3 Days of South Texas Photography

For a couple of weeks now, I’ve been right here in south Texas photographing on ranches, at the beach, and up river near Falcon Lake at Salineno.  The photography has been as good as the weather… great shooting!

To view the photos in a larger, sharper format, click on the  upper, righthand area of the first photo.  That will open the  “next” sign and allow you to click through all the photos as a slide show.

Tricolored Heron grabbing a fish in the Laguna Madre shallows.

Tricolored Heron grabbing a fish in the Laguna Madre shallows.

ISO 400, 1/3200 second @ f 5.6; Canon 7D, Canon 500 mm IS lens with 1.4X teleconverter.
Roseate Spoonbill landing in the Laguna Madre.

Roseate Spoonbill landing in the Laguna Madre.

ISO 400, 1/4000 second @ f 5.6; Canon 7D, Canon 500 mm IS lens with 1.4X teleconverter.
 
 
Drake redhead landing on a calm Laguna Madre.

Drake redhead landing on a calm Laguna Madre.

ISO 400, 1/4000 second @ f  8; Canon 7D, Canon 500 mm IS lens with 1.4X teleconverter.

 
Redhead landing gear down with an American Wigeon on the Laguna Madre.
Redhead landing gear down with an American Wigeon on the Laguna Madre.
ISO 400, 1/4000 second @ f 8; Canon 7D, Canon 500 mm IS lens with 1.4X teleconverter.
 
Gulls robbing fish from common merganser.

Gulls robbing fish from common merganser.

ISO 400, 1/2500 second @ f 7.1, Canon 7D, Canon 500 mm IS lens with 1.4X teleconverter.

 
 

 

 

Common Merganser hens fishing in the Laguna Madre shallows.
Common Merganser hens fishing in the Laguna Madre shallows.

ISO 800, 1/6400 second @ f 7.1, Canon 7D, Canon 500 mm IS lens with 1.4X teleconverter.

 

 

 

Juvenile Brown Pelican playing with a fish tail.

Juvenile Brown Pelican playing with a fish tail.

ISO 400, 1/2500 second @ f 7.1; Canon 7D, Canon 500 mm IS lens with 1.4X teleconverter.

Female Northern Harrier grooming head feathers.

Female Northern Harrier grooming head feathers.

 ISO 800, 1/800 second @ f 5.6; Canon 7D, Canon 500 mm IS lens with 1.4X teleconverter.

Pied-billed Grebe stretching on the surface of alligator pond at South Padre Island Convention Center.

Pied-billed Grebe stretching on the surface of alligator pond at South Padre Island Convention Center.

ISO 800, 1/1000 second @ f 5.6; Canon 7D, Canon 500 mm IS lens with 1.4X teleconverter.
Photographing at Santa Clara Ranch one afternoon, I captured several nice songbird images, similars of which you have seen.  Nevertheless, I liked this female northern cardinal landing so, I’m sharing it with you. 
female Northern Cardinal landing on guayacan.

female Northern Cardinal landing on guayacan.

ISO 400, 1/1600 second @ f 5.6; Canon 1D Mark III, Canon 100-400 mm IS lens @ 340 mm.
 
I like to use the Mark III camera for its 10 frames/second to capture fast action sequences like birds landing at close range.
The following birds were photographed at a Valley Land Fund tract on the Rio Grande about 75 miles up river from McAllen.  The day started with fog and quickly improved to open shade.  This kiskadee shot was taken in late afternoon after the sun finally appeared.  You have to be patient and put in your time to get photos in the best light, right?
Great Kiskadee scolding another for daring to share the same perch.

Great Kiskadee scolding another for daring to share the same perch.

ISO 640, 1/1250 second @ f 4; Canon 1D Mark III, Canon 500 mm IS lens.
 
Altamira Oriole perched on the side of a Texas ebony trunk.

Altamira Oriole perched on the side of a Texas ebony trunk.

ISO 400, 1/200 second @ f 5.6, Canon 7D, 500 mm IS lens with 1.4X teleconverter.
 
The only wild Brown Jay in the U.S.

The only wild Brown Jay in the U.S.

ISO 800, 1/320 second @ f 5.6, Canon 7D, 500 mm IS lens with 1.4X teleconverter.
 
A huge (16+ inches long) brown jay ( the only wild brown jay in the U.S. ) appeared while I was at Salineno.   Hundreds of birders have been coming from all over the country to see the bird which comes to a feeding station about three times each morning.
It landed right in front of me while I had the teleconverter on with the big lens for small songbirds so, I was barely able to cram it into the frame.  There was no way was I going lose time changing out the converter and risk missing the shot.  Moments like this are one of the benefits of photographing on the Rio Grande, 200 yards from Mexico.
Check out my Photo Tour schedule on this web site and join me for some great nature photography this winter and spring.
Larry

5 thoughts on “3 Days of South Texas Photography”

  1. Larry…Great images. Checking your EXIF data, I see you often shoot at ISO of 400 or 800. I shoot a 7D also and my images seem to get VERY noisy at ISO of 250+. I use Nik Define to try to knock down the noise with so-so success. Any secrets you might share?

    1. Stephen,

      One thing I didn’t comment on earlier was that I often make an image at an ISO or shutter speed far greater than I would prefer. I may be set up to deal with an especially fast bird or distant bird and suddenly realize there is an opportunity much closer and slower. Rather than losing the moment, I turn and shoot at whatever settings I had. So, my settings don’t often make a lot of sense when I’m shooting at a location where there are lots of things happening at once.

    1. Dear Diet Plan For Women…whoever you are,

      Thanks for your nice note. I’m glad you liked the newsletter and I hope it was helpful to your photography.

  2. Awesome stuff Larry, all the shots are great…love the Pelican at mid-bite…they are all just great….the Brown Jay is a wow!!! Thanks for sharing, might wanna take the “spambot” off the comment section…that’s what that previous one is, I get about 10 per week on my site and my Askitme stops them from posting. I go in and delete before the post. They always say something nice or sometimes “gibberish”….blessings your way, been busy with school on my end….keepa shootin!! ☺ sgs

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