Monday, January 27, 2020,
After a five week hiatus, Joe Kayaker is back. I was not away on vacation or anything fun like that. I had merely – well, maybe not so merely – screwed up my website and I was unable to figure out how to fix it. Kudos to my friend Mike who was able to restore Joe Kayaker to its former self. Now, being unable to publish anything new did not mean I stopped taking photographs. I’ve got some catching up to do.
These photographs were taken on December 23 of last year. I had driven out to Cupsogue Beach in Westhampton to look for seals. Cupsogue is one of my favorite places on Long Island to look for Harbor Seals. I found the seals and, while I was there, I ran into two old friends and made two new ones. We had all come to Cupsogue Beach for the same reason. None of us arrived together, nor did any of us have plans to meet there. We were all drawn by the seals, like moths to a flame. Aside from my two previous friends, Bill and Raina, we were all pretty much strangers to each other but we all share a love of wildlife photography. Even Bill and Raina were mostly unknown to each other but all four of us were somewhat acquainted with one another because we all post our photographs to some of the same Facebook groups. It’s always nice to put faces to the names. JK
Thursday, October 24, 2019,
This is an immature Snowy Egret. You can tell that it’s a juvenile by the legs. Adult birds have all black legs to go with those golden feet, while this one’s legs still have some dull yellow coloration. I took this photo at the Marine Nature Study Area in Oceanside. Both of these images are the same photograph, just different crops. I couldn’t decide which I liked better so you get to see both. The closer crop above gives you a better look at this Egret’s features, including those lovely gams. Meanwhile, the image below showcases that lovely blue water that this beautiful bird is perched above. I hope you folks will enjoy both of these images. JK
Wednesday, October 9, 2019,
Hummingbirds are fast. I mean really, really fast. This hummingbird, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, has an average of 55 wing beats per second. During mating season, when the males are showing off for their female counterparts, that number can jump as high as 200 wing beats per second. Two hundred wing beats per second! That’s amazing. They even hold a Guinness World Record for that feat.
These photos weren’t taken during mating season so this bird is probably only working those wings at a mere 55 beats per second. Even still, that’s plenty fast. All three of these photos were taken in the span of a single second. I shot them with a shutter speed of 1/1600th of a second and it still wasn’t fast enough to freeze those wings. As you can see, some blurring of the wings still occurs. Hummingbirds are fast! JK
Wednesday, September 18, 2018,
This is an Eastern Kingbird that I managed to photograph at the Marine Nature Study Area (MNSA) in Oceanside. I saw my first Kingbird several years ago at West Meadow Beach. The Audubon birders I was with made a big deal of the sighting, but I didn’t understand the excitement. It was just a bird sitting atop a tree that was too far off for me to get a decent photograph. At the MNSA, these birds, while perhaps not common, are regularly seen. The problem, for me, is that they tend to perch outside of the range of even my biggest lens. Luckily for me, this particular bird wasn’t too far off. It wasn’t exactly close but it was close enough. Close enough for me to get these photographs. Now that’s the sort of thing that excites this birder. It’s all about the photo op for me. JK
Thursday, August 1, 2019,
Two weeks ago I posted a photo of an Oystercatcher doing some stretches at Nickerson Beach. This is another Oystercatcher – a juvenile this time – doing a similar stretch. The adults are more striking looking than their kids but I think I like this photo better than the previous one. I believe the background is the major difference. The crashing surf and blue water make for a more pleasing setting than just a sandy beach.What do you think? JK