Posts tagged as:

bird prints

Happy ‘Grin

by Lanny McDowell on October 20, 2010

This is prime season for peregrines to move through Martha’s Vineyard.  One guy up at the Gay Head Cliffs at Aquinnah saw eighteen the other day, with four visible at one time.  Right place at the right time.

Sometimes the falcons  exert what seems from my vantage point like a lot of energy acquiring a meal, like chasing down a Sanderling, maneuvering one out over open water and cutting off its climb for height or an escape back to the  flock.  Recently I have been noticing, instead, some almost casual chases.  [click to continue...]

Buffed for the Season

by Lanny McDowell on August 29, 2010


Scanning the plowed fields at the Farm Institute in Katama has been de rigeur for the past couple of weeks, anyway, for the regulars, and also for the more sought-after Upland Sandpiper and Buff-breasteds.  Neither of each until yesterday, when Rob Culbert, pro ecologist and local birding guide, emailed some of the local birders that on his Saturday morning field trip rounds he had espied up to five buffies bobbing and poking their way around the field. [click to continue...]

shore bird photos up close & personal

by Lanny McDowell on June 17, 2009


Take a course in good water and air
, and in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own.  Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you.
John Muir

Especially when someone looking at bird photography sees a lot of detail in the avian subject, feathers in sharp focus or a shiny glint in the bird’s eye, he or she wonders how it is accomplished.  Often the viewer concludes, “Oh, well, the big lens!”   “What kind of glass are you using?” is the more camera-savvy question.  Guess what?  It can be the humongous and fast prime lens on the oversized gimbled tripod … on a bright sunny day … bird posed at the edge of the nest … shot from the sturdy platform of the observation tower in the well-managed nature sanctuary.  Nothing wrong with that.  Do whatcha gotta do, I say.

Here’s what I go for, though.  What I seek out and what rings my avian art bell is:   first of all, it almost does not matter what the species is;  [click to continue...]

All three of us had pretty much given up on getting to the Jersey shore during spring migration this year. It looked like our non-profit, Global Conservation Alliance, was going to be a blowout for 2009, which , if that did not concern Red Knots and other declining stocks of migrant shorebirds, might not be such a big deal in itself; but wasting a year would have been a real shame in this case.

In order to have a chance of carrying out work on the beaches of Delaware Bay that might result in healthier (and heavier) Red Knots leaving on the last northern leg of their annual journey up to the Arctic, certain scientific requirements need to be met.  If anyone wants to access the restricted beaches where the birds feed, or if anyone wants to physically disturb the surface of those beaches, they have to apply for and receive permits from the state powers that be to do that work.  You can’t just show up and start digging up the sand.

Norm Famous, one of our number who is a wetlands ecologist by profession, put together GCA’s application to New Jersey Fish & Wildlife to conduct two experiments [click to continue...]