Now back to his photography of a particular bird. About two years ago, my wife took a photo of Bandit, the finest bald eagle on the James River. She captured a close, sharp image of the bird’s band, and we were able to get three numbers off the bird’s band. It took more than a year for someone else to start capturing images of the band where numbers were readable … and Dave was that guy. He took the band photography to a new level and was able to read seven of the eight total numbers off Bandit’s band.
The image to the right is one of a series of images taken by Dave that gave us clues to many of the numbers from the band. The key mistake we both made was thinking the number that looks like an obvious '6' in this shot was a '6'. Once we realized it was an '8' (from another photo), that gave us the last number that was needed to find out all about Banidt. And we found out a bunch.
It is with great pleasure that to highlight Dave Parrish’s work on my website. To see more of Dave’s wildlife photography, go to http://daveparrish.zenfolio.com/p1071367295.
The Photos Stories? Top Right: This was a "Photo of the Month" winner for Dave in one of Discover The James' newsletters. It is such a dramatic image that tells a story of a hunting osprey. Here it is flying with a fresh cuaght gizzard shad, probably shifting the catch to a head first position in order to maintain a flight pattern into a tree to begin to eat the head off. --Photo by Dave Parrish
Middle Left: Another great shot. Here an immagure bald eagle tries to grab a shad from the river, but upon close review of the photo, you can see it missed. They get their prey most of the time, but not always. I love the patterns of an immature eagle. No wonder they are the subject of so many artists. --Photo by Dave Parrish
Bottom Right: This is the image that really got the ball rolling for me in the search for Bandit's band numbers. For about a year, I had three numbers 6-2-9. Then Dave started to dial into the band and begin gathering the data needed to find out all about this wonderful bird. Bandit has an incredible story that is worthy of another post on the site ... coming soon. Thanks Dave, Lynda Richardson and Steve Baranoff (the photographers who ended up gathering all the numbers via their photos). --Photo by Dave Parrish
That first trip Bill booked with me ended with him catching 20 or more flathead catfish, many over 20 pounds along with numerous smallmouth bass, redbreasted sunfish and bluegill. He fished in that hot sun for eight hours, non-stop with a smile on his face from ear to ear. We talked all day about fishing and life, and as I gave Bill a ride back upriver to his car for his journey back to Virginia Beach, I thought to myself, “Wow, this is who I want to be when I am 82 years old.” Bill got in his car at 4:45am, drove two hours to the James River in Richmond, fished all day, had a great time and drove back home all in one day. All for the sake of enjoying a day of fishing and all at the age of 82. Yeah, Bill is one of my hero’s and always will be.
The Photo's Stories: Top Left: Sunrise on the James #1. December 20, 2011. Early morning, taken from just downriver of the Richmond Yacht Basin, at the upriver end of Jefferson's Reach. --Photo by Capt. Mike
Middle Right: Sunrise on the James #2. December 20, 2011. Minutes after taking the first pic at the top left, while riding dowriver, towards Jones Neck, I paused to take this image from my Canon G-9 digital camera. I love that little camera. --Photo by Capt. Mike
Lower Left: This is from a fishing trip, with Bill, from last fall. He comes to fish the James River at least twice ayear, and here I am holding the biggest blue catfish of his life, a 64 pounder! To this day, it is still a club record for the Tidewater Angler's Club, a fishing club Bill has belonged to since the 1960's. --Photo by Sheldon Aery
Bottom Left: Sunrise on the James #3. December 20, 2011. This is one of my favorite sunrise images in a while. Something about it grabs me, perhaps it's that first moment of direct sunlight, or the pallette of colors in the sky with the rays shooting through the clouds, or maybe it's the total lack of wind, creating a near perfect reflection of a magnificent sky. Maybe it's all that, and more, of which I just can't explain. Maybe it was just being there. --Photo by Capt. Mike
Yes, catfishing is much different now than it was when I was younger.