Friday, September 18, 2015

Unexpected photo finds

Every now and then while reviewing photos I will find something that I did not see in the field. This doesn't happen often, which is why I was surprised when I saw things in my photos that I missed in the field on consecutive days this week.

I spent a few hours on 9/14 at Lighthouse Point in New Haven to enjoy some hawk migration. I always keep my camera on my shoulder or at my side in case something interesting flies by or if a hawk makes a close pass. On this day there were many Merlins zipping around, one of which made a pass fairly low over our heads. I reached straight for the camera and fired off a few shots. It was easy to see, after the fact, that the Merlin was carrying a snack in the form of a small bird. Blown up, it looks to me like it's probably a hummingbird. I sent the photos to a few friends for their thoughts. One or two folks suggested that it might be something larger than a hummingbird, though I am not sure. Barn Swallow was suggested by someone who was thinking it may be something larger. Thoughts?





The following morning found me at Bluff Point in Groton, CT with a few friends observing a rather lackluster morning flight (~175 total warblers only). This is a difficult place to watch morning flight because you are planted right in front of the "hot corner" where the birds fly out. They are almost immediately over your head before flying away. (Note: there are other places to stand at this location, which I actually prefer to the place we were standing on this day. I'll save that for another post). You can't watch a bird coming in, think it looks interesting, and have enough time to effectively photograph the bird. Instead, you almost have to decide on binoculars or camera immediately. I knew that I fired off a few shots on some birds in flight without "chimping" them (AKA viewing the image on your LCD to identify the bird) because I was distracted by another bird. So when I got home to review images, I knew there was the possibility of a surprise or two. I was pleased to find two photos of a CONNECTICUT WARBLER, though annoyed that I didn't appreciate the bird in the field.


Connecticut Warbler in flight from below. Note the faint hood, long body, short tail, and long paddle-shaped wings

 - NB

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