Massapoag Pond Photography

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Birds

Capped the Cardinals!

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Morning folks…I have received a number of request if the Cardinal with the Red Sox hat would be available as a holiday greeting card. Here is a direct link to the 'Capped The Cardinals' photo….

http://tinyurl.com/klwabt9

There are a number of other photographs to choose from that would also make for great greeting cards. The service allows you to personalize the inside of the cards with up to 500 characters.

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Pileated Feeding Young

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Evening folks…over the weekend I had an opportunity to photograph a pair of Pileated Woodpecker's feeding their young! There were three young woodpecker, two females and one male. This is a photograph of the female about ready to feed the young male in the nest. Fun stuff….Happy

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Male Eastern Bluebird

MW8A1959

Afternoon folks…I spent a number of hours last week trying to get this photograph of a male Eastern Bluebird on an apple blossom. Late yesterday it happened! Get a 20% discount for ordering this print within the next few days…Happy http://tinyurl.com/bnl8l65 See more details below.

We are offering a 20% discount for a 8" X 10" signed and matted photograph of this photo. At checkout enter BLUBIRD to receive your 20% discount. The discount will run through May 20th.

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Yellow Warbler Preening

MW8A1852

Evening folks…to continue with the guessing game, here is another bird….Happy I even found where they are building a nest…Happy I'll post a few of them later this week building the nest. So far everyone is going great with the identification of the birds I've posting!

Such a fun time of year with all that's going on in nature….Happy

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Downy and Hairy Woodpecker

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Morning folks…the woodpecker I posted last night on Facebook was indeed a male Hairy Woodpecker. This is a composite image of both a Downy and Hairy woodpeckers on the same perch taken yesterday morning 30 minutes apart with the same crop factor. As many noted a Downy is smaller and with a shorter beak. Indeed they are difficult to ID at a distance. We've had a pair of both feeding at the pond all winter, along with a pair of Red Bellied Woodpeckers.

Have a great day!

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Marsh Wren

Evening folks,

Spring must have sprung here in the Northeast, this bird shouldn't here now
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What amazed me was how quick it happened...I was shooting with a Canon 7D at 9 frames per second and there is only one frame missing from this sequence of photos.

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"Okay Where Are You?"

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"There You Are!"

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"Damn It's Cold Down Here!"

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"Ahh Gotcha Yeah!"

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Le Conte's Sparrow

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Evening folks…today I went to Concord, Ma to photograph a Le Conte's Sparrow and wasn't disappointed! This has to be one of the most cooperative birds I have ever photographed. This bird is a bit out of it's range, tends to winter in the South Central US and breeds North Central and Central Canada. Great Day! More photos can be viewed here. Look under “Tweedy Birds”

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Snowy Owl

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Evening folks…on Sunday I went back up to Hanover, NH to try to locate the Great Grey Owl, again with no luck. The Snowy Owls are a no show this year. I'm not having much luck with owls this winter, so here is one from Duxbury Beach taken last winter. And no this guy had no luck catching it's dinner…
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Spring's the corner

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Evening folks…how about something to remind us spring is just around the corner…Happy This was taken here on the pond over the summer.

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Spring Robin?

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Evening folks….Blizzard Warning….Winter Storm Warnings…16-30 inches of snow for tomorrow into Saturday! Come-on at one time Robins were a sign of spring, I just photographed this guy the other day.

Batten down the hatches folks sounds like this one going to be whopper of a storm! And this guy might think about heading South for a few more days.

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Red Crossbill

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Evening folks…along with the White Winged Crossbills, Common Redpolls, Pine Siskin and Pine Grosbeaks, another member of the finch family has made it's way this far south as well, the Red Crossbill. Over the past few months you have seen photographs I have taken all the others except this one. On my trip to Salisbury Beach on Tuesday I was able to photograph this handsome guy..Happy

Everyone have a great weekend!

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Common Redpoll


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Evening folks…here is another bird from yesterday at Salisbury Beach, one great looking Redpoll! These guys are really busy and this makes them rather difficult to photograph. I wonder how many years it will be before we see an irruption of these finches in numbers like this….

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Counting Birds

Using software (imageJ) to count birds in a photograph

I'm an engineer that worked in the medical field for 25 years and always used the tools available to help to solve a problem. There is a great free program used in biomedical work from NIH called imageJ. One little part of the program is used for cell counting, after looking at the photo I figured the cell counting routine within imageJ would work great for solving this problem. It took all of less than a minute to get the answer of ~1100.

The program will work best with images with birds against the sky such as in the image that Steve Mirick posted. Most high contrast images should work well. Let me know how you make out!

Here is link to the photograph Steve Mirick posted a few weeks back for you to play with.

http://massapoag.org/images/SwallowQuiz.jpg

First you need to download the free program for your platform, you can grab it here. Be sure you already have a current version of Java installed on the computer.

http://rsbweb.nih.gov/ij/download.html

Steps to process the photograph. I find pictures worth 1000 words, so I'll show the steps with screen captures with a bit of text.

1. Open the photograph...File------->




2a. Convert the image to an 8-bit image… Image------>Type------>8-bit





2b. Result after converted to 8-bit grey scale image.





3a. Next we have to set the 'threshold'… Image------>Adjust------>Threshold…




3b. The program analyzes the image and guesses on a solution, most of the time the default values are fine. As you can see the program selected most of the birds and are denoted in red.




4. Now we are set to analyze the photograph…Analyze------>Analyze Particles…




5. The ‘Analyze Particles’ dialog box will popup, again most of the time the default values are fine. Click the 'OK' button.




6. The answer! After you selected 'Analyze Particles…' the program will count the birds. As you can see the count is 1100.




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Loon with chicks adventure!

Hi folks,

I trust everyone had a great 4th of July holiday.

I spent all last week in northern VT to capture a loon chick riding on the back of an adult. I wasn't disappointed! The images below are all from a kayak that I bought on the way up. With bungee cords, I was able to secure the Gitzo tripod and Wimberly Head to the kayak and mount my 7D with the 500mm f/4.0 lens along with the 1.4 extender with great confidence (who am I kidding)……this setup is not for the faint of heart!

I received word on June 24th that one of 3 nest had hatched on this pond. I wasn't able to get up there until Monday June 28th. When I arrived the 2 chicks had been killed either by the local bald eagle or northern pike in the pond.

I spent the rest of the week watching the two remaining nest. The weather wasn't great, showers, cold and mostly overcast. On July 1st I viewed one loon chick peering out from the wing of one of the adults. The wind and rain drove me back to camp. Later in the afternoon I returned and the adult came off the nest and there were two loon chicks on the nest. I thought they were going to bring them off the nest at that point (light was ugly!). About 5 minutes later the 2 second adult returned to the nest, at this point I figured there was a third egg. I went back to camp……..thinking I might have to wait a few days.

On Friday morning July 2nd I was up at four 4:30 AM to clear skies, no wind, but there was about a 15 foot layer of fog on the water. At 6:30 AM when the fog started to lift, and I jumped into the kayak to paddle up the pond. When I arrived at the nesting site the fog had lifted, one adult was still one the nest and the second was 10 feet away. Within 2 minutes the adult on the nest jumped off with on chick in toe! It took the second chick about 5 minutes before it came off the nest. For the next 4 hours they remained in this cove allowing me to photograph them. At one point they came so close I was having problems fitting them onto the chip.

It was great week on Norton Pond in VT...Happy

More photographs of the loons can be viewed
here.





Loon with ~ day old chicks


White Tailed Deer swimming across Norton Pond



Cow Moose swimming across Norton Pond


Cow Moose with calf Norton Pond

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