Brazos Bend State Park Fieldtrip: More Birds



I’ve been thinking a lot about this field trip and I’ve come to realize you really need to have your “ducks in a row” (pun intended).

3 Ducks In A Row

3 Ducks In A Row

There’s so much to think about when taking pictures.  What’s the background look like, how in focus is the shot, how’s the lighting, are there any distractions, etc.  I’m really committed to taking better pictures, but so often I forget almost everything I intellectually know about photography and instead start snapping away at the first thing I see.  In any case, I do hope to improve, and if nothing else, I got some bird shots that I’ve never taken before.  I always welcome any constructive feedback, so fire away at will.

On thing I particularly enjoy about bird photography, is trying to take pictures of birds in flight.  Remember those Turkey Vultures I shared yesterday with their wings spread wide?  Here’s a picture of a Turkey Vulture coming in for a landing on a large tree.

Turkey Vulture Landing On Tree Wings Up Brazos Bend State Park

Turkey Vulture Landing On Tree Wings Up Brazos Bend State Park

While the face of the Turkey Vulture is not one of the prettiest, they certainly are beautiful birds when flying, or in this case, landing.

Turkey Vulture Landing On Tree Brazos Bend State Park

Turkey Vulture Landing On Tree Brazos Bend State Park

Ducks are another common visitor to Brazos Bend, and the Blue Winged Teal was fairly common this past weekend. One thing that I’ve never really tried with my 100-400mm lens is trying to take pictures of birds in flight, without using a tripod.  In fact, I’ve never “not” used a tripod, but at the encouragement of Greg Lavaty (our instructor), I decided to give it a try.  Not surprisingly, the majority of my shots were out of focus. I did manage to get this shot of these Blue Winged Teals in flight.  Although I like this picture, that blue line in the background is distracting to me.  At first I thought it was something with my lens, but in fact it’s another part of the lake.  If I’m not mistaken, these are all females.

Blue Winged Teal Flock Brazos Bend State Park

Blue Winged Teal Flock Brazos Bend State Park

I said I think the above shot is all females because I didn’t notice the distinctive white line running down the face as shown in the male Blue Winged Teal in the picture below.

Male Blue Winged Teal Brazos Bend State Park

Male Blue Winged Teal Brazos Bend State Park

Now that you’ve seen the male and female Blue Winged Teal separately, here’s a shot of them together.  I’m particularly drawn to the white line of the male and the patterns on its wing.

Blue Winged Teal Brazos Bend State Park

Blue Winged Teal Brazos Bend State Park

In this other shot of the male Blue Winged Teal you can see some of the blue and green colors towards the tail.  This bird was preening for quite a while, and once he finished doing that, he tucked his beak (bill) under his feathers and took a nap.

Male Blue Winged Teal Preening Brazos Bend State Park

Male Blue Winged Teal Preening Brazos Bend State Park

This next photo is one of those “who would have thought” shots.  It’s a White Faced Ibis.  If you’re like me, or new to birding, you might ask why this bird is called “white face” when there is very little white on its face.  From what I understand, during the winter the “white” on the face is less noticeable, whereas in other months there would be a white outline around the face.  In birding I’ve noticed you learn something new every day, at least I do.

White Faced Ibis In Flight Brazos Bend State Park

White Faced Ibis In Flight Brazos Bend State Park

Although this bird is called the White Faced Ibis, and it doesn’t appear to have any white around its face (not that I could see), it does have a variety of other colors.  I see some blue, green, and some brown on its feathers, and in the bright light the colors really shine.

White Faced Ibis Foraging Brazos Bend State Park

White Faced Ibis Foraging Brazos Bend State Park

I don’t want to get too lengthy in this post, so I’ll conclude for the night.  I still have a few more photos of birds from the field trip that I will post tomorrow.

Elizabeth - Great capture of the 3 ducks in a row! Love that! I Haz Cheezburger needs to come up with a funny caption. Lovely Ibis shot of him flying above the water. Turkey Vulture shots are fascinating!!

Lots of wonderful nature eye candy….thanks for sharing with us!!December 7, 2009 – 11:28 pm

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