Saturday, February 26, 2011

Camera Critters: Winter Birds

For today's Camera Critters, we feature two species that are very common in this area.  I take most of my bird photos while waiting for larger species of wildlife to appear, and have learned that it is quite productive to maintain natural bird feeders to attract birds within camera range.

These were taken with the Canon 7D and 300mmF2.8 with 1.4 extender and were from the same session that produced the Mourning Dove photos for last week's Camera Critters.

White-breasted Nuthatch

Black-capped Chickadee
The feeder is a partially- hollow log, which is secured in an upright position with metal straps and lag bolts.  The log is closed off a few inches below the holes, which makes a cavity to contain the seed.  The birds flit in an out of the openings to feed.

For more Camera Critters photographs, Click Here!

Originally posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Winter Trip To Pennsylvania Elk Country

My brother Coy and I of Country Captures traveled to Pennsylvania Elk Country for a one day photo shoot on Friday February 18th. There was still significant snow cover when we arrived, but the weather turned much warmer as the day progressed and the snow melted as quickly as I have ever seen.

George B. Stevenson Dam
Bennetts Branch of the Sinnemahoning was high and discolored, and the ice had already broken up.  One could find ice jams at spots along the river and sometimes one of the jams would break loose and a flow down the river, making for interesting photographs.

Ice Flowing Down-River Near Benezette River Bridge
When we arrived most areas were still snow covered and the Gilbert Viewing Area had more snow cover than is shown in the first photo of the  post of February 15, 2011.  This had changed significantly by the end of the day and the ground was almost bare. 

Gilbert Viewing Area-Almost Bare By Late Afternoon

It was a strictly average trip from the standpoint of elk photography.  Herds of cows were scattered along Route 555, and we did see a few bulls around Elk Lick Campground, but they were not in a favorable location for photography and we did not stop.

Cow Along 555
A young bull and several cows were in Benezette most of the day, and we paused to photograph them out of the window in the late afternoon.  By this time many of the lawns in Benezette were bare.

Herd In Lawn In Benezette
We encountered a bachelor group of three bulls at a feeder along Winslow Hill Road.  The first is the largest we saw on the trip.

6x8 Along Winslow Hill Road
6x6 At Feeder
On a disturbing note, we found that the sign at the gate to the Elk Country Visitor Center was damaged by someone firing rounds from what appeared to be a handgun into it.  Visit Country Captures to see photographs of the damage  and other photographs from the trip.

Originally posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill