Sunday, February 9, 2014

Eagle (and Duck) Festival

 [Coming in for a landing, this Bufflehead was at the Maple Avenue Impoundments in Dividing Creek, NJ during Saturday's Eagle Festival. My camera was not set for a flight shot (I was trying to photograph the goldeneye below at the time this Bufflehead dropped in) so I wound up with some motion blur, which I think actually has a nice effect on this photo.]

Yesterday was the Cumberland County, NJ Eagle Festival, always a fun event. I was there as a participant this year, not as a leader, and it gave me a chance to enjoy again the sight of casually interested or curious observers being blown away by scope views of Bald Eagles, often adults, often at nests.

In talking to Kathy Clark, the NJ Bald Eagle biologist, I learned that eagles are running a little late this year when it comes to egg laying.  Other than a few early layers in January, February is at the top of the bell curve for laying, and currently few pairs of eagles are on eggs.  A product of the cold and snowy winter, I suppose.

It turns out that though we enjoyed views of many eagles and other raptors like harriers and Red-tailed Hawks, I didn't photograph any of them.  All were a bit too far for me and my 300mm lens (with a 1.4 converter).  I've developed quite a collection of images where the bird is small in the frame and have begun being more selective.  There's only so much that cropping can do. So instead I focused on the ducks. It's been a great couple weeks for them, with icy conditions moving them and concentrating them, sometimes where they can be photographed at close range.

[Hen Common Goldeneye at the Maple Ave. Impoundments yesterday.]

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