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Old Jun 25, 2005, 10:28 PM   #1
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I went down to the osprey location this morning and spotted a pelican flying, so I looked up and saw a huge formation of them circling about a quarter mile away down river, and around the bend. I then spotted one floating by on it's way downstream. It was moving relatively fast as the floodwaters are still running through, but abating somewhat. I cut across land and chose a small trail to get down closer to the river, not anticipating what I found. I broke through the trees and saw what appeared to be snow. It was an extremely large group of pelicans sitting riverside. I wanted to get this one right because it was my very first experience with pelicans. I'll be posting a few more strings of these birds over the next week or so as I emptied a gigabyte or more on them before they decided to wander on.

First spotting of a flying pelican




Then I spotted one floating merrily down the river




I immediately changed priorities and wandered down to the river via a very small brush laden pathway that quickly turned into muck and grime (I was wearing chest-waders). This was my very first shot and you can see the blur of leaves as I poked my lens through the underbrush, hoping not to scare them all away:



I slowly moved as far from the leaves as I could in order to get a clean shot. My monopod was in the way (I hate restrictions) so I dropped it carefully in the muck and chose to handhold the 400/5.6 lens, using as fast a shutter as possible without boosting iso too high.



A closer crop from another photo of the same bird I believe:




These birds would sporadically take-off, circle, and land, while the remainder of the large group stood or sat by the shoreline, resting or preening, or both. Here are a few flight shots against a dark green backdrop of spruce and pine:







More will come as I return home and process the shots.
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Old Jun 25, 2005, 10:36 PM   #2
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:lol::-):lol: I'm glad I've never been so lucky. I have a weak heart and this would surely have laid me out.

The pictures are awesome, the story ain't bad either. I empathised so much that I forgot to be jealous. What really good shots. It is soooo good not to blow an opportunity like this!

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Old Jun 25, 2005, 10:57 PM   #3
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wow. those are very impressive. What really impresses me is that you didn't get big blown-outwhite pelicans that were just blobs of white. I can still see tons of deatails on the white feathers! so kudos on that aspect alone! Also i really like all of them especially #3 I believe with the 3 with one in focus. They're all very impressive shots though! They look VERY pro!
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Old Jun 25, 2005, 11:39 PM   #4
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Very nice work, Norm. We (supposedly) get the white pelican around here, but I've never been fortunate enough to see one. Of course, if I do see one, I would hope to have you beside me telling me all the little secrets of your amazing bird shots.

Regards,

Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada
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Old Jun 25, 2005, 11:43 PM   #5
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Thanks very much Dave and Dudette, I appreciate the especially nice compliments. I was definitely in the right place at the right time today. About 30 minutes later it started to rain, and rain, and it's still raining as I type. But all the photos are taken so let it rain.
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Old Jun 25, 2005, 11:46 PM   #6
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Tom Overton wrote:
Quote:
Very nice work, Norm. We (supposedly) get the white pelican around here, but I've never been fortunate enough to see one. Of course, if I do see one, I would hope to have you beside me telling me all the little secrets of your amazing bird shots.

Regards,

Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada
http://tomoverton.myphotoalbum.com

Tom, it was one of those lucky days. I got kicked out of a flood area so I took a different pathway down to the river and this gigantic mass of white was there to greet me. I have herd photos that I'll post another day that shows just how many birds there were. It was a treat. Thanks for the nice words.
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Old Jun 26, 2005, 10:46 AM   #7
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When you write this story up for a nature magazine, don't foget to include that these guys have a nine foot wingspan! They are immense!

dave
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Old Jun 26, 2005, 4:13 PM   #8
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Way to take full advantage of a marvelous opportunity, Norm. Superb shots, as usual.
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Old Jun 26, 2005, 11:08 PM   #9
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Thanks mullen, it was a nice experience. A wonderful half hour of my life.
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Old Jun 27, 2005, 5:49 AM   #10
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the last 3 are really nice the dark background accentuates the in-flight motion great pics
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