Monday, February 15, 2010

Bald Eagle Hunting

After the trip I took with my Dad to see the launch of STS-130 Space Shuttle Endeavour, I still had some time left on my lens rental.  I had heard and seen photos of a bald eagle’s nest in Baytown, Texas so I decided to go hunting, photo hunting that is.  For this particular safari I’m using a Canon 300D with a 500mm F/4L and a 1.4 tele-converter.  Here’s me and the gear.

I got a little turned around in Baytown so it took me about an hour to find the nest on the first day.

Here's a little fellow that I found near the nest.

I stayed for about an hour and a half until it started raining and sleeting.  Facing a drive through downtown Houston in the evening traffic, I decided not to wait any longer thinking that I would just come back the next day or on the following weekend.  Well the weather didn’t cooperate the next day either and Friday and Saturday I spent time with my nieces.  That left me with Sunday.  Sunday morning I got up early hoping to catch them both at the nest first thing in the morning.  Evidently I was not early enough.  When I got back to the nest, a lady that was already there told me the male eagle had flown off ten minutes prior.  Darn!  I waited as long as I could but again no luck. 

That evening, while take a scenic drive with my parents, Dad suggested that we go by the nest one more time.  I had all the gear with us so I said “Why not?”   My timing was off that day because just as we got there the Momma eagle started moving around the nest.  Even though I wasn’t ready, I fired off a few shots.  My position was off and I was shooting though brush and trees.

If you look closely you can see a wing and the top of her head at the center of the nest.  Near sundown I got this next one.  The lighting would have made this a perfect shot if one or both of the eagles would have shown up.

The sun has gone down further and the lighting is getting poor.  I have taken of the tele-converter to get another F-stop because of the low light.  I’m ready to go.  It’s getting too dark to shoot.  I take other round and pack everything up thinking that Sunday evening was another strike-out.  I didn’t look at the photos for that evening until the next day.  To my surprise in the last set of photo I took, I found an a photo of Momma taking a look around.  It’s not the best of photos but I didn’t go home empty handed either.

Here's a cropped version.

Click here for a map of the location where I took the photos from.

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