Readers’ wildlife photographs

I must flee for a while again this morning, but will be back with some thoughts on free speech later. In the meantime, we have some nice photos of birds today. The first were sent by reader Darrell Ernst, who says “These were taken by my daughter Brianna with a Nikon D3200.”

Don’t forget to send in your good photos; I have a reasonable backlog but can always use more.

Darrell’s notes are indented (photos by Brianna):

A lone sanderling (Calidris alba) foraging at the water-line on the beach at sunrise. The lighting and colors of this image really caught my eye.

The next two pictures are portraits of a roseate spoonbill (Platalea ajaja) which she converted to black and white.

 Another black and white portrait, this one of the very common brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis). I had actually seen the original of this picture before, but the cropping and conversion to black and white made it strikingly different. The original image, in color, placed in a Florida state-wide photo contest.

Next is a portrait of a boat-tailed grackle (Quiscalus major). Very serious! Though the males are black, in good lighting you can see all sorts of shade variations from purples to blues and more, changing as the lighting angle changes. A clue that the color is a result of scattering, diffraction and refraction affects due to surface structure rather than pigments.

Stephen Barnard has been observing a mother gadwall (Anas strepera) and her eleven chicks, and we’ve both been holding our breath, waiting to see how many make it from that large brood.  Sadly, one has disappeared, but ten is still a good-sized brood. If they all survived, we’d be up to our hips in gadwalls in a few decades! Stephen’s notes:

I came back from a long weekend and found only ten. Still, not bad odds so far.


  1. Heather Hastie
    Posted July 6, 2017 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    That first pic is gorgeous! Brianna is very talented.

    • darrelle
      Posted July 6, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Thanks Heather. I like that one too. I think it may end up in a nice frame on a wall in our house.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted July 7, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        It certainly would make it there in my home – I have just the spot for it!

  2. rickflick
    Posted July 6, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    The tight shot of the brown pelican should take prize. Photography can make the common seem uncommon. Black and white is romantic and nostalgic.

    • darrelle
      Posted July 6, 2017 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Thank you rickflick. Not sure if this will work, but try the following link to see the original photo. The link is to a small album of 4 photos I’ve posted on my G+. Incidentally, the Tri-colored Heron photo earned 1st prize in a state wide photo contest.

      G+ Photo Link

      • rickflick
        Posted July 6, 2017 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        Yes. The color version is also impressive. The main difference, aesthetically, is the B&W version draws attention to the 2D geometry – fields and lines. Color adds a lot of push and pull effect based on whether an area is hot, warm, or cool. Color feels more 3D. So in this sense, B&W is more abstract.

      • ploubere
        Posted July 7, 2017 at 12:11 am | Permalink

        Nice photos in your album too.

  3. Posted July 6, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Very nice photos, thanks for sharing them!

    • darrelle
      Posted July 6, 2017 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Thank you jblilie. Haven’t decided what to do with the slides yet!

  4. Bruce Lyon
    Posted July 6, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Brianna’s photos are stunning, especially the first one. How old is she? Potential here for a career in photography?

    • darrelle
      Posted July 6, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Bruce. She is 13. I think the pelican photo is the oldest one of this batch and she took that when she was 11.

  5. Mark R.
    Posted July 6, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Brianna’s photos never disappoint. Darrelle, you have a talented daughter there. Lucky you!

  6. Michael Fisher
    Posted July 6, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Brianna = talent! Very good eye

  7. Josh Lincoln
    Posted July 6, 2017 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Excellent photographs! Brianna has an incredible amount of talent. Head and shoulders over most of what I have seen.

  8. ploubere
    Posted July 7, 2017 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    Brianna’s photos are outstanding, Darrelle!

  9. claudia baker
    Posted July 7, 2017 at 7:45 am | Permalink


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