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The "Super Moons" of 2012 & 2013 : On Saturday, May 5, 2012, at 11:35 p.m. EDT, the moon officially turned full. Only 25 minutes later the moon also arrived at perigee (a given orbit), its closest approach to Earth — a distance of 221,802 miles away. The effect of this coincidence was a stunning sight called the "Super Moon." The result was a 16 percent brighter-than-average full Moon. According to Wikipedia, "...The frequency of a full moon occurring at perigee is around once every 412 days. However, the occurrence of a 'perfect' supermoon, when the full moon occurs at almost the exact same time as perigee, is much rarer, at around once every 18.6 years.... Also, it is "30% bigger than any other full Moon."

Most all of the photos in this gallery were shot (hand-held) using my Sony Alpha NEX-5N camera with a 18-200mm (11X) lens. Others, where noted, were shot hand-held with my Canon PowerShot SX50 HS super zoom camera.

The "Super Moons" of 2012 & 2013

BIG-Dude-Productions

On Saturday, May 5, 2012, at 11:35 p.m. EDT, the moon officially turne ...

Updated: Jul 24, 2013 8:58pm PST

Backyard Hummers, etal.  on 100311 :

Backyard Hummers, etal. on 100311

AubreyC

Updated: Jul 16, 2013 1:29pm PST

Seabrook Overview of Photos from 120910 : There were three Ospreys diving for fish, often two at a time.  It seems that most often it was a female Osprey that was diving for fish.  Feeding terns, Brown Pelicans, White Pelicans.  There was what I would call a SWARM of White Pelicans circling overhead.  It was a day with a southeast wind and around 10 mph and that is ideal condition.  The feeding birds fly right into your camera.  Although I took a little of 800 photos, I tried to put a representative sampling of the wonderful variety of birds we saw.
 
This was an unexpectedly wonderful day and I am very thankful for it

Seabrook Overview of Photos from 120910

AubreyC

There were three Ospreys diving for fish, often two at a time. It see ...

Updated: Jul 15, 2013 5:26am PST

Anahuac Hawks etal 030713 : I went to Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge with Jay Mangum.  Our intention was to photograph birds in Shovelers Pond at the refuge. One thing that had peeked my interest was when looking at Anahuac on the Audubon Birds app. for my iPod3, there were 127 different species of birds reported the site.  On the way in though, we so many hawks and a few American Kestrels, the smallest falcon, we decided to shift our strategy and go for the raptors.  The hawks were for the most part, Red-tail Hawks with a few Northern Harriers flying around.  Ordinarily you can't get within 30 to 40 yards of an American Kestrel; however, one must have thought he was auditioning for a screen test.

Anahuac Hawks etal 030713

AubreyC

I went to Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge with Jay Mangum. Our inten ...

Updated: Jul 12, 2013 1:46pm PST

Smith Oaks Rookery - New Eyes/New Tools 062313 : Comparing post processing methods of the three years ago to today.

Taken on March 27, 2010 using the Sony A900 and the Tamron Di 200-500/4.5-6.3 @ 500/6.3
The first was post-processed using the Sony raw conversion software and Corel Paintshop Photo Pro 2X on March 27, 2010 and the last three were post-processed June 23, 2013 using software that includes Topaz plugins Clarity and Detail3.
Another difference was that I changed the color space in my DS5 Photoshop to ProPhoto RGB.  I have use that color space in Adobe Camera Raw for several years.

Smith Oaks Rookery - New Eyes/New Too...

AubreyC

Comparing post processing methods of the three years ago to today. ...

Updated: Jul 07, 2013 4:58pm PST

Venice : Images from Venice, Italy

Venice

MillerFallsPhotography

Images from Venice, Italy

Updated: Jul 05, 2013 11:03am PST

High Island Rookery plus Anahuac NWR on 052610 : I went to High Island Rookery with Jay Mangum on 052610.  Our original intent was to try to photograph some Roseate Spoonbill chicks under favorable conditions.  To our surprise, the ones we had seen on May 1st were gone and no other Roseate nests were accessible for observation.  Had a good day though, photographing two new species for me, and we ended the day at Anahuac NWR posted to another gallery.  The new species were a Wood Stork at the rookery and a Fulvous Whistling Duck at Anahuac.

The rookery at High Island managed by the Houston Audubon Society is one of those rare resources that must be treasured.  For most, those resources have not been experienced, and for most that have, it is hard to go back and review the things one saw.  Mental notes fade with time, and written notes cannot show the behaviors of the birds well enough for those that have not spent many, many hours in observation.  As a photographer of bird behaviors, I am posting these to share with my friends and all interested in the unique behaviors of these wondrous creatures.

High Island Rookery plus Anahuac NWR ...

AubreyC

I went to High Island Rookery with Jay Mangum on 052610. Our original ...

Updated: Jul 02, 2013 10:10am PST

Yellow-crowned Night Heron Chicks Fledged 062213 : It had been about five days since I had gone out in the morning to observe the two Yellow Crowned Night Heron chicks now fledged.  Just a little remaining chick fuzz and feathers remain; they have feathers sufficient for flight.  I was caught completely unawares this morning.  I was set up for single tripod shots, and all of the sudden, the alpha fledgling took off and flew to the neighbor's oak tree to my right, to the right of the nesting tree.  I then ditched my tripod and stood there waiting for him to fly back to the nesting tree.  My arms were about to fall off standing there with the camera set for flight shots and pre-focused.   Well, this time I was reward for my patience, and even thought the return from his first flight or at least the first flight about which I know, it has been recorded.  Can't be much longer till these guys are out of here.  I saw one adult fly into a very large oak in the backyard of the neighbor to the right, but it did not come to the nest.  At this time of development, it is normal for the adults to stop coming as frequently to the nest, and coax the fledglings to fly from the nest.  I watched the Bald Eagles in Baytown exhibit the same behavior.

Yellow-crowned Night Heron Chicks Fle...

AubreyC

It had been about five days since I had gone out in the morning to obs ...

Updated: Jun 25, 2013 11:47am PST

My Backyard Birds of May 2013 : Since IKE and the drought Yellow-crown Night Heron have moved into our neighborhood, Mount Vernon in Pasadena, TX.  Now after a number of years of nesting their numbers are growing.  This year a pair built a nest in the top of an oak tree across the street from our house.  I have enjoyed sitting under the shade of our oak on the side of our house watching the herons in the morning.  That is when the light is best and illuminates the nest area.  After about 10:00 AM the nest area is largely in shadow and in the afternoon it is backlit.  For the longest time I suspected the young had hatched given the behavior of the adults.  This past week we saw little tufts of feathers that would stick above the rim of the nest and almost immediately disappear again below the rim.  As of the last couple of days,  the young birds have begun to stand up in the nest and can be seen.  There are now for the first time periods when both adults are gone from the nest at the same time.  I suppose since the adults feed mainly on crawfish and crabs and given the size of the young, it must take both adults working to get enough to feed their off-spring.

My Backyard Birds of May 2013

AubreyC

Since IKE and the drought Yellow-crown Night Heron have moved into our ...

Updated: Jun 25, 2013 10:50am PST

Galveston on 053013 : Accompanied by fellow bird photographers Jay Mangum and Scott Meyer, we went in search of Reddish Egrets along Sportsman Rd. and San Luis Pass on the west end of Galveston Island.  Of course our filter wasn't extremely tight, because as always we were operating on the principles of cull not want not which is in opposition of course to "the main thang is keeping the main thang the main thang."  The Reddish Egret is scarce among the wading bird population of the United States, even more so the 'white morph' of this species. Yesterday we hit the big bonanza, the jackpot if you will.  Not only did we enjoy Reddish Egrets, we were able to see them 'shadow dancing' and we additionally photographed the white morph, thanks to the eagle of the one of the younger chaps among the group, Scott Meyer. 

It is very rare to see a Reddish Egret and be treated to its shadow dance.  To a certain extent, all herons and egrets do a little water ballet when trying to catch a fish; however, if their dance was likened to a tango, the Reddish Egret does the Argentine tango.
 A good time had by all.

Galveston on 053013

AubreyC

Accompanied by fellow bird photographers Jay Mangum and Scott Meyer, w ...

Updated: Jun 02, 2013 12:06pm PST