Cormorants Pelicans

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From this point forward postings will be made on the main page, but the photos will also be added to the gallery. To see the written information about the photo do a search for the number (the first number, if it is a set).

1013
Moss Landing State Beach – November 21, 2011
Here is a second set of pelican photos. I was quite pleased with this first photo. I think it came out great. I was sitting on the rocks along the channel near the marina end. Be sure to click on the photos to get a much larger view. The last photo reminds me of the touch and go’s the planes did when I worked for the Air Force as a teacher in Japan. Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300 VC zoom at 300mm, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec

1012
Moss Landing State Beach – Moss Landing, California – November 21, 2011
I really got carried away practicing flight shots with my new camera. I probably should have bumped up the ISO from 200 to get a crisper freezing of the action, but I was having fun. Here are 3 flight photos with the sky as the background. Notice the blue sky? I wouldn’t be doing this up in Washington this time of year. Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300 VC zoom at 300mm, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec

987
Pleasure Point Coastline – Capitola, California – November 9, 2011
Our cottage in California is just on the edge of Santa Cruz, next to Capitola. One of our favorite walks is to hike down to Moran Lake (just over the hill from our cottage) and then walk up the coast. We stop at the favorite surfing areas. There are several access points to the beach, but most of the walk once we leave Moran Lake is along the top of a bluff. There is a nice paved bike/walking trail to follow. These 3 photos were taken from the bluff, just past Pleasure Point and heading toward the village of Capitola. I call it a village, but it is ALL quaint little tourist town on the beach. Back to the pelicans – we enjoy watching the pelicans skim over the water looking for fish. When they see something, they hit the water hard and fast. The last photo is a juvenile. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 440mm, ISO 200, f/6.3, 1/640 sec, tripod

972
Wilder Ranch State Park – Santa Cruz, California – October 22, 2011
Here are four of my best individual pelican photos. Even if I have to toot my own horn, I think they are pretty decent. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 320mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/200 sec, tripod

971
Wilder Ranch State Park – Santa Cruz, California – October 22, 2011
Here are four flight photos. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 200mm, ISO 100, f/5.0, 1/800 sec, handheld

970
Wilder Ranch State Park – Santa Cruz, California – October 22, 2011
I’ve always wanted to get some good photos of this species. I think I hit the jackpot today at Wilder Ranch. I have group photos, as shown here. I’ve got flight shots. I’ve got individual photos. You’re going to hate pelicans by the time I’m done here, but that said, here we go. I cropped these at 800 x 600, so click on the photo to see a much larger view. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 230mm, ISO 100, f/5.3, 1/400 sec, tripod

969
Wilder Ranch State Park – Santa Cruz, California – October 22, 2011
This cormorant is in the classic pose. For those who may not know, cormorants don’t have natural oils to protect their feathers from water. A pretty tough problem when you’re a diving water bird. Cormorants spread their wings out in the sun to dry them out. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, ISO 100, f/6.3, 1/100 sec, tripod

953
West Cliff Drive – Santa Cruz, CA – October 1, 2011
I grabbed this photo as we were walking along the footpath/sidewalk. It is much more fun to walk West Cliff Drive than to drive it. When you’re walking you can look over the edge of the cliff and thus, this photo. Had we been driving, I would have missed it. The photo is a little soft, and the lighting wasn’t ideal, but sometimes you just have to do your best and take what you get. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, ISO 100, f/6.3, 1/320 sec, tripod

949
Sunny Cove, Santa Cruz, CA – October 1, 2011
The lighting is not very good here. This is almost like a silhouette, but you can make out that this is a Brandt’s rather than a Double-crested Cormorant. The two cormorants are very plentiful around Santa Cruz. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, ISO 200, f/6.3, 1/400 sec, tripod

938
17 Mile Drive – Monterrey, California – August 1, 2011

774
Camden, Maine – July 17, 2008
It was so long ago that I can’t remember where I took this photo. It may have been in Camden, but from Camden we traveled to some other coastal spots. Shawn would probably remember. I’m sure most of you know this, but for those who don’t – the bird is drying his flight feathers because he does not have the same oil in this feathers that repels water that most water birds have. Since this is a diving bird, it gets quite wet and must dry off after being in or under the water. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 200mm, ISO 200, 1/250 sec, f/5.6, tripod

679
Moss Landing, California – March 31, 2008
This pelican was swimming in the lagoon, but unfortunately it was way out there. I digiscoped these photos. You often see Brown Pelicans in this area, but this is the first time I’ve seen a White Pelican. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

649
Port Orchard, Washington – January 13, 2008
I just found these two photos I should have included when I posted the Pelagic Cormorants earlier. The coloration of this bird is interesting.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, f6.3, 1/250 sec, ISO 200, Manfrotto tripod

644
Port Orchard, Washington – January 13, 2008
This is a second set of 3 of this species taken on this day at the Port Orchard marina. The first photo is probably a different bird than the second two shots. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 450mm, f6.3, 1/100 sec, ISO 400, Manfrotto tripod

643
Port Orchard, Washington – January 13, 2008
This willing Pelagic was sitting on a piling outside of a marina. He was content to sit there, so I was more than willing to take some photos. We also saw this same species in the water down by the boats in the public area of the marina.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, f6.3, 1/160 sec, ISO 100, Manfrotto tripod

529
Cliff House – San Francisco, California – July 13, 2007
There are mostly Brandt’s Cormorants on this rock, but look for the birds with the white breast. This was a lifer sighting for me. I was quite excited and would not have noticed them if I had not been tipped off by a local birder standing beside me.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

528
The Odd Couple – Fisherman’s Wharf – San Francisco California – July 12, 2007
Double-crested Cormorant and Brown Pelican
I’ve taken photos of two birds together that were unusual. In this case, these two birds may have just been near each other. There were several other birds of the same species on this sea wall. The larger bird is a Brown Pelican. The smaller bird is a Double-crested Cormorant.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto Tripod

515
Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge – Willows, California – July 10, 2007
This is a documentation photo. It was digiscoped at full zoom in close to 100 degree heat. A documentation photo is a photo that is very poorly rendered, but is kept to prove that a sighting was made. This was a lifer for me.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

404
Moss Landing, California – April 5, 2007
I never could find a good shot of this bird on the ground. All my attempts are aerial. Here is a set of three photos. The last one is entitled – THE BROWN ANGELS. I couldn’t believe the precision flying these pelicans were doing! Hopefully next trip down to CA I will get some photos of this bird in the water or on the ground. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 380mm, 1/500 sec, handheld

383
Sunset Beach State Park – California – April 4, 2007
I was busy shooting shorebirds when this cormorant flew by.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 420 mm, 1/400 sec, handheld

365
Seacliff Beach State Park – near Capitola, California – April 3, 2007
This cormorant was sitting on part of the old cement ship. There were more Brandt’s Cormorants here than Double-crested, but I wanted to photograph this bird as its crest was so visible. Reminds me of Groucho Marcs!
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

351
Natural Bridges State Park – Santa Cruz, California – April 2, 2007
These cormorants were nesting on the cliffs. Notice the bright blue neck sack the bird displays during mating. In this photo you can also see a couple of nests.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/250 sec, Manfrotto tripod

349
Natural Bridges State Park – Santa Cruz, California – April 2, 2007
Here are two Double-crested Cormorants. Notice the yellow on the bill. Other than that, they look a lot like the Brandt’s. The Brandt’s has a little white under the chin that can’t be seen clearly in the previous posting. The second photo is the best I’ve taken to date as far as showing a clear view of the crest.

Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

348
Natural Bridges State Park – Santa Cruz, California – April 2, 2007
There were a lot of these birds on the rocks at Natural Bridges. I haven’t seen many of these in Washington, but I know they’re around. Notice that this bird’s bill is black, whereas the Double- crested Cormorant has yellow on its bill.

Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

260
Theler Wetlands – Belfair, Washington – January 14, 2007
I entitled this photo – Cormorant Health Club. One bird is drying out in the sauna. One bird is taking a swim in the olympic size swimming pool. One bird is getting groomed – even if he has to do it himself. And finally, one bird is getting a massage. Who says humans have more fun!

 Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

164
Wapato Park – Tacoma, Washington – November 18, 2006
I wonder if this is the same cormorant that was sitting on this sign last week?
This is the last photo from Wapato Park Nov 18. I hope you have enjoyed my first photos from the Nikon D80 and Tamron 200-500 zoom.
This was taken at 500mm.

136
Wapato Park – Tacoma, Washington – November 11, 2006
Double-crested Cormorants are common in the Pacific Northwest. When I photograph them I try to find them in unusual poses or lighting or situations. This bird looks like he’s staying out of the water because he read the sign he’s sitting on. I was at the park for quite a while and I never saw him enter the water!

Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

112
Capitol Lake – Olympia, Washington – October 28, 2006

Today was a very foggy day. I saw the cormorant out in the middle of the lake and I thought I’d try to capture its pose while it dried its wings on a rock or wood snag. I wasn’t very hopeful that it would come out, but the fog actually adds to this photo. It almost makes the bird look like its floating in nothingness.

072
Vaughn Bay, Washington – October 8, 2006
The Double Crested Cormorant must dry off its wings after feeding in the water. They find any place they can to spread their wings. You often find several of them sitting on pilings. This one was sitting on a floating ski dock near our house.

060
Fort Flagler State Park – Marrowstone Island, Washington – October 7, 2006
I had never seen this type of cormorant before. I see the Double Crested all the time. Notice the beautiful green sheen on the black feathers.
The Pelagic Cormorant is smaller than the Double Crested. Notice the beak is black and narrow and not hooked at the end.

059
Fort Flagler State Park – Marrowstone Island, Washington – October 7, 2006
This bird’s beak looks whitish because it had been preening itself and had some down on its beak. I’m going to show you another cormorant later that has a black beak rather than yellow. The beak of the Double Crested is also thicker. When I’m IDing cormorants in my area, and see a yellow beak, I know it is the Double Crested.

Fort Flagler is one of 3 forts built to protect Puget Sound during WWII. It is located on an island just off the Olympic Peninsula. There is a chance of seeing some offshore birds here in the winter. A spotting scope is almost a necessity. There are many land birds here as well. A lot of trails cover the park area and there are great water views from the gun batteries. This photo was taken on a sand spit.