Word and Image

Archive for November 5, 2011

Birds in Flight

These are the bird in flight images that I can recall from recent years. I keep a database. In response to Galen Leed’s excellent work/blog, I will admit that this is about all I have on the subject. The last photo is of humans, my daughter and myself, who wish we could fly. (Shhh… my daughter shouldn’t know that I posted her picture here – camera shy.) I’ll post a story about the African photos. Bear Mountain and Nyack New York are on my other blog (Imaged Event – see sidebar). My knowledge of birds is limited. We were at a surprise birthday party in Ashburnham, Massachusetts. The guests of honor have a home on the lake and a pontoon boat. At the end of the afternoon, I climbed aboard for a spin around the lake. As we rounded a small island on the lake, a heron was startled. I happened to have my camera in hand. Serendipity. I got about four frames and hoped that the exposure and focus were sufficient.

See sidebar blogroll for Imaged Event.

Gallery, slideshow, technical tips: (more…)


I could be/probably am wrong on the identification here. We came upon this guy at a watering hole. Hippos lay in and among the waterlillies while several species of bird including storks were all around. Idyllic. This heron had caught a fish. It was too large to swallow. Other birds offered assistance, which was ignored. For quite a few minutes the struggle continued until the fish was turned properly and swallowed whole.


Zanzibar, Africa. I won’t begin to tell you what species of birds are in this photo. The word ‘tern’ comes to mind. My daughter and I were walking along the beach as the tide came in behind us. These little guys flew past as I panned and shot. Later we had to backtrack through the high tide and breaking waves. The uneven surface and slippery rocks made it a bit treacherous. I couldn’t swim while holding my camera up and  free of the sea. We made it back in time for lunch.

Lilac Breasted Roller

I love the internet. A couple of clicks and – gotcha – the identity of the lilac breasted roller. At least my picture seems to match up. These little guys are all over on the Serengeti. They flit and swoop. Early one morning just before we departed to Zanzibar, our driver was rolling across the savannah. He stopped short of these birds swooping in for a landing. It was a slow morning to find any of the bigger game animals. But any subject will do when you’ve never been there before.


Tanzania, Africa. I was fortunate to be on a real life African safari (the word means ‘journey’). And so these are African flamingoes. There are different types. These would be the ‘greater flamingo’ as opposed to the ‘lesser,’ which are smaller. Did I state the obvious? Graceful in the air, they need a running start for takeoff.


My cousin Amy and I were stopped at the roadside up on Bear Mountain. She was taking some shots with her macro lens. While I waited several raptors flew overhead taking advantage of the updrafts. This one swirled overhead as I swung my camera upward. I admit the backlighting obscures the detail, but it does have a nice effect here.



Here’s something my daughter thought up. She did it at Christmas one year. When things are slow and we need to add to the memory card, I, or she, will jump. Obviously, Lisa took the picture. It was the same morning as that we came upon the lilac breasted rollers. So then, everything from the posts above just fits together.

Technical: Just jump. But my daughter first had a point and shoot Nikon that would sequence like a jittery slow motion movie. It was hilarious. Now, with the motor drive, just fire off a burst. In the playback, it’s like a herky-jerky movie. Good fun. And your, family and friends will like it also.