Ignoring the Rain

Well, sometimes you just have to. As long as it isn't pouring down or flooding you can manage and often get nice shots.  

My fave photographer Bill Maroldo and I went to Surfside on Wednesday, March 11 as it was supposed to be cloudy with a chance of rain. Turned out to be rainy with a chance of clouds. 

We had recently explored the area next to the Surfside Jetty. There is a park and a rather large pond near the parking lot entrance. The water comes from the Harbor Channel, but is protected and quiet. We had seen Greater Yellowlegs there one time before, and even a Clapper Rail. It was threatening rain when we set up on the shoulder to check out a Great Blue Heron. He didn't stick around, but the Snowy Egret was really active. 

Snowy in action - a lot of splash for a tiny fish Sony A77 II with 70-400mm G2 1/1250 sec. f/6.3 ISO 1000

Snowy in action - a lot of splash for a tiny fish

Sony A77 II with 70-400mm G2 1/1250 sec. f/6.3 ISO 1000

The Snowy edged closer to us and was catching tiny, minnow sized silver fish. He did a curious head shake when he did catch a fish.

Swing it up.... Sony A77 II with 70-400mm G2 1/1250 sec. f/6.3 ISO 1000

Swing it up....

Sony A77 II with 70-400mm G2 1/1250 sec. f/6.3 ISO 1000

And threw the little fish into the air ...scattering droplets...

Open wide Sony A77 II with 70-400mm G2 1/1250 sec. f/6.3 ISO 1000

Open wide

Sony A77 II with 70-400mm G2 1/1250 sec. f/6.3 ISO 1000

... to catch and gulp. We took a lot of photos of the Snowy during a break in the rain, and then decided to move on. We found a Clapper Rail in a ditch but he just got too close for good photos. I never thought I would say that, but they move in fast, often closer than minimum focus distance and move away just as quickly. They are a challenge.

One of the first Spring migrants - Black-and-White Warbler Sony A77 II with 70-400mm G2 1/320 sec. f/6.3 ISO 1000; tripod

One of the first Spring migrants - Black-and-White Warbler

Sony A77 II with 70-400mm G2 1/320 sec. f/6.3 ISO 1000; tripod

We stopped by the Quintana Neotropical Bird Sanctuary to scout for early migrants. Near the entrance we found a Black-and-White Warbler. A new bird for me to photograph as I have only caught glimpse of them before. He foraged up an old, bare trunk from bottom to top in a spiral reminiscent of a nuthatch.

Cute little fellow. I shot this in the rain standing under the observation tower for shelter. 

Savannah Sparrow in the rain Sony A77 II with 70-400mm G2 1/320 sec. f/6.3 ISO 1250; tripod

Savannah Sparrow in the rain

Sony A77 II with 70-400mm G2 1/320 sec. f/6.3 ISO 1250; tripod

There were scads of Savannah Sparrows on the grass looking for seeds and insects. I was lucky when one flushed up and stayed on a branch for an instant. Savannahs are plentiful here during our winter but will move north soon. 

Green Heron foraging in the rain Sony A77 II with 70-400mm G2 1/500 sec. f/5.6 ISO 1600; bean bag in window for support

Green Heron foraging in the rain

Sony A77 II with 70-400mm G2 1/500 sec. f/5.6 ISO 1600; bean bag in window for support

Headed back to the highway from Quintana Bill spotted a wet Green Heron in a ditch. He turned around and we both took photos from the vehicle. It was raining a fine drizzle by then; sometimes one side of the vehicle is unusable due to blowing mist. We turned around several times so each of us had time to shoot.

At least the bird was cooperative and didn't fly off. 

Green Heron probably waiting for us to leave Sony A77 II with 70-400mm G2 1/500 sec. f/5.6 ISO 1600; bean bag in window for support

Green Heron probably waiting for us to leave

Sony A77 II with 70-400mm G2 1/500 sec. f/5.6 ISO 1600; bean bag in window for support

It was exciting to see a Green Heron as most of them leave the Gulf Coast for the winter. Seeing the first of the year is a sure sign Spring is just around the corner. 

Related Adventures: Snowy Egrets; Green Herons; Looking for Spring Migrants

And have you had enough rain? and fog? I love overcast and foggy days for photos but I always think about how bad it makes the commute.  Let me know in the comments below.