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John Hadden Photography

Photography of the Natural World

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bird

Taking Wing

grouse-tracks-wings
Grouse tracks and wing marks in the snow

I went for what might be one last ski up on Lion’s Ridge at Camel’s Hump Nordic yesterday. With spring coming on, there was all kinds of activity recorded in the snow. I saw tracks from turkeys, weasels, mice, bear—all going about their early spring businesses. I followed this ruffed grouse track to where the bird took flight leaving the impression of its wings in the soft snow.

Panasonic GM5, Lumix 12-32mm lens @  26mm, ISO 400, f/9, 1/1000″ exposure.

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Who you lookin’ at?

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A female cardinal seems to eye me suspiciously…

This female cardinal seemed to know she was on camera, giving me a fine “come hither” look over her shoulder as I snapped several shots. Of course she could also be thinking, “Hey, who you lookin’ at?”

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 100-300mm lens @ 300mm, ISO 1000, f/5.6, 1/200″ exposure.

Song Sparrow

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A song sparrow perches on a sumac branch in our front field

Song sparrows are an early returning species in our area. Their lovely fluid song means spring has truly arrived. This little fellow was quite patient with me as I took several shots of him.

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 100-300mm lens @ 300mm, ISO 1600, f/7.1, 1/400″ exposure.

Osprey’s Breakfast

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An osprey enjoys a morning meal

Robin & I paddled around the mouth of Lewis Creek yesterday morning. We had the pleasure of getting in close to this osprey and its mate who were camped out in a tree on  one of the small (now inundated) islands out on Lake Champlain. This fellow had recently caught a fish and was enjoying a morning meal.

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 100-300mm lens @ 300mm, ISO 800, f/11, 1/500″ exposure.

Bluebird!

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Our first bluebird of the season!

No sooner had I cleaned out the nesting boxes in our front field this morning, than a male bluebird came to inspect! Welcome back!

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 100-300mm lens @ 300mm, ISO 800, f/8, 1/1300″ exposure.

Nap time

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A female downy woodpecker catches a nap on a nearby birch

This female downy woodpecker was hanging out near our suet feeder. She would fly to the feeder to snack a bit, then fly back to the birch and tuck her head under her wing to catch a nap. I’m not sure if she might have been a bit under the weather, as I don’t think taking a nap in broad daylight is normal behavior. Still, the little ball of fluff attached to the birch was quite cute!

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 100-300mm lens @ 246mm, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/640″ exposure.

Evening Grosbeak

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An male evening grosbeak in our front yard birch

We put our bird feeders back up the other day and the usual suspects are coming back. It took the chickadees about 10 minutes to discover the feeders. A pair of evening grosbeaks showed up yesterday. We used to get great flocks of grosbeaks in the winter maybe 15 years ago. In recent years, however, they’ve been quite scarce. I’m not sure why that is, but is was nice to see the pair yesterday. I wonder if they’ll stick around.

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 100-300mm lens @ 286mm, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/500″ exposure.

Hummingbird family portraits

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Papa ruby throated hummingbird

We have a prodigious bee balm patch over by the pond that is a favorite of all kinds of pollinators. We also have a family of ruby throated hummingbirds in residence this summer, and they were in full play-and-feed mode yesterday afternoon—zipping about above the flowers, chasing each other, feeding, and, very rarely, perching for a few brief seconds so I could get a shot off. Here are some family portraits.

Shots taken with Panasonic GX8, Lumix 100-300mm lens, ISO 1600, f/5.6, various shutter speeds.

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A juvenile feeding
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Mama hummingbird (or perhaps one of the juveniles?)
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A juvenile male takes a brief break from the action

 

Belted Kingfisher

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A belted kingfisher perches briefly above the Poultney River

I’ve been trying for years to get a good shot of a belted kingfisher. These common denizens of streams, lakes, and ponds are quite shy and will fly away chattering as you approach limiting the possibilities of getting a good shot. Yesterday, paddling out of South Bay on lower Lake Champlain and up into the Poultney River, this fellow was a bit more patient with me allowing me to get in range and snap off a few shots before flying off. Mission accomplished!

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 100-300mm lens @ 300mm, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/2000″ exposure

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