Photographs by Frank

9 May 2014

Mackerel Skies & Spring Birds

Filed under: Amphibians,Birds,Early Spring,Landscapes,Monadnock Region — Tags: , , , — Frank @ 11:00 AM

About 9:30 yesterday morning, I headed out to run some errands. When I got to the lake, I noticed the mackerel skies over the north end of the lake and the nice, soft light. I stopped to make a photograph or two.

As I walked back to the boat launch where the truck was parked, I noticed the birds in the trees along the road and the turtles basking in the sun.

The section of road that runs along the beach and up to the bridge seems to attract many insect-eating birds. Later in the season there will be many swifts and swallows present, but yesterday I saw mainly Eastern Kingbirds.

There were also  red-winged blackbirds and grackles present. The male red-winged blackbirds were very vocal singing their distinctive “conk-la-ree” song repeatedly.

When I got back to the truck, I decided that the errands could wait. Switching from landscape mode and wide angle lens to wildlife mode and “Big Bertha” , I  headed back towards the bridge photographing all the way.

An osprey also appeared briefly. It hovered near the bridge looking for prey and made one, unsuccessful plunge into the water before heading off. A couple of days ago, Joan and I observed an osprey exhibit  the same hovering behavior by the bridge. I guess that I’ll have to plan to spend some time  down there just to watch for ospreys!

About 11:30, I headed back to the truck and my errands.

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10 December 2010

Massachusetts Wildlife

Back in September, I entered ten images in a photo contest sponsored by Massachusetts Wildlife magazine, a quarterly publication of Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.

I had pretty much forgotten about the contest and my entry. However, I was pleasantly reminded about it when I recently received email informing me that four of my photos have been given awards!

According to the email from Peter Mirick,  the editor, there were “1,137 entries received from 183 individuals living in 149 cities and towns, some as far away as Florida and Arizona.”

No large cash prizes! Just a subscription to the magazine and a few extra copies of the  issue in which the images will be published.  However, it is nice to have ones work recognized this way.

Here are the four images that were selected:

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And here are the other entries:

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Thanks for “wandering by”.

22 June 2010

Skunked by the WHS Osprey

Filed under: Birds,Southeastern MA — Tags: — Frank @ 12:00 PM

At the edge of the parking lot at the Wareham High School (where Joan works) there is a nesting pole and osprey nest.

Joan and I spent a couple of Saturday evenings down there watching the birds early in the season (around the first of May) and I got some nice shots including this one from our first visit:

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 I also posted a few more shots, and an interesting story, from our second visit on the HDP blog.

We decided to go back again last Saturday (19 June 2010) evening as Joan had seen an osprey in the area earlier in the week.

We headed down relatively early (given that sunset was not until 8:25), had clam plates at Kool Kone on Route 6 and were in place at the WHS parking lot finishing up our ice cream by 6:15. There was a Wareham Gatemen (Cape Cod League) game beginning on the WHS diamond at 6:30 so we were entertained by the PA announcements as we waited for osprey.

And wait we did… we were there for about an hour and saw no sign of osprey… neither adults nor chicks in the nest. Either the chicks have already fledged (but I think it is too early for that) or the pair we saw nesting back in May did not produce chicks this year.

Since there was not a lot of bird action, we were able to get some “technical” shots.

Here is how one goes about getting a good angle on a nest at the top of a tall pole:

[singlepic id=106 w=300] (Photo by Joan.)

And here is the view that the camera was pointed at:

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As you can see I could have actually gotten the truck much closer to the pole (and nest) but setting up some distance back (and using the long lens) allows for a more desirable “looking across” view rather than a “looking up” view

After about an hour of watching and waiting we made the decision to go look for access to another nest we had seen from Route 25 and heard about from one of the locals,  instead of going to the baseball game. Thus we had a nice drive around many of the back roads of Wareham and Buzzards Bay and no success in locating the second site before we headed home as the sun set.

Skunked, on all fronts, by the osprey of Wareham… such is the life of a wildlife photographer!

Update: Adding insult to injury… when Joan arrived at work early Monday morning, there were two adult osprey sitting on the nest!

29 May 2010

East Head Pond

Filed under: Birds,Southeastern MA,Wildlife — Tags: , , , , , — Frank @ 12:00 PM

On Sat (22 May 2010) afternoon, we put the kayaks in the water for the first time this season… our destination was East Head Pond in Myles Standish State Forest (Carver and Plymouth, MA). We chose this spot based on its description  in the AMC Quiet Water Guide for Massachusetts. This series of guide books (that cover much of the northeast) is highly recommended. Of course, I took the camera and the long lens and we were off to see what could be found!

We were amply rewarded. Seeing, over the course of a few hours,  painted turtles, frogs and many small birds… no surprise there!  We also caught an osprey fishing… watching it dive five times (at various distances) before it came up with a fish.

We spent some quality time with a mother mallard and her brood as they made their way along the shoreline eating like mad. At one point mom and all of the ducklings stopped and stood at attention. The reason… an owl passing by along the shore at low altitude. One has to imagine that the owl had a ducking dinner in mind!

The only reason I know about the owl, is that Joan told me about it. She watched the scene unfold from twenty or so feet away. Of course, I saw the ducks reaction through the lens. But, I was sitting (with camera to eye) within a dozen feet of both the ducks and the owl and I never heard a thing… the owl went by and never made a sound.

At the very end of the day, as the light was fading, we passed though a boggy area that had a number of pitcher plants growing in it…  some of which were in bloom… not something you see every day!

Here are the day’s photos:

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