Like most takers of fish, the Great Blue Heron waits for long periods of time for a fish to get close. When the fish is within striking distance and with lighting speed the Great Blue Herons’ beak jabs into the water in an attempt to clamp onto the fish. Here you see the Great Blue Heron attempting to swallow the fish whole. In the other picture the same Heron turned, now you see blood from the stab wound of the Herons’ beak.
Camera used is a Sony A77II, Sony lens 70-400mm, ISO 800, 230MM, f7.1, AT 1/800 Sec. Location Lions Bridge, Newport News, VA 4/21/17.
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
At one time the Brown Pelicans were usually less common north of the Carolinas. Within the last few years it appears the Brown Pelicans are venturing into the Southeast Coast of Virginia. Today many Brown Pelicans are spotted in and around the estuary of the James River that empties into the Chesapeake Bay. The primary food source for the Brown Pelicans is Menhaden fish.
In 2012 the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission declared that the Atlantic Menhaden was depleted due to overfishing. The decision was driven by issues with water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and failing efforts to re-introduce predator species, due to lack of Menhaden on which they could feed.
With these site indicators, could this mean the Brown Pelicans have return more abundantly due to improved water quality and the Menhaden are more plentiful?
Photos and article by Richard Smith
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.
I have a great admiration for nature as expressed below with the common house sparrow.
This House Sparrow preferred to nest in a natural site such as this hole within the dead tree in lieu of a manmade structure such as eaves or walls of buildings, street lights, and nest boxes. The tree is rooted on a sandy beach with tidal salt water. Although the sparrows are not fish eaters, they find plenty of insects in the area.
I would visit this sparrow and its family just about every day and take a series of photos. This day I noticed the junvenile made its maiden flight out of its nest to perch on a nearby beach shrub. It wasn’t a graceful landing but it was able to cling to a twig. I could hear its squeak and see its eyes searching for its Mother.
Not far from the juvenile the mother watched protectively, and to assure the young juvenile it would sing encouraging chirps to let it know she was nearby. She seemed to say I fed you and gave you sheleter, now it is your time to learn to fend for yourself. I will teach you to hunt for food and be aware of the dangers of life. Through time you will go, bring life and teach your young.
At times we overlook these little birds in admiration of the scenery. We hear their joyful singing but miss seeing them due to the blend of colors that surround these small birds.
I hope this brings excitement, joy and happiness. Comments are encouraged
The first week of Spring the air is crisp and cool with a nip of early morning frost. Buds erupt with yellowish green shoots, the ground opens to show spikes of green leaves, the birds shrill chirps and tweets bring life from the still quiet of the night.
With my camera and tripod, I follow a deer path that leads me to a sunlit patch to photograph my little piece of paradise. I hear the song of the Carolina Wren. This is South Carolina’s state bird a small bird, with a loud voice, that fills the woods with its high volume of songs.
Although its name is Carolina Wren, it has been wintering farther and father north. It covers most of the East Coast and inland. It’s interesting to watch as it forages through the forest ground its tail will point down and when it sings the tail points up.
I spotted this Carolina Wren camouflaged against the fallen, tan, reddish, and yellow leaves. Its distinctive long, slender and down curved bill scatters the leaves like a toss salad in search of spiders, thousand legers, and beetles.
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