Monday, December 28, 2009

Greetings From Big Sky

After an Epic drive from the cities to Big Sky we finally made it here. I didn't bring my DSLR skiing, but I did take the time and create a pano of the Gallatin Mtn. Range with my iPhone.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Big Sky, Montana

I am heading to Big Sky,MT the day after Christmas for the second year in a row. This time I plan on allowing more time for photography. I had a couple of really good photo ops last year. The photo above photo was from the driveway of the cabin we were staying at. Last year, we saw elk, big horn sheep, and moose near the cabin. I will keep everyone posted as much as I can while I'm gone! Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Warm Weather

It didn't even cross my mind that the "mild" weather over that last 4 days would melt the river ice. When I say mild its been in the 20's for that time period.

I was at BDR today around 7:30am looking at the spillway near the 35w bridge, and surprisingly there wasn't any ice. So, I headed further down the road to find the eagles. Near the Black Dog Power Plant is another area where there is open water even during the coldest weather. Again no eagles. So back in the car I go. I was thinking maybe they were all down near the Cedar bridge (where Chad and I have had the most luck). Well, about half way between the power plant and the Cedar bridge I found the eagles! However, I had a new problem. I wasn't able to get any shots due to the eagles (17 of them) were flying all over the place and it was difficult to predict were they would fish at. Another day as a wildlife photographer!

Image is from the frigid weather last week!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Eagles Through the Fog

It sounds cool, and could even make a nice photo, but when I take a photo of an eagle through the fog, it typically looks like I just forgot to clean my lens.

Derek and I got to the river yesterday morning before sunrise hoping to catch the eagles in another active and hungry mood. But instead, we found thick fog in the river valley. The fog was so thick at one point that we couldn't see across the river.

The other problem we ran into was that the ice of the river had melted a bit and the river opened up quite a bit. This meant the eagles could do some fishing down river from us if they prefered, which they did.

We ended up getting a couple of shots and now I'm back to work for a few days but hopefully I'll be able to get back down there soon. Just another day as a wildlife photographer

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Lot of Subjects

This is a great time of year for wildlife photography. The problem is there are so many subjects to shoot. The white tail deer bucks are in rut, ducks are migrating through and eagles are headed down the big river, there are northern hawk owls, snowy owls and great gray owls up north. Not only that, but recently I saw a kingfisher land on the same tree branch a couple of days in a row. So what should I photograph?

The eagles were not cooperating today, they must have been full from their feeding frenzy from yesterday. So I thought I would sit in front of that tree branch where I had seen the kingfisher previously. Well the kingfisher didn't show either...

So I tried my local duck pond where I found HUNDREDS of ducks and geese. Most of the ducks were mallards, which I have thousands of photos of, but I did see a pair of hooded mergansers. They were pretty far away but it was nice to see them.

Then as I was walking back to my truck I saw this red tailed hawk sitting on a nearby tree branch. I would be celebrating right now if it weren't for all of the little twigs cluttering the photo. But I was still happy with the encounter.

In the end I'll probably head back to the river tomorrow to see if the eagles will cooperate. But maybe I'll check for the kingfisher too, oh and maybe see if the hawk is on a better perch...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

An Active Morning Indeed

There isn't much more I can add about today that Chad hasn't already said. Although I missed the morning rush that Chad witnessed. I did get a text from as I was arriving that said "YOU NEED TO BE HERE!" As I got out of the car there were two eagles fishing right in front of Chad! Anyway, a little later in the morning I got two of my best eagle shots as well.

Remember to click the image to view it larger!

An Active Morning

The temperature was in the teens today, but it was much more bearable. But the best thing was the activity of the eagles this morning. I was at least a couple minutes late getting to the river today because I could see 3-4 catching fish at my spot on the river. I got out of my car (without my hat) and grabbed my camera as fast I could and got shooting. It was rapid fire for the first hour or so and I got some of my best eagle shots EVER.

I counted 10 eagles at the river today, but there may have been more. I wonder if their activity level had anything to do with it being a warmer day after a real cold spell. At any rate I'll have another update tomorrow.

See our recent photos HERE

Or check out my eagle shots in my Birds of Prey Gallery HERE

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sub Zero Eagles

Temperature: -5
Wind: 5-10 mph
Wind Chill: -15 to -20

The weather didn't stop us. The eagles were in the trees and flying over the river, we didn't want to miss it. Good thing too because Derek and I ended up with some pretty good shots.

In total, we stood outside watching and photographing the eagles for about four hours. The funny thing is I got the image above within the first 10 minutes I was there.

Below freezing temperatures can be very hard to deal with, but the truth is that wearing proper gear makes it easy. I wore five layers over my body and legs and two layers over my face and head. I did discover that my gloves and boots are not sufficient for this cold of weather. But that won't stop me, I'll be back out there tomorrow and I will report the details here.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bird Drip Video

Here is another taste of videos to come. We are still playing with it a bit and waiting to get some more footage. But here is a peek at a bird drip set up we did about a month ago. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

T'is the season

T'is the season to be jolly! Why you might ask? Simple, the Minnesota River is frozen over. Meaning it's time to photograph bald eagles! The two spillways along Black Dog Road (BDR) in Burnsville remain open during the winter months allowing eagles to feed along their migration route. Chad and I took our first trip down to BDR this year and counted 8 eagles. While the eagle weren't being photogenic the gulls were. Look for more updates our the next few weeks.

Click the image to view it larger.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

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