and contested the egret for its place on the shore. What I didn’t realize was how much bigger blue herons are than great egrets. (I should also mention egrets are in the heron family.) When it appeared, the egret was clearly intimidated and, though at first it appeared indecisive, as the heron approached it, the egret took off and, as luck would have it, it flew towards me, then it landed on a tree stump within forty or so yards of me. There it perched, and that’s what I’d never seen one do before — get footing on a perch so small.

It seemed to know I was there, and though it’s been skittish when I’ve been around, before, this time it didn’t seem to care. I think it was “upset.”

 

This was one of the first photos I took this day when I saw the egret across the water. He was alone and looking to feed. I still had the shutter speed set at 1/1000th of a second. But, since it upped the ISO level, I slowed the shutter down to 1/250th of a second. Big mistake.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5     ISO 800     focal length 280mm

 

The blue heron suddenly showed up and the egret wasn’t happy.

Shutter speed 1/250     f-stop 5     ISO 160     focal length 280mm

 

I thought, at first, the egret would be able to ignore the heron.

Shutter speed 1/250     f-stop 5     ISO 200     focal length 280mm

 

The heron was going to have none of that and quickly drove the egret off. As luck would have it, the egret started flying towards me. Of course, the bad news is that, while it was flying, I had a shutter speed that is really too slow to freeze birds in flight.

Shutter speed 1/250     f-stop 5     ISO 200     focal length 280mm

 

It’s too bad that I had gone to the slower shutter speed because the photos of the heron, as it approached, are all a little fuzzy because of the motion. They’d have been beautiful if I hadn’t changed the setting. But in this photo, the heron is about to alight on the tree stump. This is what I’d never seen before. I just didn’t know it was built to do this.

Shutter speed 1/250     f-stop 5     ISO 125     focal length 280mm

 

The egret uses its wings like air brakes as it comes in for a precision landing.

Shutter speed 1/250     f-stop 5     ISO 125     focal length 280mm

 

Now using its wings for balance, the bird gets ready to steady itself on the stump.

Shutter speed 1/250     f-stop 5     ISO 160     focal length 280mm

 

And here it is, perched on the stump. Even Jeff Ferguson, the new marketing manager, here at Backwoods Home Magazine, said he’s never seen an egret perched like this. Frankly, I think it’s beautiful.

Shutter speed 1/250     f-stop 5     ISO 125     focal length 280mm

 

I’m probably athropomorphizing, but I’d say the egret looks like he (or she) is sulking after getting kicked off the other side of the port by the heron. In the meantime, I had reset the shutter speed to 1/1000th of a second, in case it took flight, again.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5     ISO 640     focal length 280mm

 

To give you an idea of just what the egret is sitting atop, this is an uncropped shot.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5     ISO 640     focal length 280mm

 

In the meantime, this is what its nemesis, the blue heron, was doing on the other side of the inlet.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5     ISO 800     focal length 280mm

 

I’m just putting this one up because the bird is so beautiful.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5     ISO 500     focal length 280mm

 

Finally, the egret took off and started flying across the port, again. I’m a sucker for birds flying over water.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5     ISO 320     focal length 280mm

 

It settled down on the shore, just below the roadway, before it took off, again, and disappeared for the rest of the day.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5     ISO 640     focal length 280mm

 

Great egrets in Oregon, Part 2

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Okay, I’m late. I’d promised these photos “tomorrow.”  But that’s because I’m spending so much time with my two girlfriends, Chloe (that’s what I call my Canon 5D Mark III) and Danielle (the eponymous character in one of the novels I’m trying to get ready for Kindle), as well as my good friend Elvis (a character from a second novel I’m trying to get onto Kindle).

So, here — finally! – is the followup on egrets I promised at the conclusion of the previous one.

 

This is the egret just before he (or she?) became wary enough of my presence to want to take flight. Mind you, I was doing nothing more than standing by the side of the road, at the Port of Gold Beach, with Chloe. But these birds appear to be very skittish.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 250     focal length 200mm

 

Here he is, finally tiring of my presence, and walking away.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 200     focal length 200mm

 

Then he was off. They don’t take off with an “explosion.” Their takeoffs are silent to me. Maybe it’s just because I’m too far away using a telephoto lens. But those wings, when they spread, make me think that this is where painters of religious art get their ideas for angel wings.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 160     focal length 200mm

 

I’m obviously trying to keep the bird, its shadow, and its reflection in the frame. I just think they’re beautiful.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO160     focal length 200mm

 

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 160     focal length 200mm

 

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 160     focal length 200mm

Okay, same bird, tomorrow. But he’ll be doing something I, personally, have never seen an egret doing.

 

 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
Copyright © 1998 - Present by Backwoods Home Magazine. All Rights Reserved.