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Showing posts with label hoover dam. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hoover dam. Show all posts

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Wonderful Waterfowl

The valley of Big Walnut Creek, just downstream from Hoover Dam and Reservoir, part of the Big Walnut Audubon Ohio Important Bird area.

In the pool below the dam is one my favorite spots to photograph birds, and last Saturday this area did not dissapoint. The reservoir was frozen, so the the pool below the dam was full of waterfowl.

Common Goldeneye

Hooded Merganser with Fish

Ruddy Duck

Northern Shoveler

Gadwall

Mallard


American Wigeon, Male above, female below


If you haven't discovered how interesting waterfowl can be, the Hoover reservoir is a great place to start. During migration, thousands of ducks raft on the open waters. And in the winter, when much of the reservoir is frozen, just below the dam is a great place for close encounters with our quacky friends.

Tom

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Raucous Ringbills







I froze my parts off photographing these ring-billed gulls today at Hoover reservoir while Megan and Weston ate snacks in the heated car. Why do I spend time photographing common birds? Well, they're great practice for photographing rare birds, plus, they're an extra special challenge. It isn't difficult to photograph ring billed gulls-just head to your nearest large parking lot. It is more of a challenge to get photos of them that are interesting- something that not only shows the birds, but also their behavior, and let's you in on little slices of their lives.

Tom

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Capturing Motion



The theme of this post is capturing motion. Two things that have really gotten me into this type of photography- #1 My digital SLR and #2 My photography class that I'm taking right now at Columbus State. I had completely ignored moving subjects until I took this class!

Now, I'm not perfect, and my hardware certainly has some limitations, but I certainly enjoyed capturing movement at Hoover Dam and Blendon Woods Metropark this past Sunday.

When I went to Blendon, there were two serious wildlife "shooters" there. Of cameras, not of guns. They each had bigger lenses than I, so I had a we bit of lens envy shall we say? Well that all ended this evening when I picked up my rental lens for Florida. More specifically, the Canon 400 mm 5.6L. I'll be shooting this with my Rebel XTI, and I can't wait to get pictures with this lens. Florida, here I come. That being said, Megan and I are wicked busy getting ready for this trip. And to make things really complicated, Megan is driving to N.E. Ohio for an interview on Friday, and either coming back Friday night or very early Saturday morning. Throw in Jym Ganahl's prediction of a "possible" six inches of snow Friday night/Saturday morning, and our 11:00 a.m. flight, we are just a we bit busy trying to get everything ready! But it will most certainly be worth it! For now, I hope you enjoy these cold images of Ohio. Here we have a ring billed gull, Canada geese, Scaup (I hope you enjoy this montage), a pair of redheads, and finally, a black duck.



















P.S. Today at my monthly Goodwill browsing session during my lunch break, I picked up a $100.00 Canon scanner that does film and slides, in the box, wrapped in plastic, with the AC adapter and USB 2.0 cord for a whopping $9.99 plus tax. I plugged it in and the lamp comes on, now I'm downloading the drivers and we'll give it a whirl!(I should be packing!).

Tom

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Friday, February 22, 2008

The Fourth Aythya

 


Jim McCormac has great pictures of three Aythya species right next to each other- the ring-necked duck, the greater scaup, and the lesser scaup. This past Martin Luther King Day, I had the fortune to photograph a fourth Aythya species, the redhead (Aythya americana), at Hoover Reservoir.

I really enjoy watching waterfowl during the fall, winter, and spring here in Ohio. It was not until I came to Columbus did I realize that waves of really cool looking ducks make their way through Ohio. I'll never forget the first time I spotted a group of Canvasbacks (the fifth Aythya) on the Cuyahoga River near my home town of Munroe Falls. I was used to the dabbling behavior of mallards, but the canvasbacks dive straight down into the cold water in search of food. They are quite brave.

If you look carefully and click on the picture above to reveal the full image, you will be able to separate the males from the females in this flock. The boys do have red heads, and also have blue bills. The girls are more drab, but interesting none the less. Another name for the redhead is "bluebill". These fascinating creatures are welcome guests here in Ohio. Be sure to check out a large pond or reservoir near you to see winter visitors. And before you head out, take a look at the Ohio Birds ListServ to see where waterfowl are rafting near you.

Have a great weekend!

Tom
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Friday, February 01, 2008

Waterfowl Friday



A pair of mallards flapping across Hoover Reservoir, near Columbus, Ohio.

Tom

Thursday, January 31, 2008

More from Hoover Dam





The one in Ohio, not Arizona and Nevada!

Tom


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

And I thought 6 Billion Gallons was a Ton of Water...

Last weekend, I shared pictures from a quick stop by the O'shaughnessy dam and reservoir on the northwest edge of the Columbus metro area. Two days later, I visited another one of this great city's water sources, Hoover Reservoir, which stores over 20 billion gallons. That is the number two and ten zeros-20,000,000,000! Hoover is also a well birded site--in fact, it is part of the Big Walnut Important Bird Area, designated by Audubon Ohio as such.

So last Monday when I had the day off thanks to Martin Luther King, I decided to head over to the Hoover dam to see what was to be seen. To my surprise, plenty of interesting things were going on this cold, windy, and clear January day.

I started out by driving Megan's yellow Volvo wagon down the narrow asphalt access road to the bottom of the dam and parked the car in the empty lot. There were reports on the Ohio Birds e-mail list of mallards and a hooded merganser frequenting an open area just below the dam.



Sure enough, there they were. Plenty of mallards, and a pair of hooded mergansers. The male hooded has a bright white hood and can be seen in the upper left, in the water.


I also enjoyed watching the relatively common ring-billed gulls circle the artificial canyon created by the dam.







I was able to practice my panning technique on these gulls. I must say, I wasn't expecting much from these photos, but I was pleasantly surprised when I downloaded them onto my computer. I was really fortunate to have such pleasing light.

And since blogger is giving me fits right now, I'm going to save part two, the waterfowl of Hoover Dam, for tomorrow.

Tom