Saturday, December 16, 2017

December 15, 2017 . Falcon 9 CRS-13 launch

While not a great day, in terms of photo productivity, I've made a check list to make sure I don't make the same mistakes again.






The SpaceX Video of launch and recovery (totally awesome)



Showing stage separation with earth in the background



And the Russian coverage 



Monday, December 11, 2017

December 11, 2017: Watching behavior around the "heron tree"

This morning -  they left for feeding - so photos of takeoff and landing and catching fish
Here is the "Great Blue Heron Tree" :  a pine tree with at least 2 nests and perhaps 4.  Two moms here: one on the left and one to the right mostly hidden by pine needles



Two of the nests


Mom (1) departs to meet dad for breakfast


Mom(2) caught a small fish


Mom (2) (Great blue heron) with breakfast (a small fish)


Mom (2) flying over the lake (fortunately close to me)


Mom (2) fishing


Great blue heron plunging her head / beak to catch a fish


Great blue heron (mom (2)) withdrawing her head, hopefully with breakfast


Sure enough, a small fish in her beak


A closer view of great blue heron with fish for breakfast
 

Carefully carrying breakfast to the pond bank
 

Another view of mom (2), Great Blue Heron, with her breakfast


Now flying 101 -  Takeoff (lunging forward)


Leaving a trail of water droplets


Gaining altitude trailed by water drops


Flying over the pond


Reflections of flying over the pond


Great blue heron, landing . (gear down)


Flaps down to stop her forward progress

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

December 5, 2017, Great Blue Herons: Home Construction

After courtship, serious construction starts.  Usually the male flies away into the forest, usually looking for a suitable pine tree, somehow tears a small limb and returns to the nest.



Flying into the building supply depot


Returning with a small twig



Interior Cleanup -  Harvesting small nearby pine branches


Showing off

December 4, 2017: Great Blue Heron: Courtship

Its December, early as I remember, for the mating game to start.  By chance, I noticed a tree filled with Great Blue Herons sort of squawking at each other and prancing around.   I went to last year's tree and there were 3 Great Blue Herons, standing at attention and waiting (I suppose for a partner).  These observations triggered a new series about mating behavior of great blue herons.  This starts a series about Great Blue Heron mating, nest building and raising kids.



Colony of Great Blue Herons


I call this kissing.  They touch beaks and close them rapidly that makes a very loud snapping sound.


The pulmage is erectile.  The male (right) is being poked by the female (below left) 


Male from a nearby nest flies away


Flying into the forest


The male and female engage in what seems to be kissing


An intruder (left).  The female rears back while the male (right) watches


The female lunges at the intruder, who displays all his makeup


Onlookers watch this back and forth


The female is back to kissing her boyfriend


There is a disturbance below and the male looks down


And flies away


I think this is the female returning



Always on the alert.  Here a red shouldered hawk flies over the colony


In another tree, a heron seems to be the lookout


There is a changing of the guard - with the old guard departing (right) and the new guard arriving (left)


New Guard


Displaying plummage


Returning with building material




Flying off "in search of ..."


An intruder approaches the couple - and so the story repeats




Sunday, November 19, 2017

November 18, 2017: Birds in flight

I'm trying to figure out ways to capture well focused images of birds in flight.  Here are some results (a few not in flight):