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Stephen Ingraham
57,694 followers -
Christian, birder, photographer, blogger...
Christian, birder, photographer, blogger...

57,694 followers
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Galapagos Hawk
The Galapagos Hawk is the native raptor of the Galápagos Islands in Ecuador. It is, in fact, the only raptor found on the islands. It is a Buteo...like the common Red-tailed Hawk and many others in North America. It sits on high perches (high by Galapagos standards) and hunts lizards and rodents in the lava fields of the islands. In the first picture in the panel, it is sharing the view with a Galapagos Dove. While our guide on the Wildside Tours Galapagos Adventure expected we would see more on other islands, this one, on Espanola, was the only one we saw on our 7 day trip.

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent. Program Mode. Processed in Polarr and assembled in FrameMagic on my iPad Pro. 
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The blow hole on Espanola Island in the Galapagos. Spouts 30-40 feet. In-camera HDR, Sony Rx10iii. Processed in Polarr on my ipad pro.
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April 25
I caught a busy Chickadee at his winter
cache, pulling what looked suspiciously
like sunflower seeds out the hollow socket
of a fallen limb 12 feet up a Maple trunk.
If we were any closer to home, I would
think they were my seeds. Not that I
would ever begrudge the Chickadee the
honest fruits of his industry and foresight. 

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Flamingos of Floreana
There is a salt lake a half mile inland on Floreana Island in the Galapagos. It is home to a colony of American Flamingos. Flamingos have a uniquely strange beauty...a pink so intense it takes a special effort to capture it with a digital camera...that huge shrimp-strainer bill...odd long legs and neck...and yet the whole is more beautiful than the sum of the parts.

In the panel you see an HDR shot of the lake from the overlook with its signature Galapagos sky. The flamingos are lower right. Then three classic flamingo poses.

Sony Rx10iii in-camera HDR and three shots at 600mm equivalent in Program Mode. The flight shot is my special Birds in Flight and Action saved mode. Processed in Polarr on my ipad pro.
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And a spring for the Love of landscape... Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters, Wells Maine. Sony Rx10iii in-camera HDR. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro.
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Just to prove I really have been in Maine the past two weeks (before leaving for the Florida Birding and Photo Fest tomorrow early), and that I did not spend ALL my time on Hulu and Netflix (and, okay Amazon Prime), here is Chickadee from Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge headquarters today. Just doing what Chickadees do. See tomorrow's Day Poem. :) 
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April 24
We have had a couple of unseasonably warm
weeks here in Southern Maine already this
spring...but you would never know it from
the woods. The Hobble-bush, always first
to bloom, is barely in bud, and the only sign
of returning life is a single Spring Azure,
flitting bright and blue against the browns
of fallen oak leaves. It just goes to show,
it is still all about the length of days and
the angle of the sun. Kind of the half
opposite of Plancks Constant...some things
change to little and too slow for us to know. 

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Classic Galápagos Islands scene. Espanola Island, Ecuador. In-camera HDR. Sony Rx10iii. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro.
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Swallow-tailed Gull
The Swallow-tailed Gull is the most common gull on the Galápagos Islands, or at least was the one we saw most often on our Wildside Nature Tours Galapagos Adventure, and it is also, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful of gulls. So, okay, if you are familiar with gulls at all, you may not think that is a high recommendation...as most people think of gulls as being more annoying than beautiful, but none the less, I think the Swallow-tailed Gull is a beautiful bird. It has the accents, red and white, in all the right places and a pleasing range of gray tones. And it is, as gulls go, an elegantly shaped bird, not hulking like Great Black-backed or Herring, or squat like a Ring-billed...but, well, well proportioned and elegant. On the Galapagos it is also completely unafraid of mankind. You have to walk around them on the lava trails of the islands, and on any dock.

The panel above illustrates several features. You have the mated pair, the sleeping bird showing its "false eye" which gives preditors the impression that the bird never sleeps, its minimal nest, and its habit of posing on top of rocks.

Sony Rx10iii at mostly 600mm equivalent (the mated pair is a wilde angle shot, as I did have to walk around them in the trail). Program Mode. Processed in Polarr and assembled in FrameMagic on my iPad Pro. 
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April 23
I stood in the quiet wood and watched
as a murder of crows gathered above me,
2 dozen or more in the end, coming in mostly
silent to sit high in the trees without apparent
motive. I looked for any potential predator...
hawk or owl, or even fox, but came slowly
to the reluctant realization that it must be me,
standing silent in the silent wood looking at
nothing in particular, that had attracted their
attention. I moved on, and left the crows
to draw their own muderous conclusions. 
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