On one of my trips back down from the summit of Mount Evans, a small group of Ptarmigan were encountered that were foraging among the rocks, beside the road. Ptarmigan reside in these higher altitudes, but are difficult to spot as they blend in so well with their surroundings. Luckily, this small group were walking around, making their movement a bit easier to spot (but still tough!).
With the road narrow at this location and near a hairpin turn, and no pullouts, and the edge of the road falling straight down the mountainside, I only had a short time to photograph the birds before risking another car coming around the turn, so I shot without changing the camera settings and from the running vehicle, which caused the shutter speed to be a lot slower than I would have liked. But still managed to get a few acceptable images. Here is my favorite:
Interesting birds and such a great camouflage coat! As the season moves more towards winter, they will turn white, again creating a great way to openly hide in the snow!
Photographic Equipment Used:
- Canon 7D Mark 2 body
- Canon 100-400mm, f/4.5-f/5.6 IS lens
- Handheld from running car, with IS “On”
- ISO 400
- Shutter 1/30 sec.