Still another Muskegon birding trip, the raptors and more
On Sunday August 25th, I made yet another trip to Muskegon to do some birding. Most of the photos that I shot were of shorebirds, but I managed a few really crummy shots of some raptors, and other birds. I’m going to post them despite the fact that they aren’t the best that I have taken, as this blog still serves as a record for the things I see when out and about.
I am now firmly convinced that there is something in the air at the Muskegon Wastewater treatment facility that adversely affects photography. As long as I am upwind from the actual treatment part of the facility, my photos aren’t too bad, but I can still see some loss of sharpness. Downwind of the treatment area, my photos get really bad in a hurry, unless I get extremely close to the subject I am shooting. I’ve also gone other places after the wasterwater facility, and my photos from those places are sharp.
Anyway, now that I have made my excuses, here are the photos, starting with a northern harrier in flight.
Those would have come out a little better if I had the time to switch the optical stabilization of my lens off, which is true of most of the bird in flight photos that I’m posting here.
Next up, a couple of a great blue heron in flight.
I saw a few juvenile bald eagles, but only managed a few shots of them.
There was a mixed flock of several species of shorebirds in one corner of one of the lagoons today. Every time that some one passed by, the flock would fly off, only to return a few minutes later. I watched that happen a few times, and it gave me an idea. The next time another birder drove past and spooked the shorebirds away, I sat down in the rocks along the bank, and waited for the flock to return. It didn’t take long for a few to return.
With small brown birds coming at me, I wasn’t paying as much attention to what was going on as I should have, for one of the small brown birds coming at me turned out to be one of the main reasons I decided to return to Muskegon today, a peregrine falcon.
The photos are terrible, but photographing the falcon was like trying to photograph a jet fighter doing a fly by, but at 75 feet, those things are fast!
A passing crow thought that my pitiful attempts to shoot the falcon were funny.
Later in the day, I spotted a flock of turkey vultures on the ground, and these photos are the ones that convinced me that being downwind to the treatment area really does mess up photography. I was right on top of these, the shots should have been as sharp as a tack! But, they aren’t.
I found a pair of common ravens perched in a tree, these photos came out slightly better.
One look at their beak will tell you that they aren’t crows!
Here’s another crow for comparison.
I don’t think that I’m going to bother with a post of the photos of shorebirds from today. They are the same species as last week, except for this short-billed dowitcher.
I have about 150 photos of the shorebirds from today, most of them better than the photos from last week. Hiding out in the rocks paid off nicely. But, being shorebirds, they all look the same, and the same as last week’s post. So that’s all folks.
That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!