Sunday, June 1, 2008

Texas Trip - South Padre Island

On the grounds of the South Padre Island Convention Center is a nature area that consists of a boardwalk through a cattail marsh and a water feature that works like a small re-circulating stream. The water feature, along with the trees that surround the convention center, are a popular place with migrating warblers. The marsh had just about everything you would expect including Roseate Spoonbills, White Ibis, Yellow-crowned Night-heron, Tricolored Heron, Reddish Egret, Least Bittern, Clapper Rail, Black-necked Stilt, Great Blue Heron, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Alligator etc. etc.. A mudflat adjacent to the marsh contained various gulls, terns and black skimmers. A helpful birder from Dallas pointed out a pair of Magnificant Frigatebirds flying above the area.

The boardwalk has its pros and cons as far as photography is concerned. I gives you the ability to enter the marsh and most of the wildlife appears to not notice that you are there. However, because the boardwalk is elevated you end up shooting down on most of your subjects. It is almost always better to shoot as close to eye level as possible.

Tricolored Heron
1/200, f6.3, +1/3 exposure compensation, iso 200, 400mm

Clapper Rail
1/640, f5.6, + 1/3 exposure compensation, iso 400, 400mm

1/640, f7.1, + 2/3 exposure compensation, iso 200, 400mm

Magnolia Warbler
1/400, f5.6, + 1/3 exposure compensation, iso 500, 400mm

1/400, f6.3, iso 200, 400mm

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