Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Camera worries

Well, almost a month ago, I did a silly thing by leaving my camera plugged in the usb port on the computer.  I ended up ripping out the port.  Oops.  So today I finally shipped it off to Canon to get fixed.  Hopefully it won't take long to get it back, and in the meantime, there will be no new photos.  Just a heads up for those that read.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A few good shots, but no bull elk

I went down to Boxley last weekend.  Forgot to update this until now, oops!  lol.  Just before the time of year that I go out to get my tons of eagle shots, at least attempt to, I go for tons of elk shots.  Again tempting to.  I drove down there, getting there before daylight as usual, only to find a few cow elk crossing the road...........



and a small herd of bulls at the 21/43 junction.  Nothing else at all around.  Another wasted trip for me on the elk side of things, but I did manage to get this shot of the moon.........



Also, got this shot I've been after for a LONG time of an eagle.  I had seen another shot of an eagle on the tip of this exact dead tree by Michael Dougherty, so I always kept my eye out for one on it.  Well, my patience finally paid off (the secret to ALL great shots IMO).  Here is the result.  Absolutely love it, and it takes a lot for me to impress myself.  It's probably a good thing, because it keeps me to where I'm always trying to do better.  Anyway, enough rambling, here is the eagle...........



Now on a sad note.  I crippled my 7d this last week.  I had plugged in the usb cable, and sat it down.  Well forgot about it, and started to get up, walking right through the cable, ripping out the port.  Oops.  Insurance is covering it.  Just got the check in the mail today for it.  But if this wasn't bad enough, I had done this before a few years ago with my 40d.  So sad the first time, STUPID the 2nd, lol.  It'll never ever happen again, I promise that, :)  Now I have to ship off the camera in prime eagle season.  Blah.  Better just get it over with though.  Probably ship it right after xmas.  It still works if I take out the card, and use a reader.  So that's good at least.  Everyone have a great day/night/weekend/week until I post again.  :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Been a while (see that on a lot of blogs, lol)

Well, I went out yesterday for the first time in 2 weeks.  Ended up not getting any waterfalls because I worked during the week, and didn't want to waste gas not knowing if any falls were still flowing on the weekend.  Sooooo, first destination, my favorite eagle spot.  Only seen 4 there, all too far away for pictures........blah.  So I continued on the route, but since I had other things to do afterwards, I took the short route.  I almost make it to the highway, and seen the most bald eagles I've ever seen in one spot.  They were EVERYWHERE!  They would fight over the chicken that was obviously left for them.  One would fly, and drop it in it's frantic flying to get away, another would swoop down and pick it up just as it would a fish out of the water, without landing.  Too neat!  I took a video and got this

video

I then took this shot of these two.  Way cropped, but still a neat photo.....



As I drove off, about a 1/4 mile down the road, I seen this in the tree line.  Had to stop again just to take it.  


So even though there wasn't a lot of good closeup shots for the day, I think it was a major success due to the sheer numbers of eagles I seen.  I'm lucky to live in spot with so many eagles this time of year.  Now to figure out how to get closer to them, :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Clouds.....and rain on the way

I didn't go out today because I didn't really want any blown out sky photos of the eagles.  So I just stayed home.  Plus looks like a whole lot of rain on the way. Maybe some waterfall pictures next week?  Let's hope.  Don't really have much to say other than that.  Everyone have a great day, :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

And Yet Another Slow Day

I went back to Beaver Dam today.  I first went down to Parker Bend (found out the name of it).  I get there, sit out on the sidewalk that goes out, and wait.  I am there about 30 minutes, and all of the sudden, an eagle, RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME takes off.  I'm like are you serious??  I didn't see it at all.  I can usually spot these guys 10 miles away.  Oh well, he didn't fly off far, I could see him.  I sat there another 30 minutes, hoping he would do some fishing, never did.  So I finally just left.  Sat below the dam a few minutes, then went to my favorite spot.  Seen a juvenile in the tree, snapped a few pictures, I REALLY like this first one. It's extremely sharp.




Then in another tree there was this one, not a great pic, but worthy of posting I suppose


So not too great of a day again, but I do really enjoy that first juvenile picture.  Until next time!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Another Slow Day

Started the day going to my favorite eagle spot.  Nothing close enough to get any photos of.  So I decided to go ahead and head to beaver dam to see what I could get there.  Right below the dam there was a juvenile, but too high up in the trees to get a shot.  I talked to a guy that said there were two flying up and down the river for about 30 minutes yesterday.  So I drove on down, still nothing down at the campground.  So I go back up, to what I believe is called hollow bend?  Not quite sure, but there is always a ton of people fishing there.  I get out, and this guy starts telling me that there were two eagles flying back and forth yesterday, confirmation :).  So I sat there a while, and managed to get a couple of shots of this weird creature.......



I leave after a while and head back to my favorite eagle spot.  This time, I seen a few right before I got there, and there was one right above the road in a tree.  I stop about 100 ft or so from it, and get this shot of it.....


Not too bad of a shot for clouds I suppose.  A guy stopped while I was waiting talking about how it won't be long til they show up heavy.  I agreed.   Then two other guys came down the road on mini dirtbikes.  They were pretty cool looking bikes.  They were seeing if there were any down there, because they hadn't seen any yet this year.  I told them where there were a few around the corner were.  They thanked me and went to investigate, and came back and said they seen one of them.

Seen only 7 today, but was still a fun day.  Think I'll go back to the dam in the morning after the kids head off to school.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Oh Cloudy Days........How I despise you

Thought I'd make a quick trip to the eagles this morning......against my better judgement.  I truly cannot stand a cloudy day when I'm trying to take a photo of a bald eagle.  White skies just don't cut it.  I did see 8 in one area today, but I went ahead and went home, hoping for clearing skies later today.  These are the few that I got.......

First off this hawk.  He was more curious it seemed than anything.......notice the white, blown out sky



Then we have an ok shot, sky doesn't look as white, but still, nothing in it.  I can't stand clear skies either, need a mixture, :)

Same eagle looking at me obviously.  I like it when an eagle stares right at the camera.  Have very piercing eyes.


The shot that could've, would've, didn't.  It looks ok this small, but his head must've been moving pretty good, because his tale and talons are perfectly sharp, and the head has a lot of motion blur going on.  Still a neat shot though

Looks like the weather isn't going to cooperate for me today, so I'll just try again tomorrow, hopefully.  

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Not Many Good Shots, But Most I've Seen This Season

Well, when I made it to my first spot this morning, hopes were high.  I seen about 6 bald eagles right off the bat. They were all too far away.  Sad face.  So I continuted down the route, seeing 12 more.......at least.  They seemed to be flying a lot in the distance with a ton of hawks.  I've never seen so many hawks.  I'm bad at distinguishing the different hawks, so I'll just leave it at hawks, :)  I would count, and lose count, constantly, so I kept my count on the low end.  Just guessing, i probably seen about 20 on my route, but I don't want to push it.  I went back to the first spot again, as it's my favorite, and seen 5 more.  All together today, I kept my count at 23 because I know for sure there were at least that many.  Here is one scene that I see quite often in my favorite spot, there is this one tree that they flock to, pun intended.  .......



I talked yesterday about spotting the difference between a bald eagle and a buzzard.  Here is a couple of photos I took to try to help whoever may be reading this. The first one is a buzzard, you can see the arch of the wing

And this one is of course a bald eagle.  Don't just think that you can spot them by the white on the head and tale, because juveniles do not have this feature yet.  But notice the difference in wing shape.  It's one of the easiest ways to tell them apart.


As I was waiting for a few eagles to show up, I was amazed at all the hawks.  Here is one of my favorites I took of the day......


And I heard a little bird chirping, so I turn and see this little guy.  I like how his feet are on the limb......


Now for the only decent eagle shot I got all day........2 hours looking mind you, lol...........


Far from specatcular, but it'll have to do I suppose.  Thanks for reading

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

One More Shot For The Day

I had to run back to town to get my son right at sunset.  I decided to make a quick trip by one of the eagle spots.  I got this one, although it's heavily cropped, still kinda neat, :)

Bald Eagles Are Still Few And Far Between

I haven't been feeling good the last few days. But I figured since the weather finally got better, I'd go out and try to get a few shots.  It's obvious the arrival of the eagles aren't even close to complete yet.  I only seen 19 again today.  And all but two of those were way off either flying or in trees.  A lot of people can't tell the difference between a Bald Eagle and a buzzard from a distance.  There are two ways I've found out that you can easily tell the difference.  One is the wing shape.  If they are gliding, buzzards wings are more of a straight on the front of the wing, and the wing feathers are curved from the tip to the side.  A Bald Eagle will have more of an oval shape, straight on the front and back of the wing.  Another way I have found to tell, is the way an Eagle flaps it's wings.  They are more of a constant flapper, as opposed to a buzzard that glides just about always.  Eagles will glide when they get higher up, but generally they are flying low from what I see, and they have a long, steady, heavy flap.  I'm by no means an expert in this, it's just what I look for.

When I first pulled up to the first hot spot, I seen two Balds flying together, locking talons, behind the trees of course.  They left shortly after I pulled up, but another was still flying around.  I got this shot of him.......


I had to really pull this out of the RAW file in photoshop.  But it still turned out decent.  I went the full route, only seeing the eagles in the distance, not close enough to photograph.  So I went ahead and took a picture of this guy.......


Pretty horse indeed.  On the way back, I seen a juvenile in the tree.  I parked a bit back, and thought I might be able to walk up to him.  I got almost there, when he took off, and I managed this shot.  By far the best of the day.......


So overall, not too good of a day, but not bad since I at least got three keepers.  I might go out again tomorrow, but it seems they don't like wind too much.  I used to always say they would never be out on windy days very much.  But I ate my words one day last year, when I seen well over a 100 on an extremely windy day.  So we will see how I feel before I go.  As for now, it's time to rest for me.  Until next time.......

Monday, November 7, 2011

First weekend out since the Bald Eagle return in Northwest Arkansas

Well, this weekend was the first weekend I really went out looking for Bald Eagles this year.  I had seen one on October 28th in Boxley, and then another on November 4th on my eagle route I take.  But this weekend they picked up a lot.  I seen 17 on Saturday the 5th, and 19 on sunday the 6th.  They were mostly flying around some chicken houses, too far away to get a decent shot, but I did manage to get these two.......



I'll start going out a lot more looking for these beautiful birds in the next few weeks.  Last year, I spotted over 1,000.  I would count every day, so of course, some many are the same bird, but never the same bird more than once on the same day.  Hopefully this year will be a lot more.  I'm seeing them a week early this year also, so that's a good sign for me, :)

I also got this 8 point on the road as I was driving down to the Romp Hole..........


Very bad lighting during this one, took many, one turned out ok.  It's the best buck shot I've gotten so far, so I'm happy with it.

As we were at the romp hole, my son went down to a little culvert area to mess around.  He came out, and said dad, look!  It was a small puppy.  She couldn't have been more than a 6-7 weeks old.  We went around the local houses asking if they, or if they knew of anyone, that had a dog that recently had puppies.  They didn't.  One man told me that he had heard a dog crying for about a week down at the river.  So obviously someone dumped her.  We recently had a puppy pass away, and all of us in the family took it very hard.  I had said I wouldn't get anymore dogs because of it.  But I just couldn't let this little girl fend for herself.  So we took her home. We named her Rompi after the Romp Hole where we found her.  She's a cutie.  Here is a picture of her......



On another note, be sure to check out my website at http://www.andyfavors.com.  All prints are available for purchase.  As a celebration for this first blog post, I'll give this coupon for 30% off your first purchase (not including shipping).  Use coupon code BLOG to get this discount.  Hope you enjoy my photos, and check back often!