Summer Birds

The plan was to arrive at Manitou Lake Colorado at sunrise to photograph summer birds before the crowds of fishermen, boaters and dog walkers arrived. Unfortunately we were greeted by a couple of local track stars who had beat us to the trail and chased all the blue herons away before it was even light.

A Few Pelicans

Great White Pelican and summer birds

There were still a few pelicans to greet the rising sun, and although I have a ton of them it seemed a good idea to make a few more  captures. As it turns out that was a good idea, when we witnessed some pelican antics that we hadn’t seen before.

I was delighted to capture a pair of them landing together from different directions. Another favorite moment was when a gull decided to try to snatch a fish out of the water right in front of a big pelican coming in for a landing (see below).

A Lone Blue Heron

Great blue heron at Manitou Lake Colorado

We were however, awarded the opportunity to photograph a lone heron standing in the marsh well out of the way of human visitors.  He stood with his back to us at first, before turning around and giving us the full pose 🙂 There were a couple of others that flew past high in the sky, but once the sun was shining on the lake the herons stopped flying. Perhaps it was too warm.

Trying My Hand at Swallows in Flight

Photographing Bank Swallows at Manitou Lake Colorado

There seemed to be quite a number of swallows flying around right in front of us, catching bugs and fish in the water. I’ve never had much luck shooting these speedy little feathered friends, but a new camera setting I recently discovered gave me the excuse to try. I had originally set my Canon R7 up with point switching set to “Initial Priority”. But over the last year I have had many instances where the camera left the focus points behind after the subject departed. 

So I have recently set point switching to rapidly acquire new subjects if the original subject was lost. I set the camera to a 2500th of a second and f/8 with auto ISO enabled to assure proper exposure in changing conditions.

I was pleasantly surprised to see how well the R7 was able to acquire and track the extreme speed and agility of the little swallows darting around over the water. For the first time ever I was able to bank several good images of the diminutive little birds!

Spirit of the Wolf Gaining Popularity

Deia Eternally FreeOn a side note, I’m happy to announce that my new novel “Spirit of the Wolf” now for sale on my Amazon page is gaining in popularity! It is the story of real life wolf 832F, or 06 as she is more widely known, exquisitely intertwined with the story of fictional photographer and wildlife activist Caleb and his fashion model girlfriend Lacey. In this fascinating story you will become familiar with the life of wolf 06 in this historical fiction part of the novel along with the life of a wildlife photographer and wildlife activist. You will also discover the real life drama of fashion models in the dazzling world of high fashion!

The book can be purchased for only $2.99 as an Amazon eBook and 8.99 in paperback form, also on Amazon. Read  the full synopsis on the Spirit of the Wolf web page.

A Sad Note

Great blue heron at Manitou Lake Colorado with fish line stuck down his throat

On a sad side note, one of the first sights we had to endure on this visit was one of an unfortunate heron that had swallowed a pile of fish line. Fishermen, you need to clean up your messes. Your carelessness is killing our birds. This poor heron will likely suffer and die from this fish line that should not have been left behind.

A Few More of My Favorite Images From the Lake

Steven W. Krull

Photographer and author Steve Krull has been photographing and writing about the of the Colorado Rocky Mountains and it’s amazing diversity of life for over two decades. He has published thousands of images and several books including his latest novel Spirit of the Wolf.

One thought on “Summer Birds

Leave a Reply