American white pelican.

Story and photography by MARILYN BISHKIN

Who needs to voyage to a bird sanctuary when you can get your feather fix at White Rock Lake? My favorite spot is Pelican Point on the east coast. I always go there first to see what birds are hanging out. It’s the best place to catch them flying or landing. The type and number of birds vary by time of day and season. I have seen egrets, cormorants, pelicans, ducks, geese, herons, avocets and killdeer. I love the pelicans’ huge wingspan and giant bills. The egrets with their long legs and white feathers are elegant. And the coloring of the wood ducks seems almost unreal.

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My camera is a Fuji XT-2 with a Fuji XF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 lens with a 2x extender. I use zoom lenses because they allow a quick change in focal length to capture the action. I like to shoot tight closeups to capture the fine detail of feathers, an interesting beak or webbed foot. I focus on the birds’ eyes just as I would a human subject. I also practice a lot. It is not uncommon for me to shoot 500 to 1,000 images in one afternoon.

I am just an amateur birder, learning as I go, but every outing to White Rock Lake only makes me want to return again and again. 

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