Spring, 2003 Gallery

Things have been busy since the last addition to my site, with poor weather contributing to too few opportunities to get out and shoot. This collection of images represents the results of a couple of trips that we were able to make, with one shot taken in my backyard.

One trip was to Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in Belmont, NC. This is a beautiful place to visit, with gorgeous flowers and landscaping. The second trip was to a variety of locations in the Chesapeake Bay area. The most productive was Chincoteague NWR. This is a well known location for a variety of wildlife (birds, the famous ponies and other mammals, reptiles, amphibians, etc.). We also checked out a number of birding sites we found through the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail. Some of these were closed due to weather or other circumstances, some required advance reservations, etc., so if you plan on travelling there, call ahead to check.

All Images here were taken with the Canon EOS-1D digital SLR. Click on each thumbnail to open up a larger image in its own window. Just close these windows after viewing them.

These images, along with all the others present in the various galleries, are available for purchase as prints up to 13"x19". For more details on buying prints, please click here.

 

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Image # 01361

My backyard

Mooresville, NC

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 1.4x II Teleconverter

ISO 400, f/8, 1/250 second

Evaluative Metering at -2/3, 550EX/BB at -2

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

This was a surprise visitor to our backyard. I spotted a pair visiting our feeder in early May, and had time one Sunday afternoon to set up my gear and try and capture them. They disappeared within a week, so I was glad I got at least a few shots.


 

Forster's Tern Calling

Image # 01422

Chincoteague NWR

Chincoteague Island, VA

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 2x II Teleconverter

ISO 400, f/11, 1/640 second

Evaluative Metering at 0

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

This was taken when we stopped along one of the roads in Chincoteague. This tern was calling for a good 10 minutes, giving me ample opportunity to get some shots showing him in action. As the shooting data indicates, I had to use the 600L with the 2x converter for this, and many other shots. We seemed to be considerably further from the birds here during this visit, relative to some of our trips to Florida.


 

Dunlin

Image # 01418

Chincoteague NWR

Chincoteague Island, VA

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 2x II Teleconverter

ISO 400, f/11, 1/500 second

Evaluative Metering at 0

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

This was my first glimpse of this species, and I was glad to get a shot or two.


 

Canada Goose Portrait

Image # 01428

Chincoteague NWR

Chincoteague Island, VA

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 2x II teleconverter

ISO 400, f/11, 1/500 second

Evaluative Metering at 0

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

I had spotted an Eastern Kingbird as we were driving down one of the roads at Chincogeague, so we pulled off, set-up, and hoped he would come back. He didn't, but while I was waiting, there was a family of Canada Geese not too far away, so I took some shots. This was also one of the few times the sun actually came out. The Canada Goose is not the most 'exotic' species, but it is still quite beautiful.


 

Canada Goose Juvenile

Image # 01429

Chincoteague NWR

Chincoteague Island, VA

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 2x II Teleconverter

ISO 400, f/11, 1/500 second

Evaluative Metering at 0

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick


Taken right after the picture above, I couldn't resist the 'cuteness' factor here.
 

Oyster Catcher

Image # 01414

Chincoteague NWR

Chincoteague Island, VA

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 2x II Teleconverter

ISO 400, f/11, 1/500 second

Evaluative Metering at 0

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

I've seen some wonderful images of this species, but until this trip had never come across one. So I was quite excited to spot some. I spent some time shooting him as he did his thing, and was able to get a number of shots while he was feeding.


 

Eastern Kingbird 1

Image # 01459

Dameron Marsh Natural Area Preserve

near Kilmarnock, VA

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 2x II Teleconverter

ISO 200, f/11, 1/320 second

Evaluative Metering at 0

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

This and the next image are perhaps my favorites from this whole trip. This area was one of the more beautiful side locations we found, and the weather cleared for a few hours of beautiful sunshine. I carried my gear down a path leading to an overlook to the Bay, and set up there. It was so beautiful I almost didn't care if any birds came along. But I was excited to see an Eastern Kingbird come out of nowhere and perched on some bushes a little ways off from the overlook. The sun was behind me, the blue of the ocean and green of the coastal foliage created a gorgeous background, and I busily shot for 5 or 10 minutes as the bird came and went, flying from one one perch to another.


 

Eastern Kingbird 2

Image # 01460

Dameron Marsh Natural Area Preserve

near Kilmarnock, VA

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 2x II Teleconverter

ISO 200, f/11, 1/400 second

Evaluative Metering at 0

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

I couldn't resist posting a second image taken in this setting. I was also excited because this was my first real opportunity to see and shoot this species.


 

Cattle Egret Eating a Frog

Image # 01440

Chincoteague NWR

Chincoteague Island, VA

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 2x II Teleconverter

ISO 400, f/11, 1/500 second

Evaluative Metering at 0, 550EX/BB at -2

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

We took the 'Marsh Walk' from the main parking lot at Chincoteague, and as I rounded a bend, spotted this Cattle Egret off in the distance. I set up my camera, and was lucky to then see him snatch a frog out of the grass. He flew off, but fortunately only a short distance, and I was able to reposition myself, and continue to shoot as he worked for a while getting the frog in a position to be swalloed. The frog lost....


 

Cattle Egret with Blue Flowers

Image # 01404

Chincoteague NWR

Chincoteague Island, VA

Canon 600L/f4 IS with 2x II Teleconverter

ISO 400, f/11, 1/320 second

Evaluative Metering at 0

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

I have relatively few Cattle Egret shots, so stopped to shoot them whenever possible. This was a very beautiful scene, with the small blue flowers complementing the colors of the egret and grass. At this relatively small size, I'm not sure how well it comes across, but thought I'd include it anyway.


 

Semipalmated Plover

Image # 01448

Chincoteague NWR

Chincoteague Island, VA

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 2x II Teleconverter

ISO 400, f/11, 1/320 second

Evaluative Metering at 0, 550EX/BB at -2

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

This species is another first for me. Certainly it's a common bird, but I just hadn't come across any until then. I would have preferred a lower shooting angle, but that wasn't physically possible in this particular situation.


 

Cabbage Butterfly (Pieris rapae)

Image # 01394

Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens

Belmont, NC

Canon 100/f2.8 USM Macro

ISO 200, f/11, 1/200 second

Evaluative Metering at -1/3

Handheld

I thought I'd include a few non-bird shots here, for a little variety. There were surprisingly few butterflies and moths during my trip to Daniel Stowe, but I was able to make a 'quick grab' shot here. Special thanks to both Peter May and Henri Heleva for the identification here.


 

Opium Poppy (color variant)

Image # 01370

Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens

Belmont, NC

Canon 100/f2.8 USM Macro

ISO 200, f/16, 1/200 second

Evaluative Metering at +1/3

Handheld

I find it very challenging to find appealing composition when shooting flowers in the 'wild.' I chose this image and the next for the intricate detail and symmetry which appeals to my eye. Identification courtesy of Steve Hopkins.


 

Opium Poppy

Image # 01393

Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens

Belmont, NC

Canon 100/f2.8 USM Macro

ISO 200, f/11, 1/125 second

Evaluative Metering at -1/3

Handheld

Once again, thanks to Steve Hopkins for the i.d.


 

River Otter

Image # 01433

Chincoteague NWR

Chincoteague Island, VA

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 2x II Teleconverter

ISO 400, f/11, 1/200 second

Evaluative Metering at 0

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

My wife spotted a pair of these in the water as we drove along the main road in Chincoteague. We pulled off and I set up my equipment. Some other people came along, and this actually attracted the curiosity of the otters, and they swam in closer to shore to check us out as were checking them out. The weather was densely cloudy and dreary, but this definitely made up for it.