Pied-Billed Grebe tending her nest

by Jul 4, 2020

I finally had a day where I could go out and bird and take the camera and spend some time out in the field not punctuated with the thought “… as long as I’m back in time for that meeting in an hour”. Because weekends is when the various open space areas get busy, I’m mostly confining myself to week day outings when I can arrange them, and most of those are squeezed in around other things. But at least it’s outside.

July 1 was the 10th birthday of my company, which celebrated by closing the company and telling everyone to unplug and go have some fun. I chose to head out to Emily Renzel wetlands, where we have some Pied-Billed Grebes nesting.

It was great just sitting in a camp chair and spending an hour thinking about bird photography, and getting comfortable having the camera out and going again. This was my favorite of the day, because I think it shows a nice behavior as the grebe is rolling the eggs before sitting down and continuing to brood them. Birds roll the eggs every so often to make sure they’re evenly warmed. (by the way: five eggs).

This is a mid day shot, because that’s mostly when I can get out. The big challenge was heat shimmer — this is my big lens, at full reach, and fairly moderately cropped, so we’re talking about maybe 1200-1500mm 35mm equivalent for the reach. I shot on burst to try to work around the shimmer, which was a good move because about 80% of the shots were ruined and soft because of it — but all you need is one, right?

Happy to be out. Happy to have a camera in hand, and want a camera in hand. Happy to actually get a result I’m happy with. This isn’t an image I’d ever print, but it’s a great look at a nice bird behavior with a fun to watch species.