This egret was spotted in the farmland just east of the Jhubei High Speed Rail station. After going under the bridge for the station, you suddenly go from an urban/suburban landscape to countryside, and being in a river valley, it’s quite a beautiful ride.
I saw this egret yesterday in the canal in Hsinchu. While they usually come pretty close, I was astonished at how close this one came up to me, especially as it was in the middle of lunch. On top of this, the bird started almost “playing” with the fish. It was a fascinating thing to watch and I got a lot of shots off while this was going on.
Today I’ll include some more animals, in the case birds. These were taken while on an excursion in Hsinchu last weekend and I thought I’d include them since it’s been a while since my last bird post in December.
Starting off, we’ve got a common egret, which are found all over Jhubei-Hsinchu, along with different varieties of herons.
I did see what appeared to be a kingfisher and heard its call, but by the time I moved two millimeters the bird was gone. I couldn’t even have dreamed of getting my camera to my eye.
The above egret was hard enough. This was the only shot I got from this angle before it flew across the river.
I also came across the tree that is always full of great sparrows in Hsinchu. Even with their numbers, they’re hard to get photos of because they’re constantly moving around. Mix poor lighting conditions in, and it’s even tougher.
I used the SB-600 on both of the above shots.
I’m amazed by the amount of egrets, herons, and sparrows in Taiwan. While it’s easy to see other species, these three live near cities most often. Unfortunately, I don’t have the birding skill (or patience) to do work like John&Fish, a Taiwanese couple whose photographs were in a National Geographic blog not too long ago.
While I’m mentioning another blog, I’d like to thank Nino Rend at My Kafkaesque Life for his mention of my blog both in a post on his site and during his interview for a well-deserved blogging award he received at Taiwanderful. He’s a ridiculously nice guy – go check out his blog.
These shots were taken in Hsinchu – I managed to get a few closer shots of this egret before it left. I liked the algae in the background as it provided some much-needed contrast. I also lowered the highlights to give the blown-own feathers some texture. I’m still perfecting my skill in getting these birds, so if you have suggestions, let me know.
Well, my weather predictions for the weekend go to show that I shouldn’t be a meteorologist. We had a beautiful day today with temperatures in the mid-80s F and plenty of sun. I decided to go to the traditional market and, finding that it was starting to shut down for the day, went to the riverside that divides Jhubei from Hsinchu. I’ve taken pictures here before, even having a second post of shots from the same area.
This time, I decided to venture closer to the river itself. I found a trail used by fishermen who park their scooters nearby and bring waders with them to go fly-fishing. I set up on a rock that worked as a seat and managed to get a glimpse at a few egrets, which are common in rivers and rice fields here in Taiwan. I watched this egret get used to me staring at it with the 70-300mm lens and waited for it to get comfortable. Then it started fishing and gave me a good show:
It would dart back up the rock from time to time – and I’m not sure why. At least once, it gave me a good display of plumage. You’ll want to click on this to see it full-size:
In addition to the egret, I was treated to a black-crowned night heron. I’ve actually seen these in Texas before (as well as egrets) and even previously posted a photo of one. Of course, that was before getting my nice 70-300mm glass, so I was relying on the fact that the previous bird was probably defending a nearby nest as it was squawking furiously at me. This one was wasn’t so interested, and didn’t hang around for long. On the other hand, the egrets were there before and after I had left.
The last shot is actually the first bird I saw today, a Taiwan Bush-Warbler: