Not the most productive weekend

I spent about 4 hours on the river this weekend in the kayak and I took just four decent images during that time. There just isn’t much activity on the river this spring. In the past this was one of my favorite times as there were usually many broods of baby geese, mallards, wood ducks, mergansers, grebes and more.  This year I have seen a total of five sets of mallards, two sets of geese and no wood duck, merganser or grebe families. This also marks the third year in a row that the water managers have had very big releases during nesting season, raising the river level 10-15 feet after the birds have built their nests and laid their eggs.  I can see it is taking a toll on the wildlife.

 

Here are those four images:

4010-180505-_5D40541.jpgGreat Blue Heron, American River, Sacramento, CA  1/640 sec; f/10; EXP comp -.67; ISO 3200; 600mm

 

4010-180506-_5D40571.jpgWood Duck, American River, Sacramento, CA  1/640 sec; f/10; EXP comp -.67; ISO 500; 600mm

 

4010-180505-_5D40553.jpgCanada Geese, American River, Sacramento, CA 1/640 sec; f/10; EXP comp -.67; ISO 2500; 300mm

 

4010-180506-_5D40585.jpgMallards, American River, Sacramento, CA  1/640 sec; f/10; EXP comp -.67; ISO 400; 552mm

 

Ironically the best wildlife images of the weekend came as I was wheeling my kayak down the trail, heading home on Sunday.  I looked up and spotted a Red-shouldered Hawk low in a tree just 30 feet off the trail.  I dropped the kayak and quickly pulled my camera off my Cotton Carrier (use coupon code Kempercotton to save 10%) and made some images.  When I saw the bird was comfortable with my presence, and busy watching the grass below for either snakes or rodents, I sat don on the kayak and got comfortable taking more pictures.  I was hoping to see it jump down into the grass and grab some prey.  My efforts got thwarted when a couple came by with 2 dogs off leash and scared the bird away. These are my favorite two images.

4010-180506-_5D40618.jpgRed-shouldered Hawk, American River Parkway, Sacramento, CA  1/640 sec; f/10; ISO 400; 600mm

 

4010-180506-_5D40629.jpgRed-shouldered Hawk, American River Parkway, Sacramento, CA  1/640 sec; f/10; ISO 400; 600mm