Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Weekend of Lee

The day before this shoot was heavy with rain due to the 'Hurricane Lee' churning around to the east of me, some one hundred miles as the crow might fly.
This is my second attempt at a wildlife video. Be Advised, This video is really long. (around 15 minutes). Deb, my Wife doesn't think anyone will watch birds leaving the roost that long. Maybe not. Over half of this video was shot in less than optimal shooting conditions.

My first wildlife video was of the rookery at Smith Oaks of the High Island sanctuary. Roseate Spoonbills was the subject of interest. Someday I'll drag it out.

The intent was to arrive at this site (Skillern Tract of the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge) just before sunrise and shoot the birds leaving the roost. I arrived at 0500, pretty much dark thirty. Once the car light switched off, star and moon light was the only ambient light. I set up the tripod and attached the camera. Just in case there was a 'still' opportunity,I set up the remote trigger for capturing the birds in flight. I settled back for a moment to check everything, including the sources of noises that were pretty interesting.

I heard a Blue Heron squawking and thrashing about in the water below the foot bridge. The heron didn't fly away. Maybe it was somebodies breakfast.

If you look close, you can see the alligators moving around patrolling the shore looking for food

With the camera in video mode I could see the ambient glow off of the water created by the stars.The light level was too low for auto focus to work. Even though were had clear skies, the clouds from Lee was affecting the early morning light level. I was cranking around on the focus when I saw the white dots in the trees appeared on the live monitor. With the 7D in Video and auto mode, the ISO was automatically selected. It was kinda surreal, the objects that were moving about looked like my old b&w TV on a rabbit antenna (ghosting). I know what you are thinking (whatsa rabbit ear)

The trees were saturated with egrets and herons of various types. At this time I didn't realized the area also included a large population of Cormorant.

I don't know if the birds were in their FEMA approved hurricane evacuation route or if this was their natural nightly roost.

Here is a link to the video on You-tube...

.Larry Pittman did the editing and