Wednesday, April 23, 2014

You lookin' at ME?

RING-BILLED GULL, LOVELACE PARK, EVANSTON, ILLINOIS, APRIL 18, 2014

Pentax K-3
Pentax 55-300 at 300mm
1/1000 sec. f9
ISO 400

One of yesterday's gulls, in a closer-in (and cropped) shot. It doesn't seem to trust me overmuch, does it?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ring-billed Gulls

RING-BILLED GULLS, LOVELACE PARK, EVANSTON, ILLINOIS, APRIL 18, 2014

Pentax K-3
Pentax 55-300 at 150mm
1/1250 sec. f9
ISO 400

No interesting new species stopped over at the Lovelace Park pond that day, so I made do with this shot of a couple of visiting gulls atop a light standard. They may be ordinary, but at least they are graceful.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Female redwing No. 2

FEMALE RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, LOVELACE PARK, EVANSTON, ILLINOIS, APRIL 18, 2014

Pentax K-3
Pentax 55-300 at 300mm
1/1250 sec. f9
ISO 800

At first I wanted to call this a female house finch, whose markings are almost identical, but the whitish "eyebrow" bespeaks a female red-winged blackbird. If I needed any more confirmation, it came from a very insistent male redwing that seemed to harass the female mercilessly. She probably enjoyed all the attention, if it is not sexist of me to say so.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Bonaparte's Gull

BONAPARTE'S GULL, LOVELACE PARK, EVANSTON, ILLINOIS, APRIL 19, 2014

Pentax K-3
Pentax 55-300 at 300mm
1/1000 f9
ISO 400

At first I thought this species, not often seen among the mallards and Canada geese that frequent the little pond in Lovelace Park, was a very similar Franklin's Gull. But the bird books show Franklin's with black legs and feet and the Bonaparte's with orange landing gear, so I'm calling this a Bonaparte's until somebody with better knowledge can set me straight.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Female red-winged blackbird

FEMALE RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN, GLENCOE, ILLINOIS, APRIL 17, 2014

Pentax K-3
Pentax 55-300 at 300mm
1/320 sec. f11
ISO 800

This weary specimen was hiding six feet away in the bushes from the ardent male that had been pursuing her in a high-speed dogfight around the Garden. Red-winged blackbirds often display what seems to be the avian world's most energetic form of courtship.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Great Blue Heron

GREAT BLUE HERON, CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN, GLENCOE, ILLINOIS, APRIL 17, 2014

Pentax K-3
Pentax 55-300 at 300mm
1/320 sec. f11
ISO 800

This visiting Great Blue was wading slowly in the shallows near the Garden's Visitor Center when it suddenly jabbed its long beak into the water and came up with a fish. The lighting was not good—the bird was backlit in high sun and the shadows harsh—but a little work in Lightroom brought out things acceptably.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Mallard in flight

MALLARD, LOVELACE PARK, EVANSTON, ILLINOIS, APRIL 16, 2014

Pentax K-5
Pentax-F* 300mm f4.5
1/3200 sec. f8
ISO 400

Even a high shutter speed of 1/3200 sec. couldn't stop the rapid wingbeats of a mallard on afterburner. It's mating season, and the three male mallards at the Lovelace Park pond frantically chased one another at high speed all afternoon. Tracking them with a long lens wasn't easy and this is about the only keeper out of some 100 shots.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

First goose of 2014

CANADA GOOSE, LOVELACE PARK, EVANSTON, ILLINOIS, APRIL 16, 2014

Pentax K-5
Pentax F* 300mm f4.5
1/320 sec. f9
ISO 400

This one came in close for his portrait.