Carolina Wild Photo (the blog)

Locations

It’s A Wild Horses Autumn

by on Oct.25, 2018, under Locations

I seem to be logging a lot of wild horse time this Autumn. Just two weeks after the wife and I spent two days with the wild horses at Beaufort and Shackleford, I had the opportunity to join three other photographers for two more days with Seavisions Charters. For the other photographers… two from New York and one from Massachusetts, it was a first time visit with the wild horses.

A family group at Rachel Carson Reserve.
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Wild Horses After The Storm

by on Oct.07, 2018, under Locations

The wife and I headed to Beaufort this first week of October to try for some new wild horse photos, now that it’s been a month since Hurricane Florence pounded the coast and inundated eastern North Carolina. The wild horses of Beaufort and Shackleford Banks seem to have weathered the storm with grace, as they have for hundreds of years along the Outer Banks.

These wild horses run along the ocean beach where great dunes stood only a month before, now completely flattened.
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Wind, Sea and Wild Horses

by on Apr.22, 2018, under Locations

A wooly yearling nuzzles his look-alike father at Rachel Carson Reserve, BeaufortIt’s late April, and finally winter has reluctantly released its grip, allowing some Spring-like weather to filter into the Carolinas. Though the temps were up a bit and the sun was out, a 20 to 30 mph wind relentlessly buffeted the coast for the entire three days of our trip to Beaufort and Shackleford Banks for some wild horse photography.

That didn’t stop the wife and I from our mission to get photos, but it did make the private charter boat rides across Back Sound as rough as what we get in the winter months around Beaufort and Shackleford Banks. (continue reading…)

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Seeking Color and Fun in the Blue Ridge Mountains

by on Oct.06, 2017, under Locations, Rants, Raves & Ramblings

Occasional areas of color continue to be spotty We’ve made two more trips to the Blue Ridge Mountains since the last post hoping to find more Fall color, but it was as yet a bit too early, even at the highest elevations. The photo at right is one of the best representations of color from these two most recent trips, in the 3rd and 4th weeks of September. The near ridge shows a good bit of color, while the more distant ridges had little or none. I’m not sure how this works. Perhaps it’s merely elevation differences, though there is no way to tell how the ridge elevations differ in this view. (continue reading…)

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Just Eagles This Time

by on Nov.25, 2016, under Locations

Bald Eagle glides in for the catchThis trip was two days at Conowingo Dam, with a third day spent looking for birds at E.B. Forsythe NWR in New Jersey and Bombay Hook NWR in Delaware. Ninety precent of Forsythe was closed for repairs to the wildlife drive, dikes and pumps. We found a dozen or so Brandt, a half dozen Black Ducks and a pair of Mallards, none of which were in suitable light for good images. We found virtually nothing at Bombay Hook NWR. That place has been a bust the past three times I’ve visited. I think I’m scratching that one off my list. (continue reading…)

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The Birds Up North – Part 3 – Cambridge, MD

by on Mar.02, 2016, under Locations, Rants, Raves & Ramblings

I’ve posted other articles on this blog about Cambridge, Maryland, so this is nothing new. But every time I visit my spot on the Choptank River I come away with a few more worthwhile images of ducks. They’re fun to watch, and lovely to look at. This year the birds have been a bit scarce wherever I’ve gone for photos, and Cambridge was no exception. Must be the warmish winter we had, which didn’t push as many ducks southward as usual. But that’s the nature of nature – it can be pretty unpredictable.
American Wigeon drake I can count on finding American Wigeons at this spot. The drakes’ showy green head patches make them easy to identify. Sometimes they’re an olive green… usually with a golden iridescence like the drake on the left. Sometimes they’re a rich, brilliant emerald green, like the drake in the photo below of a pair of wigeons. Note the white band over top of the head and extending down the forehead to the bill. This white marking has given the American Wigeon the nickname “Baldpate”. (continue reading…)

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The Birds Up North – Part 2 – E.B. Forsythe NWR, NJ

by on Feb.16, 2016, under Locations, Rants, Raves & Ramblings

Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge is a short drive north of Absecon, New Jersey, and not far from Atlantic City. In fact, Atlantic City is visible from the main wildlife drive of the refuge. I haven’t had much luck finding subjects at this refuge on previous visits, but this trip was different. Along with the usual trickle of various ducks and Canada Geese, there were around 2000 Snow Geese on this visit.

Snow Geese They were spread out sparsely across the tidal marsh on the north side of the wildlife drive, feeding in the black mud of the marsh. But they were mostly too far off for reasonable photos. Luckily, they were also taking turns flying across the wildlife drive in groups of two to ten to land inside the impoundment. There they would bath and preen, cleaning their muddy heads of the black marsh mud accumulated while feeding. Then they would fly back to feed again.
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The Birds Up North – Part 1 – Barnegat Light, NJ

by on Feb.05, 2016, under Locations, Rants, Raves & Ramblings

With the holiday season in the rear view mirror, and this year’s frigid Winter fits of January melted away, it was time to squeeze in a trip up north to try my luck finding ducks. A promising forecast of four days in a row of clear sunny weather became only three days as soon as I arrived at the first stop, Cambridge, MD. The second stop was Barnegat Light in NJ, followed by Forsythe NWR an hour or so south of Barnegat. In this first installment I’ll begin with the birds along the famous (among bird photographers) jetty at Barnegat.

Purple Sandpiper You can almost always find the cute little busybodies called Purple Sandpipers nibbling their way along the huge rocks of the jetty at Barnegat. They are quite tolerant of people and you can expect to find them wandering right past you within a few feet with little regard for you or your camera. When they stop and pose in some great light, it’s time to start snapping shots. I was so busy watching for the ducks that I almost didn’t see this fellow hanging out right in front of me. (continue reading…)

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Bald Eagles at Conowingo Dam, Maryland

by on Nov.20, 2015, under Locations

Finally, it’s cooler weather and time for the migrations. I headed out to Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey for Eagles, ducks and shorebirds this week, but there wasn’t that much yet to photograph. I guess it’s still just a bit early. Despite that, I managed a few interesting photos, though not as good as I was hoping for.
bald eagle with fish

At Conowingo Dam on the Susquahana River in Maryland the eagles were keeping to the middle and far side of the river, making them a bit too far away for good images of their fishing runs. Occasionally they would fly closer after a catch, like the photo at right, giving a better view. It seemed on this trip I was finally getting better at acquiring the birds in the viewfinder and tracking them. I’ve learned to acquire the birds early while they’re circling and looking, instead of waiting until it’s obvious it’s on a run. Practice, practice, practice. (continue reading…)

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Coastal NC Ducks

by on Mar.06, 2015, under Locations, Rants, Raves & Ramblings

Before February closed out, in the midst of freezing temps and snow, I had a couple of days break with good weather. I took advantage of it by heading out to the N.C. coast on a day trip hoping to photograph some ducks. The morning was overcast, as was early afternoon, but about 2 p.m. the clouds blew away for almost 3 hours of light. The ducks weren’t coming as close as I had hoped, so I didn’t get any close-up portraits, but I did get a few passable flight shots, which was what I was after anyway.

Drake Scaup banking hard

I had to shoot these standing in salt water up to my waist. I was wearing insulated chest waders, and warm clothes, so I was plenty warm despite the cold water and wind. The only real issue with shooting in salt water is having to disassemble, rinse, clean, lubricate and reassemble the tripod afterwards. But that’s a part of the job with wildlife photography.  (continue reading…)

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