This past weekend, I stopped by at Tobyhanna State Park in Northeast PA. The last time I was there, I captured a shot of a Great Blue Heron looking for lunch and I thought I might see if he (or she) were still around. No heron to be seen, and the day at that point was quite overcast and the lighting flat, but as I was close to leaving the swimming beach, a bald eagle swooped in and landed at the very far edge. He began poking around at the ground and then giving the water at the shoreline — pardon me — the eagle eye. I was far away, but with the 300 mm mounted, I tried creeping closer, hoping his preoccupation might allow me a better shot. I got somewhat closer and grabbed this shot.
I was thrilled to get this shot of him on the ground; of the many eagle pictures I’ve seen, they’ve either been in flight or perched, so it was interesting to see this side of this majestic bird.
Later that same day — and much, much closer to home, I had been doing some work in the back yard when I took a short break and decided to position myself and my 300 near one of the feeders we have. With the camera on a monopod and having the luxury of doing some pre-shot focus and exposure testing, I just waited to see if I could get a capture of something a little smaller than an eagle (though I certainly wouldn’t have minded if an eagle showed up). By now, the day’s weather had turned and the feeder was bathed in a strong afternoon sunlight.
And so a quarry soon appeared — a sparrow. I was happy with this shot because of the sharpness (thanks to the pre-shot work), the eye glint and the seed he’s gripping in his beak.
Two very different birds — from the majestic to the mundane — in two very different environments with widely contrasting lighting; but a satisfying shot in both cases.