Photographs by Frank

29 September 2015

A Long Weekend at Star Island

Filed under: Autumn,Birds,Landscapes — Tags: , , , , — Frank @ 11:00 PM

Last Friday afternoon we boarded the M/V Thomas Leighton and headed to Star Island for a birding weekend organized by Eric Masterson. This trip is timed to be able to see southward migrating birds, especially warblers*. We arrived back on the mainland about 3:30 PM on Sunday.

Saturday dawned blustery and although there were birds present, they were pretty much hunkered down inside the brush and therefore impossible to photograph. The wind died down on Saturday evening and Sunday was much calmer and the photography more productive.

I discovered that (compared to the spring time) photography was much more difficult since most of the plants which were bare in the spring were still more-or-less fully leafed out. Thus getting clear views of small birds was difficult.

The most common warbler we saw, by far, was the yellow-rumped. In addition we observed two rarities for New Hampshire… a lark sparrow and a lazuli bunting; both are western birds. The bunting is the first sighting of this species in NH (if it is accepted by the Rare Bird Committee).

Anyway, without further excuses or ado, here are the photos:

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Pine Warbler
Pine Warbler
ID Needed
ID Needed
Immature American Robin
Immature American Robin
Yellow-rumped Warbler #1
Yellow-rumped Warbler #1
Yellow-rumped Warbler #2
Yellow-rumped Warbler #2
Grey Catbird
Grey Catbird
Lark Sparrow #1
Lark Sparrow #1
Song Sparrow #1
Song Sparrow #1
Lark Sparrow #2
Lark Sparrow #2
Song Sparrow #2
Song Sparrow #2
Blackpoll Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Northern Flicker
Northern Flicker

Another difference between our spring trip and this one, was the number of people. The spring trip occurred before the official opening of the season so the only people on the island were the maintenance staff and a couple of dozen birders. This past weekend us birders shared the island with at least three other groups… the Star Island board of directors, sailors participating in the Gosport Regatta and a group of kite fliers.

I took time away from birding on Saturday afternoon to photograph the sailboats as they neared Star Island (both the windward mark and the finish line were close by).

Here are the sailing photos:

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J Boats in Close Quarters #1
J Boats in Close Quarters #1
Neck in Neck
Neck in Neck
Headed for the Home Stretch
Headed for the Home Stretch
Taking on a Big "Guy"
Taking on a Big
Rounding the Windward Mark #1
Rounding the Windward Mark #1
Headed for the Finish Line
Headed for the Finish Line
Rounding the Windward Mark #2
Rounding the Windward Mark #2

The sunset on Friday night was spectacular. Here are a few photos of that and a mishmash of other subjects:

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Star Island Sunset
Star Island Sunset
Sunset with Photographer
Sunset with Photographer
Summer House Sunset
Summer House Sunset
Star Island Kites
Star Island Kites
Gosport Chapel, Star Island
Gosport Chapel, Star Island
Art Barn (detail), Star Island
Art Barn (detail), Star Island
White Island Light at Dawn
White Island Light at Dawn

* We participated in a similar trip, timed for the spring migration, in May of 2014; see this post and this one for the details.

 

18 December 2011

An Early Winter Meander

Filed under: architecture,Landscapes,Monadnock Region — Tags: — Frank @ 12:00 PM

The “in between” season… in between the last foliage and reliable snow cover… is a difficult time for a nature photographer. There is not much wildlife about and the landscape is rather drab.

However, I get antsy if I do not get out to photograph at least once a week so I headed out yesterday afternoon under slate gray skies.

I had no real goal in mind but I headed south through Hancock and Peterborough figuring that I would scout for vantage points from which to photograph Pack Monadnock  and North Pack Monadnock when we finally get some snow cover.

I ended up over in Harrisville, site of a old but well maintained mill complex, thinking that architecture is a good “in between” season subject. The mid-afternoon (around 3 PM) light was at a nice low angle and very soft due to the cloud cover. One of the mill complex’s bell towers was already in shadow but the other was still nicely light, as was the tower on the town library. The mill buildings are a tough subject; there are wires and poles galore making it difficult to find angles clear of signs of modernity.

Heading back towards home, I stopped (at about 4 PM) to photograph the sunset over a small wetland in Hancock and about forty five minutes later (after a stop at the store) I got a shot of the very last light over Gregg Lake.

I arrived home with very cold hands (aluminum tripods are great heat sinks despite gloves); the thermometer was reading in the mid-twenties.


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