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Old Jul 29, 2008, 6:36 AM   #1
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I had one of those "Duh....." moments a few days ago when the local newspaper had a front page photo of a Great Egret taken at a fish hatchery nearby. In thinking about places to shoot wildlife, the thought had never occurred to me that a great place to shoot birds that live off fish might be at a place they hatch and raise them..... Duh!

So, Sunday afternoon, I drove out for about 30minutes (all I could take in 101 degree weather) and was rewarded with Great Blue Herons and this solitary Great Egret. Stalking was an impossibilty (20 large ponds with absolutely no cover), and this guy was not in a mood to let me get close.



Yesterday morning I went back, and the trip was well worthwhile, with my first really decent shots of a couple of Green Herons



The heron above was intent on breakfast and was willing to go along with the picture-taking just so I didn't get TOO close. The one below felt fairly safe perched on one of the vanes of out-of-service aerator unit in one of the ponds



The trips, however, gave a great reminder how the "best-laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley." In the 80's and 90's, and great deal of effort and money was devoted to providing habitat for migratory species passing through Arkansas, particularly ducks and Canada Geese.



It was spectacularly successful, with a tremendous population increase in the beautiful geese. However, the geese decided they liked Arkansas as a year-round home. The fish hatchery is home to what can best be termed "a herd" of them. The shot below is just a few of them, invading a pond that has been drained to grow grass on the bottom



The problem is that they are crowding out the native wetland species in many areas. They have become the dreaded tourists who won't leave.

Others I saw for the first time in Arkansas yesterday included a red-winged blackbird and a killdeer. Visiting with one of the wildlife biologists, I was told that the hatchery is home to literally hundreds of species of wetland birds over the course of a year. I just added one to the list of my favorite spots to go shoot.

Paul
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Old Jul 30, 2008, 6:34 AM   #2
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Trojansoc wrote:
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I had one of those "Duh....." moments a few days ago when the local newspaper had a front page photo of a Great Egret taken at a fish hatchery nearby. In thinking about places to shoot wildlife, the thought had never occurred to me that a great place to shoot birds that live off fish might be at a place they hatch and raise them..... Duh!

So, Sunday afternoon, I drove out for about 30minutes (all I could take in 101 degree weather) and was rewarded with Great Blue Herons and this solitary Great Egret. Stalking was an impossibilty (20 large ponds with absolutely no cover), and this guy was not in a mood to let me get close.



Yesterday morning I went back, and the trip was well worthwhile, with my first really decent shots of a couple of Green Herons



The heron above was intent on breakfast and was willing to go along with the picture-taking just so I didn't get TOO close. The one below felt fairly safe perched on one of the vanes of out-of-service aerator unit in one of the ponds



The trips, however, gave a great reminder how the "best-laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley." In the 80's and 90's, and great deal of effort and money was devoted to providing habitat for migratory species passing through Arkansas, particularly ducks and Canada Geese.



It was spectacularly successful, with a tremendous population increase in the beautiful geese. However, the geese decided they liked Arkansas as a year-round home. The fish hatchery is home to what can best be termed "a herd" of them. The shot below is just a few of them, invading a pond that has been drained to grow grass on the bottom



The problem is that they are crowding out the native wetland species in many areas. They have become the dreaded tourists who won't leave.

Others I saw for the first time in Arkansas yesterday included a red-winged blackbird and a killdeer. Visiting with one of the wildlife biologists, I was told that the hatchery is home to literally hundreds of species of wetland birds over the course of a year. I just added one to the list of my favorite spots to go shoot.

Paul
Are you sure about the Canada geese. Over here everybody is complaining, but in fact the have, due to their toughness, opened up the biotopes for our own geese species and are now diminishing, letting our own species florish

Nowadys the farmers complain about the masses of geese on the fields :-)

/T


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Old Jul 31, 2008, 1:45 PM   #3
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Very nice series, #4 (Goose) is very pretty.
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