Friday, July 26, 2013


The critters on the river were all, to the one, staying in the shadows and shade of the heavy foliage making photography almost impossible.  Everything was in the dark.  This caused me to set exceptionally low shutter speeds on the camera and eliminated the ability to stop motion.  I missed some of the best eagle photos I could have ever taken in my life over lack of proper light.  I wish I could afford a faster lens.  That's the only answer. 
No, Shade couldn't go today.  It was too hot for her.  I could see all three of them sitting, lined up at the window watching me pull away from the house. 
These two ducks are always together when I get to Beech Creek.  They are buddies and it seems inseparable. They are very much alike and at the same time unalike, yet they are tight friends.  Humans could learn something from them.
This was going to be a slow day as there weren't any trucks in the parking lot.  No trucks equals no fishermen.  But, the morning was anything but boring.
I usually turn upstream on the Holston River, but decided to go downstream first today.  I thought possibly there might be an angler or two fishing from the shore down by the steam plant.  There wasn't.  There was, however, a young eagle out on his favorite old snag of a tree.
I continued downstream because he was too far away to get any good shots of him.
I turned the boat around at the steam plant and returned along the same shoreline already traveled due to the narrow width of the river and the deeper water.

I was suddenly shocked at what I saw.  The second sibling immature bald eagle had come down off the mountain and landed on a log that was almost directly in front of where the boat would pass by.

 The shutter speeds were painfully slow.  1/40th was the slowest and 1/100th of a second the fastest.  That won't get it done.  It's all I had to work with.

This had to be the immature female as she is the larger of the two siblings. She was hunting alone.  Dad was high in the trees tucked back in the foliage.  He has long since stopped delivering food to his kids.  They were hunting on their own.
The eagle flew across the lake and I continued on.  I picked up a black crowned night heron in the binoculars and decided to try to get a picture or two even though he was back under the darkness of trees growing out from the shoreline.  Terrible conditions to get pictures in.

And below is another of one of my famous black crown heron defecation pictures.  This one is perfection.  There's no doubt I'll be considered for a Nobel prize for this rare, one of a kind shot.  National Geographic will probably be calling also.  They'll no doubt want to put the shot on the cover of their national magazine.  It's not easy getting these defecation shots, you know.

 He was picking up little round seeds floating on the surface.  At least I think they were seeds.  No, wait - I bet they were the little bugs that scurry about on the surface of the water.  He has one in his mouth in the above shot.

I have shots of a night heron that shows the long white plumage that hangs down the center of the back from his head.  It will be coming up soon.  These are beautiful birds and they have a very healthy population up here on the Holston River.  For those of you who don't know about these black crowns - they are a wading bird - a heron.
 I'll look up the identification of these dragon flies, but not at the moment.  Check back tomorrow if you're interested in their names.  I just like em.
Below is a tiny bird that I can't identify.  I'll eventually find out and post his name also.  The little fellow looks like he was on the losing end of a fight.  Scrufty little guy.
7-27-13 5PM..I just found out what this little bird is.  He is an eastern phoebe.

 I'll eventually get him figured out.  He has a flycatcher tail.

A second black crowned night heron showed himself.  He was in better light - not the best, but better.

 This is an adult heron, by the way.  The immatures have a brown/blond plumage.

This heron is after minnows or crayfish.

Getting bored yet?  Hang in there.  Some pretty fair bald eagle shots follow.
Look at the long, hanging string of plumage on the back of this birds neck.  It appears to be a light colored piece of string.  I have no idea what evolution had in mind for that.

The immature bald eagle returned to the logs on the water.  How absolutely beautiful!

It's obvious that these eagles are born to be royalty.

 These slow shutter speeds are killing me. Useless on action shots.  Darned!  I don't know why I posted them.

By the way - this great, young eagle is just under 4 months old.

As I said in a previous entry - a good quality, fast (ability to gather light) lens costs about $6000.  Whew!  The 500 millimeter lens I have costs $1000.  That's about all I'm good for.  I constantly check the internet for a good used lens for sale, but haven't run into one yet.
Well, I hope you didn't get too bored looking at all the eagle and heron shots.  It's what I like and I hope you like them also.  Tomorrow's another day.  We'll see what happens.