Watching Canada Geese come and go on water is a photographic challenge because they do it more quickly than the other two birds pictured — Skimmer gull (ABOVE) and, especially, the White Egret (second picture BELOW).
The Skimmer sort of glides (skims) along as he scoops his beak down to snag a fish, then sprouts his wings to get up in the air with his prey. The fellow pictured here missed the fish he spotted and left to search elsewhere.
The White Egret is a very patient fishing machine. He will stand in one spot for many minutes at a time before he hops up and floats to another location a short distance away. He’s an easy photo op once his habits are learned.
Canada Geese do everything seemingly frantically as they approach, or leave the water, so their quick movements are hard to follow with amateur photography equipment.
These photos were all taken at the Maumee River near the bridge in Napoleon, Ohio.
An accommodating friend transported me to Eagle Country at Grand Rapids, Ohio, last month. GR Eagles have nested and frequented the little quaint village along the Maumee River and former site of a portion of the Maumee and Erie Canal consistently for years.
One resident (ABOVE and BELOW) obligingly landed on the bare branches of an island tree close enough for my tiny lenses to photograph. I snapped a number of pictures from quite a distance, as he never did incline himself to soar off, and he was still roosted when we had to leave.
As luck would have it, a Red-bellied Woodpecker (BELOW) also stopped to stare on the old canal trail, and held on long enough for me to snap a shot.
This stubby little fellow seems to be seeking companionship. He usually travels in a flock!
I didn’t know exactly what type of bird he is and couldn’t find him in my bird book until a friend suggested he was an American Coot. And that he is! American Coots are more of a Southern bunch, so seeing this single fellow standing alone near the bridge in the Maumee River at Napoleon, Ohio, was quite the rarity.
Though stubby, this specimen can dive under water as far as 10 to 25 feet to find food, mostly seeds, roots, and leaves, as well as small fish.
A Great White Egret fishes along the shore of the Maumee River. Possessing an extensively long neck, he can secure his catch well underwater, then brings his prize to the surface and quickly swallows it whole.
Gulls come in flocks and singles around the bend in the Maumee River to the direct East of our apartment building. Such was the case this morning.
I’m on an endless quest to get close-up flying photos of these beautiful white, long-winged birds. They appear to be Herring Gulls, which, according to and as pictured in my “Smithsonian Birds of North America” (2001), are very prevalent in our Ohio area near the Great Lakes.
It’s also interesting to catch these birds cruising along the tree-lined riverbank.
It’s easy to see the gulls coming down river crossing the East bend along Winter’s bare tree-line in long swoops that bring them closer to the South side, or in tighter angles that take them along the North edge of the water.
Wingspans of these gulls can be nearly five feet, and their pure whiteness is highlighted by black wingtips.
This morning, against a cold, blue Winter sky (brrr… ! ), they photographed quite well with my Canon Powershot ELPH 135:
The fun is catching their wings in different stages of flap and float and soar.
Any way you look at it, these gulls are like low- and high-flying aircraft. And sometimes they depart from their plane-like behavior to dip low enough to the ground to inspect prospects for lunch.