Monday, July 26, 2010

ABC Wednesday: B is for Black

It was pouring rain last Saturday, Grace left on Friday to Hong Kong to visit her parents, I was stuck at home totally bored.  I took out a bird photography book of Taiwan and carefully planned a trip to visit four sites, very ambitious if only it would not rain on Sunday.

I woke up early on Sunday morning and was out by 7 AM.  The first place that I visited was the experimental farm of National Taiwan University.  It used to be a military base before transferred to the Agricultural Department of the University, it covers 30 acres.  On the express way, it is only 20 minutes from home.  It is an oasis at the edge of Taipei City limit.

Well, here is a Black duck!

If you cannot see it is really Black, here is a closeup.

The major attraction in the farm in the summer, is the lotus pond.

The school also planted a lot butterfly attracting plants.  Here is one very similar to the American Monarch butterfly.  You can see more detail of this butterfly at our previous post here.

This one is very common in Taiwan, migrating back and force on the island according to the season.  You can see more pictures of this kind of butterfly at our previous post here.  Now, because climate change, the northern part of Taiwan is as hot as the southern part of Taiwan.  I wonder why they bother.  I hope you do see the Black on these two butterflies.

I finished the Experimental Farm before 9 AM and headed to the northern port city of Keelung.  It is a small deep water port and an important harbor throughout Taiwan's history.  Part of the Japanese attack naval force to Pearl Harbor during the WWII, came out from Keelung.  The old Chinese name of Keelung means "Chicken Cage".  It now has been changed to a more presentable name, although it still sounds the same.

The book said, the harbor is a good practicing ground for the beginning bird photographer.  I was really surprise to see what it says was true.  Here is a Black-crowned Night Heron (夜鷺), Nycticorax nycticorax.

I have posted images of it in my previous post here.  But they were taken in the city park, where they are very tame.

But at Keelung Harbor, I was at their natural hunting ground.

I could see them in live-action, skimming the water surface hunting for their pray.

Landing elegantly on the surface of the water!

Then off it went with the pray in its beak, all happened in a split of second.

The other excitement was to watch the Black Kite (黑鳶), Milvus migrans in action.

It circulated high above the harbor then dived down to catch its pray in the water, a sight to be seen.

I finished photographing the heron and the kite by 10:30 AM and was ready to take the Expressway 62, head east for my next destination.  See you at Skywatch Friday!!

To see more entries of ABC Wednesday click here.


photowannabe said...

Your action shot of the bird catching its prey is amazing. Its really stop action.
Great post for your day that would have been boring otherwise.

shutter happy jenn said...

All the pictures were amazingly captured! I cannot pick a favorite.

I have two ABC Wednesday posts for this week, you can check it HERE and HERE. Happy mid-week to you!

Jama said...

I love your photos of the birds flying over the water, so amazing!

Georgia said...

Your photos are AMAZING!!! I am new to blogging and am utterly amazed at how many wonderful photos people post. I am light years behind!!! Love your photos!!!

Tumblewords: said...

Your bird photography is outstanding!

Mara said...

That first shot of the heron is beautiful. It looks as if he's posing for you!

Roger Owen Green said...

love the BIRDS in action

wv - pastfun; sounds about right

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Reader Wil said...

Very beautiful Bradley! You and Grace are such good photographers! I enjoyed seeing your bird photos!
Thank you!

Jay said...

What a wonderful place that sounds! I'd love to practice my bird photography there, too - but I doubt I'd get such good photos as you did! Excellent!

On behalf of the team, thanks for taking part in ABC Wednesday this week! :)

Ann said...

You must have two qualities to be bird watching, a steady hand and loads of patience.

Great Photos.

You cooking for yourself?

Beverley Baird said...

5Your photos of the birds are lovely! What a great place to visit and take photos!

shu said...


Paula Scott said...

As always, such stellar photographs on your post! I love the night herons. Haven't ever seen that many at one time.


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