Just My Dam Photos

sm4him

In memoriam
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2011
Messages
10,726
Reaction score
5,468
Location
The Beautiful Hills of East Tennessee
Website
sm4him.500px.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Well, photos taken AT the dam, anyway. I've been checking out all the TVA dams in the area--and we have a LOT of 'em!--to see what kind of action was happening. It's really interesting to see how the bird population changes from one dam to the next. At Ft. Loudon dam, there are always a lot of Osprey flying around the tailwaters of the dam, looking for an easy catch. At Tellico Dam, just a mile or so upriver, I rarely see an Osprey, but lots of swallows, a Kingfisher, and on occasion, a glimpse of the Bald Eagles that have their nest on an island just upstream from the dam.

This, however, was my first trip to Douglas Dam. I frequent one of the WMAs (Wildlife Management Area) near Douglas Dam--at least in the fall, winter and early spring, before the water levels rise too high to access it on foot--but I hadn't been to the actual dam which is considerably further south.

There was not a single Osprey to be found. There wasn't really much variety in bird species at all, but the birds that WERE there were represented in boatloads! In particular, Great Blue Herons and Black-Crowned Night Herons. Literally more of them than I could count, including at least 12-15 juvenile night herons.

What I found really interesting was that MOST of the adult BCNHs and the GBHs all stuck to the far side of the river. They would perch in the trees and then fly out over the calmer waters, away from the turbulent waters right next to the dam, to catch their prey.
But the juvenile BCNHs were ALL on the near side of the dam (along with about six or so of the GBHs). They would sit on the rocks at the edge of the water, or up on the rail of the flooded-out walkway, watching for fish. When someone would walk too far out on the walkway, they'd take off and fly up to the rail right at the dam (which is not accessible to the public), but eventually they'd decide it was all clear again and come back down to the rocks close to me.

Anyway, here's some of my favorites from the outing:

1. All Shook Up--Juvenile BCNH fluffing itself after taking a dive for a fish and coming up empty-beaked


2. In For a Landing: I included this one mostly because of what came next. This little guy was coming in to land on the walkway rail...


3. Gotta Work On That Landing! ...I don't normally like to post bird shots with man-made elements, but this was just funny. Poor little guy needs a bit more practice sticking the landing! He just thudded right into the rail. He did make a nice recovery and managed to land right the second time.


4. Watch and Learn: Four juvenile BCNHs look on while a GBH does all the fishing. Actually, there were about 8 BCNHs, but I could only get four in the shot. The GBH stood in that spot and caught three fish, while the juvenile night herons sat, some of them watching the water intently, but never caught a thing.


5. The Loner: This was the only adult BCNH that came over to where the juveniles were. It perched and watched them for about five minutes, until someone came walking up too close and it took off again.


6. Karate Kid Heron. One of my favorites.


7. Ruffled Feathers. This GBH was slowly making its way down to the water's edge. The closer it got, the more it ruffled its feathers. I think it was anticipating a confrontation with all the juvenile night herons that were in "its spot" at the time. It needn't have worried--as soon as it got within about ten feet, the juveniles all took off away from it. Too big for them to risk tangling with, I guess.


8. Look, Ma!! I Caught A Fish!! This is my favorite shot of the day (even though it shows the rail in the background). This was the ONLY fish I saw any of the juveniles catch in the three hours or so that I was there.


9. Stare Down. An intense stare from one of the juveniles.


10. The Calvary, or The Gang? I can't decide if these two are the benevolent Lifeguards, watching to make sure no one treads into the dangerous waters below, or if they are the reckless, thrill-seeking hoodlums, standing proudly in the face of danger. "Danger? HA!! We LAUGH in the face of danger!"

Aug4_1386editweb by sm4him, on Flickr

There's a few more on my flickr feed. As always, C&C, general comments and (especially) witty banter are all greatly appreciated and serve to make me feel loved and valued...or at least make me feel like someone's paying attention. :lmao:
 
Last edited:

Stevepwns

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
May 29, 2013
Messages
622
Reaction score
203
Location
Maryland
Website
www.jacobeastonphotography.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Really cool shots. I'm saving up for a longer lens, I like shooting birds and we have plenty of them where I am at. I feel bad for the poor guy that met the rail all of a sudden....lol
 

matthewo

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Dec 8, 2011
Messages
1,445
Reaction score
645
Location
the south
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Wow #8 is just fantastic
 

MSnowy

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Mar 1, 2010
Messages
5,341
Reaction score
4,115
Location
Scituate, MA.
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Nice set. I agree #8 is great
 

baturn

TPF Supporters
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2008
Messages
7,218
Reaction score
3,076
Location
Vancouver Island
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
These are all great and I agree with your favorite.
Do you mind if I add a little rant on the subject of unnatural man-made elements in "nature" photos?
Humans and there impact on the planet as far as structures etc. go, are just as much part of nature as any other earthly entity. There are times when these elements fit in a photo and times when they don't. My two cents.
 

coastalconn

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Mar 24, 2012
Messages
3,594
Reaction score
3,635
Location
Old Saybrook, CT
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
#8 is money for sure! great shot! I had a laugh at #3, looks cartoonish.. I think #6 is Awesome as well! Great Job!
 

pgriz

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Jul 30, 2010
Messages
6,734
Reaction score
3,221
Location
Canada
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Well Sharon, every time you post, the bar seems to get higher. Kris may be ahead of you, but the gap is shrinking pretty fast. Great set.
 

Derrel

Mr. Rain Cloud
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
48,227
Reaction score
18,926
Location
USA
Website
www.pbase.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Great stuff Sharon! I LOVED the shot of the juvenile bird slamming into that pipe! Humorous, for me, not for the bird! I really enjoy your clever writing and amazing attitude.
 
OP
sm4him

sm4him

In memoriam
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2011
Messages
10,726
Reaction score
5,468
Location
The Beautiful Hills of East Tennessee
Website
sm4him.500px.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Thanks, everyone! I appreciate the comments--I think I'm getting "luckier" with finding birds in good spots for photos. Of course, that "luck" tends to be the result of spending hours and hours searching for good spots, and the right weather, and interesting birds, and... :D

Great stuff Sharon! I LOVED the shot of the juvenile bird slamming into that pipe! Humorous, for me, not for the bird! I really enjoy your clever writing and amazing attitude.
Thanks, Derrel; you know I value your opinion! I also value people who like my writing... :D

Well Sharon, every time you post, the bar seems to get higher. Kris may be ahead of you, but the gap is shrinking pretty fast. Great set.
I wish the gap was shrinking, but every time *I* manage to raise the bar, he just goes out and changes the playing field altogether!! :lmao:

These are all great and I agree with your favorite.
Do you mind if I add a little rant on the subject of unnatural man-made elements in "nature" photos?
Humans and there impact on the planet as far as structures etc. go, are just as much part of nature as any other earthly entity. There are times when these elements fit in a photo and times when they don't. My two cents.

Baturn, I don't mind a bit and I appreciate your thoughts on that. It might make an interesting discussion. I actually agree that there are times man-made elements work in a wildlife photo and times they don't. In fact, photo #10 above RELIES on the man-made element.

I guess I tend to take a several-tiered approach to this:
1. If the manmade element detracts from the bird/animal, I try to eliminate it. Case in point, ugly red plastic hummingbird feeders (really plastic ANYthing...)--but those red hummingbird feeders really stand out and draw attention away from the bird, imo. HOWEVER--I'd still rather get the shot of the bird WITH the feeder, than no shot at all just to avoid it.
2. If the manmade element might actually become a part of the "story" I'm telling, then I unabashedly include it in the picture. Squirrels in manmade bird houses, birds bouncing off rails, etc.
3. This is a little "fuzzier" of a guideline for me. Sometimes, I feel like the manmade element may give the wrong impression to some. Such is the case with #8 above. It was no easy shot, as most of you--and especially those who have done bird photography--know. But for the non-photographer, I fear they see the rail (which is more evident in the uncropped version--here, it's actually just the shadow of the rail), I think they tend to think the photos were taken in a zoo or other "staged" environment, and so they perhaps "discount" the shot. Not that I truly *bothers* me if someone thinks that, but on the other hand--I want them focused on the bird and NOT on whether or not the bird was in the wild. So, IF I can eliminate or minimize the manmade element, I do. I suspect I just made #3 about as clear as mud--it's a kinda fuzzy concept in my head too, though, so that's fitting.

Like I said, I really do think there are times when the manmade elements adds to, or in fact MAKES, the shot. And honestly--I think I am sometimes guilty of MISSING those shots because I get so focused on getting isolated shots of the bird. I've actually been trying to watch that lately.

And I'll also repeat--even when it would be "ideal" in my opinion to NOT have a particular manmade element in the photo (bird feeder, fence, etc), I will ALWAYS, ALWAYS opt for getting the shot WITH the manmade item versus getting no shot at all.
 

Lawmac2011

TPF Noob!
Joined
Aug 8, 2013
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Location
Massachusetts
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I agree with Kris on this, 8 is an awesome shot! Hell, they are all great shots!
 

baturn

TPF Supporters
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2008
Messages
7,218
Reaction score
3,076
Location
Vancouver Island
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Agree with every thing you said, especially, manmade objects be damned, get the shot. Hope I live long enough too post shots like those above.
 

Most reactions

ClickASnap

New Topics

Top