Monday, May 7, 2012

Shooting birds..

No not as in "hunting season"!  My weapon of choice is the trusty old Canon EOS 400D.  It's Spring and Shollenberger Park, which is a bird sanctuary here in Petaluma, is teaming with birds; ducks, geese, swans, white pelicans, avocets, couts, egrets, ibises... doing well...nesting, mating, flying about.  Having encounters, fussing, posing!  And then there is the scenery that surrounds said birds; the marsh and tidal wetlands and the Petaluma River.

Along the Petaluma River

Tidal Wetlands

Reflections on waterfront property

Nice ride

Located a 1/3 of a mile from our Elk's Lodge location, or .7 mile to and from, with a 2.3 mile circular trail around the lake, makes for a perfect hour, and 3 mile walk.  I try to do this several times a week.  Lately our temps have been in the mid 70s and 80s with usually a bit of wind, and in spring, with the wildflowers blooming and the pollen flying, the beauty is often seen through teary eyes.

Along the trail

There is a large amount of pollen at this time of year

This makes focusing, especially my zoom lens, a problem.  When wearing glasses, the transitional lenses turn too dark, wearing contacts my eyes tear up in the wind, but mostly I just forget basic camera settings when faced with a beautiful bird shot and needing a quick reaction.  I complain how many of my long distance shots are blurry and Howard reminds me to set a faster speed to off-set camera shake.  It's always a learning/remembering curve!

So for the last few walks I've carried the gear and tried to capture some of the spectacular beauty of both this location, especially in the spring, but also a few of its residents.  Here are some of the less blurry offerings to share with you:

There are several resident swans

This white egret is intent on nailing an insect

The red-winged blackbirds are common but colorful

The white pelican rests among avocets and nesting geese

Taking the kids for a walk

Good luck ducks...No, they're not headless, just "fishing"!

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