OK, I’ve been alluding to the problem for as long as I’ve been doing this blog, but unfortunately the situation this year is out of control. I’m talking, of course, about the amount of disturbance the birds are having to endure from the public. Whenever you create a ‘festival’ and draw attention to a particular area or species, this unfortunately seems to happen.
Look out there. This shot is the view from the viewing platform today. Do you see a bird???? I wonder just how many people felt they had to ‘get closer’ today?
here is as close as we got to the log bay today…too many people and more that you can’t see because they are where they shouldn’t be! (by the way that sign is back at the district having more work done to it).
back at the viewing platform this was the very far end of the now exposed gravel bars of the estuary…there appeared to be a lot of Swans out there too…
seconds later…notice all the birds suddenly taking flight….
now look at the same area – the swans are still there but not much else…and why? someone with a camera equipped with a huge telephoto lens just had to ‘get closer’!
Telephoto lens should be a means of being able to stand well back, but still enabling the photographer to get a good close shot of the subject, but what seems to happen is that, not happy to just get a picture of the bird, next they have to get a picture that is just the birds head, and then just the birds eye and on it goes. Everyone admires a wonderful crisp clear shot of a bird….but we have to start asking ourselves, and the photographer, what did it cost the bird to get that particular picture! This is especially true of pictures of birds in flight. Did that bird just happen to fly right by at the perfect angle for that shot…or was that bird pressured until it flew? and if so, is that acceptable? Certainly from the bird’s perspective it isn’t!!!
When you are in bird habitat your prime consideration should be to not disturb those birds. For example…
when we set out on our walk this afternoon this juvenile Bald Eagle was eating this salmon. I stood on the path and took it’s picture with my, what many would scorn, camera, that has the equivalent of a 800mm lens on it. The bird remained perfectly relaxed, and I continued on my walk, on my return, the bird was still there, happily eating. When I got home I downloaded the picture, cropped and enhanced it in my computer and further cropped it as it is posted here. No, you can’t see every individual feather….but the important part was that the bird remained undisturbed while I still got a picture!
this adult Bald Eagle actually flew up into the tree at the viewing platform while I was there….one of the birds disturbed by the previously mentioned incident.
Check out both the F.V.B.E. Festival website and the Hancock Wildlife Foundation website and you will see that it is no longer just me that is expressing concern about this problem.
Back to today…
This Great Blue Heron was perched on a piling….almost looks like he is passing comment on the whole ‘too many people’ situation!
got a quick picture of this Spotted Towhee before the next wave came tromping down the trail and he dove for cover….he is actually the only small bird I saw or heard today…
and finally this trio of female Common Merganser were up at the calmer end along with the usual Mallard and American Wigeon.
It looks like our string of good weather days is coming to an end, and for the birds sake, it can’t happen too soon!