Posts Tagged Wildlife

Oregon Coast 6

Here are a few more images from the Newport Aquarium.

I just had to follow the tufted puffins around and this one finally got into the water. He did a lot of swimming and some preening, but this is a nice capture with a pretty good reflection. And now you can see why they’re called tufted puffins.

As always, click for full size and proper color.

 

Tufted Puffin 3

Tufted Puffin 3

 

After watching the birds for a while we went into the watery displays. The first thing we saw was the jelly fish display. These orange critters against the blue background were hypnotic. It was something of a challenge getting an image of them without some awful reflections, but it was possible. I tried a few images of the shark tank, but they weren’t very interesting and the person in SCUBA gear cleaning the inside of the glass was fun, but moved before I could get a good portrait. Oh, well, even humans have their own agenda.

 

Jellyfish, Newport Aquarium

Jellyfish, Newport Aquarium

 

More to follow,

Bob

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Oregon Coast 5

One of the stops on the Oregon Coast Workshop was the Newbury Aquarium. I don’t mind walking through an aquarium, but it’s often hard to find a good way to do a photo there, so there’s a lot of gawking but not much photography. Well, besides fish, this aquarium had a bird exhibit. And the birds were handsome and interesting. It was easy to get a few hundred images of them as they posed, swam and paraded in front of the camera. The hard thing is to edit down to a couple of good ones. I’d never seen a puffin in my life, and never even knew there was such a thing as a tufted puffin. I soon learned the truth and fired away at some of these handsome birds. I think these are fairly nice portraits. I hope you agree.

Click on the image to see full size and with the right color.

 

This one seemed interested in what was going on, but, of course, you can’t see why it’s called a tufted puffin.

 

Tufted Puffin 1

Tufted Puffin 1

 

Here’s a nice profile shot with a good look at the tufts and a nice backlight on the bill.

 

Tufted Puffin 2

Tufted Puffin 2

 

I’ll share a little more from the aquarium Wednesday. It’s going to take a while to get through the 4000+ images I recorded in the state, so there will be a lot more as time goes on. I haven’t even gotten to the lighthouses yet!

More to follow,

Bob

 

 

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Here, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty

I got a new lens last week. I had read quite a while back about the Sigma Contemporary 150 – 600 mm lens. 600 mm is a good length for taking pictures of critters and birds that don’t necessarily want their pictures taken. And the lens looked like it would be a good choice, so I ordered one. It finally came last week. I got the first one shipped west of the Mississippi, according to the dealer. I was going to wait until the weekend to test the lens, but once I got home and read through the instructions, I thought I’d better make sure it worked. It did.

My first image was a portrait of Sparky, my furry, fat cat. I used flash on this one, and it worked out just fine, I think (click to see full size and proper color).

 

Sparky

Sparky

 

Sparky is a handsome fellow, but a rather small subject. I bought the lens in hopes of catching a little bigger wildlife. With that in mind, I went to Zoo Montana, Billings’ own small zoo. They’ve got a few cats there, too. This one seemed to be pretty photogenic and willing to give me a nice profile as well as an environmental portrait.

 

Tiger profile

Tiger profile

 

A little while later he seemed to be looking for something. I thought this got a rather nice view of his environment:

 

Tiger portrait

Tiger portrait

 

Lots of pretty kitties in town.

More to follow

Bob

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Western Wildlife

As I entered Yellowstone and went through Mammoth Village, I encountered a lot of traffic. Of course, I knew right away what was happening. The elk herd was on the move. I found a parking place and grabbed the camera with a 300 mm lens. There was a young woman in a ranger uniform nearby and between her shouted exhortations for drivers to move on and not stop in the middle of the road and to stay away from the elk, I struck up a conversation with her. It wasn’t very in-depth, but I think she appreciated the fact that I agreed to get back in the car if he moved our way, so she answered couple questions. Like, why was he wearing the laurel crown? He looked kind of like an elven prince from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and seemed to think he was quite handsome. She said she’d never seen anything like that, but that he’d been scratching the antlers in a tree and the leaves just kind of came along. He didn’t seem to mind. He was more concerned about the cars, charging one every once in a while to show he was ready to defend his harem. Here’s what he looked like:

 

Bull elk, Mammoth Village

Bull elk, Mammoth Village

 

Another kind of wildlife presents itself at Beartooth Pass. There’s a rest area about 2/3 of the way up the pass and along with a bevy of pit toilets, there’s a spectacular view for the adults and entertainment for the kids. I can’t guess how many people feed these gophers (or chipmunks or pot guts or whatever they’re called), but it must be a lot. Including yours truly. A girl, about ten or so seemed to feel sorry for me that all I had was a camera, so she came up and gave me some sunflower seeds to feed the critters with. I thanked her kindly and then, of course, fed the beasts because I didn’t want to disappoint the young lady. This one held still long enough to get a good portrait.

 

Gopher, Beartooth Pass

Gopher, Beartooth Pass

 

 

More to follow,

Bob

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A Tale of a Whale

While we were cruising around Maui looking at the humpbacks, our guide told us we were watching a female and her new calf. The calf was about as big as our boat, but it was a baby, nevertheless. For some odd reason the mother started rolling. She’d bring a flipper out of the water and slap the surface with it, then roll over and do the same with the other flipper. Nobody seemed to know why, except to show the calf how to do that.

It looked to me like she was waving or trying to get my attention for a foto. So I obliged her.

As always, click the thumbnail to enlarge and see the right colors.

 

Waving

Waving

 

A young male joined the group (at least the guides said it was a young male and started showing off a little, too. He breached a couple times, then did a deep dive.

Here’s the breach:

Breach 2

Breach 2

 

Then, as they do in the commercials, the whales went for deeper water. as they dived, they showed us their tails.

A tail of a whale

A tail of a whale

 

If I ever get stuck in Hawai’i again, I’ll probably head for Maui and the whales.

More to follow,

Bob

 

 

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A whale of a tale

Last week, when I was stuck in Hawai’i for meetings, I decided to make the best of things and go to Maui for a whale watching cruise. This is supposed to be the most active time for whales down there, and I figured as long as I was in the neighborhood, why not?

Turns out it was a good idea. We saw quite a few (by my reckoning), some far away, some close. I got a few fotos of what I take to be typical whale behavior and thought I’d share them here.

As always, click on the thumbnail to enlarge and see the right colors:

A whale of a tale:

WhaleTail

WhaleTail

 

Then, someone shouted “Breach!” I swung around and saw this:

Breach 1

Breach 1

 

Man, what a splash when he hit the water!

More to follow.

Bob

 

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Oh, deer!

I don’t shoot much wildlife, with either a camera or a gun, but when I saw the desert bighorns today, I had to give it a try. I had heard that they hang out around Capitol Reef, but had never seen one here. That changed this morning, when I slammed on the brakes and pulled over, making Nick wonder just what I was up to. Grabbed the camera and strolled toward the sheep, who strolled away from me, but I got a few shots. Here’s one that isn’t awful.

We’ve been driving through the campground area in the evenings trying to find a good place for sunset photography. Each night there would be a nice buck mule deer and a dozen or so does and fawns. I figured that if today was wildlife day, I’d photograph the deer. Drove down the campground road and not one deer was to be found. We drove through the eerily empty campground and saw nothing. On the final loop, we saw some deer. Here’s one that posed for me. I think it’s a yearling, but won’t bet on it.

There were some wild turkeys on the road yesterday, but I guess they’re hiding out in fear of tomorrow. Oh, well.

More to follow,

Bob

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Alaska Critters

It’s been forever since I’ve tried any wildlife photography, but one just can’t pass up the opportunity at Denali. I may have an alignment problem with my lens or just with my eyes, so will spend a little more time practicing with critters to figure it out. At least I got a start.

Here are a couple of Dall Sheep hanging out on a cliff. There were three others directly below the bus, but the German across from me glommed on to the window and wouldn’t move to let me get a good shot. Reminds me of me.

Dall sheep, Denali NP

Dall sheep, Denali NP

And, of course, what trip would be complete without seeing a GRIZ. Or several. We saw two groups of three, both made up of a sow with two cubs (I think they’re yearlings) and one boar. The boar didn’t get very photogenic for my small lens, so here’s a cub wondering what sort of trouble he can cause next.

Grizzly cub, Denali NP

Grizzly cub, Denali NP

More to follow,

Bob

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