David Alaniz Photography

Natures turn…….

Monthly Archives: March 2013

Feather Coat

Have you ever wondered how they deal with the cold weather?  The temperature was in the 30’s when this was taken in the early morning sunrise.

Nikon D4, Nikon 500mm, f/4, 1/800, ISO 640



Thuh Checklist

Weather forecast:  sunny and clear.  That’s what I had been wanting to get some special captures.  Temperature was to be Cold, low 30’s.  No problem, thermals – check, heavy footwear – check, T-shirt – check, long sleeves – check, long heavy hunting jacket with many pockets (:-)) – check, camera – check, lens – check, tripod – check, batteries and extras charged – check, memory card in camera and extras ready – check, yearly pass for High Island – check, water – check, snack – check, skeeter spray – check, flashlight – check.  List complete.  At least it seemed complete.

I arrived about an hour before sunrise.  Once I got everything together I started out on the trail.  It was so dark on the trail under the trees, I couldn’t see.  No problem.  Pulled out my flashlight to give me an idea of direction.  Good thing it was on my checklist because I couldn’t see anything much less where to step.  Funny how you start seeing things that aren’t there.  Finally got to my spot and set up ready to go.  Did I say it was cold?  My thoughts, “David, we have a problem.”  No Gloves!  It didn’t take long for my fingers to start going numb.  It’s a beautiful sunrise and my fingers are frozen.  I remembered a few people mentioning I was full of hot air.  So why not, I thought as I blew into my hand and fingers.  Well, obviously those people didn’t know what they were talking about because it didn’t work.

I dealt with my frozen fingers the best that I could and still managed to capture several keepers.  It was a good morning.  When is the last time you enjoyed a sunrise?

Nikon D4, Nikon 500mm, f/4.0, 1/800, ISO 640


Great Egret – Posturing

An early morning at High Island Smith Oaks Rookery.  The weather forecast was showing “stay inside”.  Perhaps thinking it would render some different opportunities, off I go.  It was cold and miserable but with thinning clouds I was hoping for a break.  Ok, on the positive side, the wind was blowing about 25 mph keeping the skeeters at bay – except for the one that found my cheek.  I managed to capture a few pics and here is one posturing.

Nikon D4, Nikon 500mm, f/5.6, 1/500


Easter Eggs??

It’s almost that time again where kids and some big adults get out and look for Easter eggs.  This Great Egret has two of her own and already colored blue.  Taken at High Island rookery this morning.  It was cool, very windy and not much light.

Nikon D4, Nikon 500mm, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO 500


Joined At The Hip

This one is from last year at High Island rookery.  I just thought it was odd and really had to zoom in to see how they were suspended.  I will be making another visit to the rookery so I decided to review some old settings on my photos.  I didn’t realize I had so many that have never been processed.  I would rather be shooting than processing the pictures.

Nikon D300s, Nikon 500mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO 200


The Bird Dance

Continuing from the last posting of the Pearland Eagles, the hawk must have seen the eagle above and that is when the dance began with hard turns, dives, dips and climbs.  People, this hawk was in “deep sh!t”.  In actuality, the hawk was trying to “get out of Dodge”.   The hawk was going nuts knowing there was trouble up above.   The eagle was able to out dive, maneuver as well as out think the hawk.  I believe the eagle was making a conscious effort not to hurt the hawk but to give him a heck of a scare and let him know not to intrude in its territory.  After the close encounter the hawk flew into the sunset and the eagle returned towards the nest.

Nikon D4, Nikon 500 + 1.4tc, f/5.6, 1/2500, EV -0.67, ISO 200

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Eagle Wing Span

Let me set up for you what was happening.  Recently my lovely wife (I need the extra points) said she wanted to go see the eagles in Pearland.  I was excited to take her, hoping she would get to see them fly.  One of the eagles was perched a long way off in the back field and never moved the entire time we were there.  The other eagle flew, but on the back side of the trees.  It left and returned later with a big fish.  It came in low and I thought it was going to make a fly by in front of the trees before it approached the nest.  Nooooo, it flew in from the back and landed in the nest obstructed by some branches.

After dropping off the meal for the eaglets it flew to a nearby perch and stood on guard.  It wasn’t long before it took off towards the lake, gaining altitude very quickly.    All for a good reason.  A hawk was flying at a very high altitude which was surprising since they usually fly lower unless they are migrating.  Approaching the hawk the eagle flew much higher.  The pictures shows the eagle banking hard to the left and then flipping to the right before it took a nose dive.

These were taken a very long way off and were heavily cropped.  But I still wanted to share with you some of the excitement we viewed.  More details to follow in my next post.

Nikon D4, 500mm + 1.4tc, f/5.6, 1/2500, -0.67, ISO 200




I was watching some ducks as they nosed down looking for something to eat.  Two remained behind as the rest slowly swam away.  The entire time I kept wanting them to “duck, duck, come on now, just duck, please duck”.  Well, they finally did Duck and it gave me an unrestrainable smile as I took their picture.

Nikon D300s, 500mm, f/4, 1/640, ev -0.33, ISO 200