Sunday, August 23, 2009

Belted Kingfishers, Green Herons, American Crows and Poison Ivy

Saturday morning: after a brief stop at the Chatham Lighthouse, still in a predawn fog, I drove to the Mass Audubon Wellfleet Sanctuary. The sun was just coming up over the distant dunes across the bay:

Cape Cod tidal flats

From a birding blind I got some nice photos of a female Belted Kingfisher:

female belted kingfisher

female belted kingfisher

and a couple of Green Herons:

green heron

green heron

green heron

On the tidal flats Semipalmated Sandpipers were busily running back and forth gleaning the ground for tidbits

semipalmated sandpipers

and the air was full of noise from the many scavenging American Crows.

American Crows

I left the sanctuary at about 10 AM and headed out on to Rte 6, planning to stop at another beach or so, but when I saw the free-flowing traffic heading off the Cape I joined the exodus, thinking to avoid massive traffic jams later on. There had not yet been any signs of the coming storm, but as soon as I hit the mainland, the sky opened and rain was coming down by the bucketful.

During my visit I had been very careful to keep to the paths avoiding the poison ivy that was growing in lush profusion everywhere inland. Cape Cod appears to be the original home of the Poison Ivy, a shiny shapely three-leaved plant of the greenest of green. Actually quite beautiful.

poison ivy


  1. A few weeks ago you left me a comment on the use of the fz28. I only had this camera for a few weeks now, so I would be a fool to try to give you some advises (your pictures are so much better than mine!!!), but here is a few tricks I learned from the time I was digibinning (with a simple P and S camera and my binoculars) :

    - I usually take a burst of 3 pictures (or more). That increases my chance to catch a good one. Plus the last 2 are usually less blurry because there is no vibration due to the pressure of your finger on the camera button (I don't use a tripod)

    - Did you read page 33 of the manual? It explains how to lock the autofocus on a moving object (by pressing "AF/AE lock"). This option is really the reason why I choose this camera.

    I use a lot the simple iA MODE, or the P mode.

    Hope this help a little bit. I like your blog!!!!

  2. Laurent, thanks for the tip on the camera. I have been using the camera more for scenic shots and family pics but have to give it another try, particularly the burst of 3. I did find the AE lock button, but in my haste to get the shot often forget it. Anyway I should practice on my feeder birds at home before taking it along on a casual walk. It would be so much easier to carry than the 7 lb of "serious glass" as someone called my big camera.


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