Best of 2009 – Animals

Channel Islands Side-Blotched Lizard

This is a part three to the “Best of 2009″ pictures for “Animals” category. To be honest, I haven’t done much wildlife photography this year, because I was busy photographing birds, landscapes and portraits. After seeing a small number of animal pics in my photo collection, I decided to try to capture more wildlife this year, if I can.

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Best of 2009 – Introduction

Antelope Canyon

Well, I’m not even a quarter of a way into selecting the best of 2009. Lots of pictures and almost no time, but I’ll get there :)

For now, enjoy these two picks at 1920×1200 resolution for widescreen monitors. If you have a lower resolution widescreen monitor, the picture should scale back to fit your screen. If you have a square monitor, then you are out of luck :) Let me know if it a problem and I can make an attempt to go back and crop it.

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My favorite raptor photo of the year

Harris's Hawk in Flight

This image of the Harris’s Hawk is so far my favorite raptor picture of the year. It is very challenging to take pictures of birds in flight and this one actually came out pretty well – the eyes are sharp and fully directed at me, which I really like in the photograph. There is one more image that is better than this one in terms of position of wings, but one of the wings got cut off from the frame (I was shooting hand-held) and it ruined the picture :(

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Great Sand Dunes

Great Sand Dunes #1

I have finally finished sorting through the photographs of the Great Sand Dunes National Park that Sergey and I visited a couple of weeks ago. Although it was very windy and rather cold, the weather was just perfect for photography with the beautiful cloud patches in the sky and rapidly changing light.

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Hawk eating a mouse

Hawk eating a mouse #1

While driving with my kids to a local park for birding, I saw this hawk flying around very low. I was slowly making a turn and continued watching the bird to see what happens next. All of a sudden, the hawk dove into the ground and I knew he was going to have a catch. Then he flew up and I clearly saw some sort of a rodent in his claws. I quickly grabbed my camera and drove towards a pole where he sat to first kill the rodent, then to consume it.

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