Sunday, May 15, 2011

Old Dog Learns New Trick

Marsh Wrens are often heard, but less often seen. Soon the reeds will be tall and they will be secreted down in the vegetation. However, for a couple of weeks while they are attracting females, male Marsh Wrens will climb up on last year's remaining cat tail reeds and sing.

Saturday morning I went to Great Meadows with the singular purpose to test out a new capability of my unplanned backup camera upgrade. The D90 also shoots video. I thought the Marsh Wren would make a worthy subject. This Marsh Wren was somewhat cooperative and stood on the top of a clump of reeds for his movie debut.



I hope you noticed the challenges for still photographers. First you have to see the wren. Then you have to find them in a location that isn't blocked by other reeds, grass and the like. Hopefully, the background is acceptable. Finally, you have to compose and take your photo very quickly. Except in this time where they are displaying, you will rarely see them sing like this for more than a few seconds.

However, Saturday they were quite cooperative, so here are some of my favorite shots from the day.


Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110514 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110514 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110514 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110514 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110514 &emdash;

Those shots alone would have made for a successful day, but there was a lot more going on at the refuge. I encountered Jared Green of the Blanding's Turtle team, who had been checking the traps. I hope to link up with them to share more about these turtles. This turtle had a hole in his shell with an infection, so he was going to get a bit of government sponsored health care, before being returned to the wild. One of the identifying aspects of the Blanding's Turtle is their yellow neck.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110514 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110514 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110514 &emdash;

Bedford Den 11 had the Tiger Cubs out to explore the refuge. Like typical young boys they were loud, full of energy, rough housing, but they also displayed moments of interest in the nature surroundings. Hopefully, a few will become attracted to nature and become the next generation of stewards of our environment. The great thing about Great Meadows is that many of the regular resident animals get desensitized to human behavior because of the many visitors which allows us to observe them much closer than we might otherwise be able to.
Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110514 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110514 &emdash;

It was a fun day photographically. When checking on the Tree Sparrows, I caught one bird doing yoga poses. I think one was the inspiration for the Bentley hood ornament.
Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110514 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110514 &emdash;

I was especially pleased with these Red-winged Blackbird photos because they combined a good photo of the bird demonstrating, but the backgrounds were also pleasing.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110514 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110514 &emdash; Red-winged Blackbird

Remember you can click on individual photos to see larger versions, or visit the gallery for today's blog.

Well the weather forecast for the week is rainy and grey, so I doubt that I'll be visiting four times this coming week.  However, I do have that new camera and some things I learned at this weekend's bird photography seminar, so I doubt I can sit at home too long.