Monday, May 16, 2011
Northern Shrike (Mar 26)
Had a pretty awesome morning in Richmond, i like to get there pretty early before things get too busy.
No sooner had i gotten my gear together and left the car when i spied a Northern Shrike in a small tree, so noticeable from a distance, it looks bigger than a sparrow and reminds me of a big cotton ball in a tree.
I tried to get a bit closer to it but then it flew off to it's next perch.
Knowing how shrikes like to work i knew that it would eventually come back to the same perch i had seen it on.
I could have stealthily followed it from bush to bush but knew it was a losing game as they will never let you get close, especially if you are carrying a big lens on a tripod, kind of like kingfishers that way.
I decided to hunker down next to a bush in close proximity to the perch and another one to the left of me the bird could set down on as well.
With tripod legs short and me sitting on the ground hunched down i decided to wait, give it 1/2 hour before giving up and beginning my actual walk, which i hadn't even started yet.
My ploy worked as suddenly the shrike set down on the perch to the left of me, even closer than the one i thought it would land on.
It was so close!
i slowly moved my lens hoping i wouldn't scare the bird but it just sat there.
Full frame shots with the 500mm f4 and 1.4x tele (these are cropped a bit).
Since i was already in position down low the bird didn't care at all that i was there and i took a number of quality shots.
One of those species that i get shots of every year but usually long range crops, never close like this
A good morning, hope Doug had some luck with the shrike, i saw it 2 more times during my walk, once in among the bird bander's net setup near the far eastern edge of the outer ponds and the last time when i was driving out, it was perched on the barbed wire airport fence.