Photographing Kearny Marsh by Kayak

Roy Woodford writes

All those hours standing on Disposal Road waiting for Northern Harrier fly-bys with Ron Shields definitely didn't go to waste.  The stories of what he was able to see and photograph convinced me to go buy a kayak. 

I'll have to admit, shooting from a boat gives some unique perspectives and opportunities that you wouldn't otherwise get … and it's more difficult than I thought it would be.

 Nonetheless, in the four hours I was out there I found tons of Tree Swallows, Barn Swallows and Red-winged Blackbirds all buzzing by within feet of my head.  I also came across Common Moorhens, American Coots, Wood Ducks, Mallards, Semipalmated Sandpipers (I think – check the picture), Killdeer, Osprey, one Least Bittern , Swamp Sparrows, Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, and Black-crowned Night Herons (and many other species I can't identify). 

There are lots of Painted Turtles (I think) and Snapping Turtles as well.  I'm sure I missed a ton of things … I could spend all day out there.


Three more pix follow.




4 thoughts on “Photographing Kearny Marsh by Kayak

  1. jim wright

    Least Bitterns tend to be pretty skittish. I think you really want to be in a one-person kayak to take photographs in the Kearny Marsh. As far as I am concerned, canoes are way toooo tippy — and that’s before you try to take a photo… :- )
    Anybody else’s thoughts?

  2. Ron

    I would second Jim’s opinion with regards to a single-person kayak which can handle the very shallow water and tree stumps that you will encounter during the summer months. They can also get in and out of tight spaces extremely well. I’ve been fortunate to photograph several least bitterns in the Kearny Marsh over the years. When flushed, they usually melt quickly into the surrounding phragmites. Best opportunities arise when the bittern freezes at the edge of the reeds.
    The good looks to good photos ratio is extremely one-sided.


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