Chincoteague NWR > June 2011
Travels Index Michael W Masters

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If one can't have quantity then perhaps the unusual might suffice.  Although the June 2011 visit to Chincoteague NWR did not produce a large number of images it did provide several good ones as well as a few unusual ones.  Perhaps the most unusual was a black squirrel, sighted not at the refuge but on Chincoteague Island itself.  I had never seen a black squirrel before (nor since), but it made a great subject, and I was delighted that it posed for me, along with a cooperative rabbit, in the woods along Hallie Whealton Smith Drive.

Swan Cove also yielded a couple of rare good days, albeit overcast and foggy ones.  There were a number of feeding snowy egrets, and I was able to get images of individuals as well as some nice egretscapes.  In addition, a really beautiful little blue heron wandered close to shore in the fog, allowing me to capture some lovely, almost painterly images of the bird poised in nothingness.

The biggest gift of all at Swan Cove was the presence of three ruddy ducks in summer breeding plummage.  I have never seen ruddys in summer plummage at the refuge before or since, in June or any other month, so the opportunity was special.  Althought the lighting, at about a 45 degree angle, was not perfect, it did work.  As it turned out, ruddys attracted the attention of others, and I had to fend off an interruption by another bird lover during this all-to-brief photo session.

Also, the rental house we stayed at afforded an outstanding view of Chincoteague Bay, and toward the end of our stay we were treated to a glorious sunset that positively demanded HDR treatment.  HDR images are often subject to criticism, depending on the preference of the viewer, especially as some can be "over the top."  In this case, the sunset we witnessed was every bit as spectacular as the image portrays.


BCNightHeron-ChincoNWR-2011June_D4A4615 BCNightHeron-ChincoNWR-2011June_D4A4621 BlackSquirrel-ChincoNWR-2011June_S3A7692-1 ChincoBayHDR-2011June_S3A7725_6_7 CottontailRabbit-ChincoNWR-2011June_D4A4569
EgretScape-ChincoNWR-2011June_S3A7484 EgretScapeWide-ChincoNWR-2011June_S3A7485 ForstersTern-ChincoNWR-2011June_S3A7255 LittleBlueHeron-ChincoNWR-2011June_D4A4159 LittleBlueHeron-ChincoNWR-2011June_D4A4172
RuddyDuck-ChincoNWR-2011June_D4A3869 RuddyDuck-ChincoNWR-2011June_D4A4060 SnowyEgret-ChincoNWR-2011June_D4A4076 SnowyEgret-ChincoNWR-2011June_D4A4093 SnowyEgret-ChincoNWR-2011June_D4A4142-1
SnowyEgret-ChincoNWR-2011June_D4A4211 Willet-ChincoNWR-2011June_S3A7266-copy Willet-ChincoNWR-2011June_S3A7330-copy Willet-ChincoNWR-2011June_S3A7367 Willet-ChincoNWR-2011June_S3A7373

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