I photographed this Egret from my kayak on the Warwick River; a 14.4 mile tidal estuary that meanders through tall grasses and cat-o-nine tails to cut its way into the James River.
This piece of paradise is a birders’ delight. I spotted Herons, Egrets, Sandpipers, and at least six other small bird species I couldn’t identify. One hairy critter smoothly swam across my bow. As it went ashore I identified it as a muskrat.
This beautiful peaceful setting is in Newport News, VA. In 2013 the population was estimated to be 183,412, making it the fifth-most populous city in Virginia. According to the United States Census Bureau the city has a total area of 120 square miles (310 km2), of which 69 square miles (180 km2) is land and 51 square miles (130 km2) (42.4%) is water.
This vicious sea gull stands its ground by relentless squawking and wings lifted high. It’s ready for a show down as other gulls dive-bomb in pursuit of abandoned turkey scraps.
Bullies are everywhere. I’m attacked from all sides. Those birds have the gull to try to take my food. This isn’t the first time I was bullied to give them my food. What is it with me, am I an easy prey?
Photo by: Richard Smith
Uncommon to my area of Southeast Virginia is the Red Throated Loon. I photographed this aquatic bird in late November at Messick Point on the Back River an estuary to the Chesapeake Bay. At my first sighting, the head was barley above water with its winter plumage of speckled blackish and white spotted feathers, it swiftly swam near the water surface like an otter. Once it surfaced the loon posed long enough for me to get a few nice pictures.
In doing my research for this Loon, it is said in The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds, “Loons have difficulty walking on land because their legs are located at the extreme rear of their bodies, so they are seldom seen away from the water. They are extremely vulnerable to oil pollution; many have been killed along both coasts as a result of recent spills.”
Hope you all enjoy!!
I see a Barred Owl from the corner of my eye.
Is it stretching its wing or getting ready to fly?
With intense eyes, the owl stares.
I am concerned and a little scared.
I raise my camera and push the button.
Now I know this event will not be forgotten.
Photo and poem by Richard Smith
Camera used is a Sony A77II, Sony lens 70-400mm, ISO 3200, 400MM, F7.1, AT 1/1000 Sec.
I am a barred owl whose skill is to hunt.
Like night-light vision and soulful brown eyes,
I can search from high in a darken sky.
In a dash and swoop, my prey I confront.
By day, I rest and snooze within a tree.
If I’m awakened by an unknown sound
With eyes wide open, I look all around.
my head turns to all sides so I can see.
Photo and poem by me (Richard Smith)
Photo was taken with a Sony A77II, Sony lens 70-400mm, ISO 3200, 400mm, f/7.1, 1/1000 of a sec. Location: Nolan Trail, Newport News, VA 4/21/17
Today I did some bird photography in the woods at the Mariners’ Museum located in Newport News, VA. Spring is a season of romance. Birds are doing their mating rituals as well as other creatures like this pair of snakes. These snakes were about 6 feet from me.
The lesson I learned when looking up for our feathery friends, be cautious where you stand and step. The moral of this story is look up, look down and know what is all around.
Photo shot with a Sony A77II, Sony lens 70-400mm, ISO 1600, 160mm, f/5.6 at 1/800 sec.
A Good Match
Splash, crash, the Brown Pelican is hit with a surge and a wave. Each curl pushes her closer to the jagged rocks. A place for the territorial Great Blue Heron. A hoarse, guttural squawk of the Blue Heron marks a warning to any intruders. The Herons’ yellow eye looks at the pelican with anger. Fearful for her life, the Pelicans’ web feet paddles with all its might, her wings push at the top of the water to help free her from a catastrophe from the rocks or the sword like beak of the Blue Heron.
Photo taken with a Sony A77II, Sony lens 70-400mm; ISO 200, 320mm, f/5.6, 1/500 sec
I swoop and dive into the river James.
Out from the shallow water’s a fish I retain.
My young juveniles with open beaks awaits me.
I nourish them with fish I caught by the talons of my feet.
Pictured taken from a Sony A77II, Sony lens 70–400mm,
1/1250 sec., at f5.6, ISO 400, 360mm
Spring has sprung as a blue jay’s young;
Clings its feet to a budding branch lightly green.
Oh! how low this cunning bird roams,
From high up is its home.
Blue Jay at Newport News, Park in Virginia 4-3-17: Camera is Sony A77ii, Sony Lens 70-400mm, ISO 640, 360mm, F6.3 @ 1/1250 sec.