Kiawah

Return of the Osprey!

We spent a long weekend at Kiawah, to join some family celebrations in nearby Charleston. I took the opportunity to do some photography, as I often do here, out on the beach and along the winding roads of the island neighborhoods. Indeed, I just switched to a new camera, the Canon R5 – about which I’ll write later – so this was a great chance to learn how to use it.

The full gallery includes a variety of photos, but the highlight was a visit to an osprey nest (the same one we photographed last June). Mama Osprey and two fledglings peered out from the nest, while Papa Osprey watched closely from a nearby tree.

Mom and two chicks in an Osprey nest, Kiawah.

Hummingbird

The hummingbirds are back.

With spring emerging further every day, it was time to restore the hummingbird feeder. I had a chance to capture photos of two visitors.

Nikon D500, with Nikon 200-500 at 500mm, 1/2500 at f/5.6, ISO 8000
Nikon D500, with Nikon 200-500 at 500mm, 1/2500 at f/5.6, ISO 8000

The photos are not as sharp as I’d like, but good practice!

Ace basin birdlife

A day in the wildlife refuges of coastal South Carolina.

During my visit to Charleston, my father and I spent several hours exploring the wetlands of Bear Island WMA and Donnelly WMA – two beautiful wildlife management areas in the “Ace Basin” south of Charleston. I snapped nearly a thousand photos, and present the best two dozen in the gallery. Below, a blue heron settles in near an island, where an anhinga dries its wings; these two had an altercation earlier… read on for the drama!

A great blue heron searches for fish –  at Donnelly WMA, South Carolina.
Continue reading “Ace basin birdlife”

Warblers

Not a nightengale after all?

Our flat is fortunate to be surrounded by trees, and our mornings are filled with birdsong. As I noted last month, some of these birds have the most beautiful, complex song I’ve ever heard, and we suspect nightingales. I finally got a good look, and a good photo, of one of these special neighbors. It appears, though, that he is a Eurasian Blackcap warbler, not a nightingale.

His song is beautiful nonetheless! (I’ll keep watch and let you know if we perhaps have both blackcaps and nightingales.)

While leaning out my bedroom window to capture these photos, my camera shutter clacking away at high speed, our other neighbor – a woman whose window is just a few meters across the alley – poked her head out of her window. Fearing she might get the wrong idea about me and my long lens, I quickly pointed down at the branch where I’d been aiming, and indicated she should look as well. She understood my gestures, fortunately, and joined me for the next few minutes watching a busy bird, below, as it tucked a new twig into a nest in our shared Chestnut tree.

A (female?) bird seen from our Zürich flat.

Check out the full-res photos in the gallery.