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Trip Report - Ocean City Rookery & Bald Eagles - June 13,2021
Trip Report - Ocean City Rookery & Bald Eagles - June 13,2021

Before I go out on a shoot, I'll often come up with a mental list of shots I want to get or techniques I want utilize.  Unfortunately, what often happens is once I start shooting, my list is forgotten only to get home and realize I missed the shots that I wanted to get.

When I went out to shoot this past Thursday, I was determined to 'shoot with purpose' and really focus on the shots I wanted.

My plan was to visit the Ocean City, NJ Welcome Center which has an incredible rookery of various types of Egrets and Ibis as well as some Blue Heron.  I had also recently gotten some intel on a bald eagle nest with some babies and if time permitted, I wanted to stop by there as well.

When  I went to bed Wednesday night, the weather report wasn't looking to good and I was thinking the trip would be a no go.  When I got up, I checked the weather and things looked good.  Unfortunately, I got on the road later than planned and missed the early morning light.  I got there around 8:00am and the shadows were already pretty harsh.

My plan was to photograph White Ibis, Glossy  Ibis, some of the new-born birds and to do some shots with a slow shutter speed to create a sense of motion in the wings while keeping the rest of the bird sharp.

While I was shooting, I was trying to stay disciplined and really focus on my plan.

I felt I was reasonably successful.  I got the White Ibis shot but didn't see any Glossy  Ibis.  I had recalled a nest of Black Crowned Night heron from a previous visit and saw mama with a couple babies.   Was able to get a few photos but neither Mama or the babies were being to cooperative.

I tried a bunch of slow shutter speed shots and did so-so.  I didn't have a tripod with me and these types of shots are much more challenging hand holding the camera.

I finished up there around 10:00am and since it was still early, I headed in search of the bald eagle.  My intel was spot and found the nest pretty quick.  

Mama eagle was there with three little ones that look like they are pretty close to leaving the nest.  While Mama was posing nicely, the babies were being difficult and didn't seem to want their faces photographed.  I ended up taking about 100 shots of which only a few had both mama and a baby facing the camera.

I finished the day taking a ride through the refuge.  Got a couple shots of osprey and a beautiful red wing blackbird.

For the day, I'd give the trip about an 8 on a 1-10 scale.  It really helped sticking to my plan and getting the shots I wanted.

Next time you're out with your camera, create a plan and stick to it!  I think you'll be happy with the results!

White Ibis

Baby Black Crowned Night Heron



White Heron

 

Black Crowned Night Heron

I really like the little splashes of color that the flower provide along with the blurred leaves in the background.  Pay attention to your background as well as your subject to get the perfect shot!

Bald Eagles with Baby


Red Wing Black Bird

This was the last photo I took for the day.  I saw the bird sitting on the stick but what caught my eye was the beautiful background of tall green and yellow grasses.  I was very fortunate that the bird decided to spread his wings giving me this beautiful photo.



 

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