Nature Photography by Sash Dias

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May 2012

Muskrats

Muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus) are pretty common in the Northeastern United States. They're not really 'rats', as they're not a part of the genus rattus. Weighing from 1.5-4 pounds, they spend a majority of their time in the water and are omnivorous. 
Thanks to my wife Natasa for supplying this great picture for the blog!

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Of Dragonflies and Phoebes

Up at 5:15am. On the road by 5:30. Lugging a giant tripod/head/lens/camera combination for 3 hours. NO good shots. Right up until this Eastern Phoebe caught a dragonfly and settled itself on a branch in front of me for all of five seconds. YEEEAAAAHHH!!!

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Eastern Kingbird

The Eastern Kingbird is a flycatcher that inhabits mostly fields and open areas. I saw this particular one perched on a cattail on the edge of a marshy pond. Kingbirds are known to be highly aggressive towards nest predators. The summer and winter diets are apparently very different - summer fare consists primarily of insects while winter in South America allows them to be fruit eaters.

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Opposites Attract: The Curious Case of the Blackbird

In the avian world, opposites truly do attract. A case in point is the Red-Winged BlackBird - the male and female couldn't be more different in terms of plumage!

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Male Red-Winged Blackbird

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Female Red-Winged Blackbird

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Marsh Wrens & Friends at Great Meadows

Recently, I visited Great Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary in Concord, MA. Great Meadows is well known for its population of Marsh Wrens, and I was hoping to get a few keepers. The Marsh Wrens weren't too cooperative that day, as most of them seemed to be intent on building nests and not attracting mates - first things first I guess!
I did eventually manage to get some good images of one, plus we had a Red-Winged Blackbird model for us!  A Bullfrog in the shallow and a Song Sparrow completed the set of keepers for the day...


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Marsh Wren

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Red-Winged Blackbird

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Bullfrog

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Song Sparrow

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First visit to Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary

I've seen a lot of fantastic shots taken by other photographers at Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary, but never got around to actually visiting it until this weekend. The weather was great, and the wide open spaces at this park are really something else. 
However, what makes DWWS stand out for me are the two birdwatching blinds located beside a pond near the entrance. Designed by a professional photographer, these blinds are perfect for bird photography and even have 1/4-20 thread tripod head mounts on the windows - just screw in your tripod head, mount your lens and you're ready to go!
 Below are some pictures I took this weekend. I also saw a couple of Green Herons and a Great Egret, but wasn't able to take any decent shots. I'll try again next weekend!


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Tree Swallow

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Painted Turtles

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Green Heron

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