My friend John and I headed up to Oak Hammock Marsh in the last weekend in August to try and capture some of the shorebirds migrting through. Oak Hammock is one of my favourite places to shoot birds (you'll find a few other posts from the same place on this forum). We had a challenging time with shorebirds on account of the low, low water levels - all our favourite shooting spots (including all the Marsh's blinds) were sitting high and dry - some a 1/4 mile from the nearest water (over what had become a crust of baked mud covering nasty, sticky, wet boot-stealing mud!). We did find a few other subjects though...
Here's a few of my favourite shots from the weekend:
1. Short-eared Owl - John and I were lucky enough to see multiple Short-eared Owls (at least a dozen within minutes of sunset on Saturday night alone) out hunting in the "Tall Grass Prarie" fields of the Marsh, often in groups (we had one group of 5 owls hunting together). My experience has been that the latter half of August is the best time to shoot owls there - the newly fledged birds are out in force and extremely curious - rather than hide in the car, it is often best to step out into the open - they will often fly right up to you just to check you out!
2. Rainbow Background Canada Goose. This shot was all about the background! The red is colour is coming from small flowering plants on the surface of the water (same stuff seen in the Yellowlegs shot below), the blue is from the sky, the green from distant trees behind the creek and the yellow from the stalks of the reeds lining the creek - I love the total effect.
3. Yellowheaded Blackbird
4. This is a stick up! A Lesser Yellowlegs in the shallows.
5. An early morning juvenile Northern Harrier fly-by
6. Common Yellowthroat (female) - there were lots of little warbler flitting around in the groves of trees arond the Interpretive Centre at the marsh
7. Water-level view of an American Coot
8. An American White Pelican takes flight: