We didn’t have too much trouble spotting the famous wild horses and ponies of Assateague and Chincoteague. Immediately upon entering Assateague State Park, we came across a group grazing beside the road. Long unkempt manes add a dash of careless aloofness to their beauty.
Although Assateague and Chincoteague are famous for these large (controlled) population of wild horses and ponies. I found both island to be a bird photographers dream, despite having visited in not the ideal season. Assateague’s and Chincoteague’s marshes support vast populations of cranes, herons and other wading birds; their proximity to the ocean brings gulls and terns to the refuge; the woods in the area house warblers, thrushes and other small birds; the abundant fish attract raptors like ospreys and eagles. Unsuprisingly we got a taste of them all.
Both wildlife refuges support their avian inhabitants with an abundance of seafood. Everywhere we looked a bird was about to dine.
The best photographs however came in the wee morning hours at dawn on the last day of our vacation. We woke up well before sunrise and drove to Tom’s Cove, a south-east facing beach, in Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge.
I photographed the rising sun with the only lens I had, a 200-500mm telephoto. The sun’s shimmering outline, its flattened reflection on the sea below and the moment of capture – all make it work beautifully for me.
Great Egrets are magnificent birds. The warm morning sunlight adds to their magnificence.
This light morning mist over the swamps and marshes of Chincoteague made for some beautiful scenes. Soft wispy lighting like this is a photographers delight.