Bird Photographers Always Watch Where They Walk!

I spent most of this beautiful Labor Day weekend out photographing birds at the Brazos Bend State Park near Needville, TX. This state park boasts over 300 different species of birds sighted. There are so many different birds to watch in the park that the state has even published a bird watching checklist showing the most likely location to see each species.

Texas Parks and Wildlife – Birds of the Brazos Bend State Park

Last week I watched a new series of bird photography videos from Moose Peterson on the Kelby Training web site. Who better to learn the tricks of trade from than the master himself, Moose Peterson. In this latest set of videos, Moose was on the Florida coast explaining the best way to approach birds with his trusty Gitzo tripod and Wimberly head. Moose was positioning his rig in about 6″ – 8″ of water and slowly approaching the birds he wanted to capture.

Now, I think the world of Moose Peterson and have read just about all of his wildlife photography books, but here in East Texas we almost never step foot in the water to get those great shots. And here’s the reason why. (Just kidding Moose)

A Little Snack

A Little Snack
Copyright © 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon 40D , 70-200mm f/4L with a 1.4x extender at 280mm, f/9.0, 1/160th sec at ISO 800 on SanDisk Digital Film.

I was right in the middle of getting the shot shown in my Dinner Time post when I heard some thrashing sounds coming from the bank of this small lake about 20 feet away. I turned my lens toward the commotion and caught this young gator (he’s about 2 feet long, so less than 6 months old) just finishing his lunch. I never did spot his momma but they’re the reason my tripod legs always stay high and dry!

Dinner Time!

Just another interesting image from my last visit to the Brazos Bend State Park. Seems like someone is looking for a little snack. It was a great day to be a nature photographer. More to come!

Dinner Time

Dinner Time
Copyright © 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon 40D , 70-200mm f/4L with a 1.4x extender at 280mm, f/5.6, 1/250th sec at ISO 200 on SanDisk Digital Film.

Stand Up and Be Counted!

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned photographing birds it’s to expect the unexpected. I was walking around the Brazos Bend State Park on Friday hoping to catch some birds in flight and practice my long-lens technique. I wasn’t having much luck when I heard the strangest cackling sound coming from behind me. I turned around to see what all the fuss was about and spotted this little guy standing straight at attention as if speaking to a crowd of people. I guess it’s an election year in the wild kingdom also!

Stand Up and Be Counted

Stand Up and Be Counted
Copyright © 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon 40D , 70-200mm f/4L with a 1.4x extender at 280mm, f/5.6, 1/60th sec at ISO 200 on SanDisk Digital Film.

Sometimes They Come To You!

I was stalking this bird for well over an hour trying to get a few good exposures and nothing seemed to work. One minute the light would be too harsh, reflecting off the water and then the next minute the sun would go behind a cloud and everything would go to gray. I was just about to pack up my gear and take down my tripod when everything just clicked. The bird flew straight at me and landed on the walkway’s hand-rail not more than fifty feet away. The sun went behind a thin cloud and the light softened perfectly. I swear that bird turned it’s head and looked me straight in the eye as if to say “Well, what are you waiting for? Take the shot dummy!”

So I did!

Looking Ahead
Copyright © 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon 40D , 70-200mm f/4L with a 1.4x extender at 280mm, f/5.6, 1/160th sec at ISO 200 on SanDisk Digital Film.