Friday, January 29, 2010

Melinda's bird pics

Dean promised, in his previous post, that I would post my pictures from our recent bird here we go!

First up are my pictures from our Whitewater Draw trip, a few weeks ago. Even though we have now been there several times, there is something magical about seeing thousands of Sandhill Cranes together. These really are my 'best shots', as they are pretty difficult to photograph - especially in the air!

You really have to click on these photos to enlarge them, in order to see the detail on the birds.

Of course, there are other birds at Whitewater Draw. We see numerous Shovler's, Buffleheads, there were some Snow Geese hiding amongst the Cranes, and occasionally you see something that is totally a 'new' find on "your personal birding list". This was the case for me, this trip! While I have seen plenty of Cattle Egrets, I have never seen a Great Egret...until this fellow showed up! It can be tricky, picking out the specific characteristics that define each species. You can clearly see in this photo that this guy has the characterisic yellow beak, and black legs. He seems to enjoy watching the little Buffleheads bob around in the water as much as the human observers do. Seeing, and photographing, this majestic bird was a highlight for me on this trip!

Our next excursion, as you know, was locally to Sweetwater Wetlands. Since Sweetwater is only a few miles from our house we are really enjoying going there! Whitewater Draw is a good 1.5 hour drive; so if we can get find some good birds closer to home we're glad to go see them on a regular basis! Dean posted his pictures from the trip - including the bobcat we saw! Wow!! I was wishing we had brought a can of Fancy Feast to lure her closer. What a beautiful animal! I managed to get some decent bird pictures at Sweetwater.

First up is the Ruddy Duck, displaying breeding coloration, and his mate. If you didn't know that this was possible you may have thought someone painted this guy's bill with bright blue paint! How incredibly bizarre!

This little cutie is a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. I've been hoping to see one since seeing it in my National Audubon Society Field Guide. They are the smallest of birds, with the exception of hummingbirds, so not easy to find! This little one was quite friendly, and I think it would have landed on our heads if we had stayed quiet and still enough. As it was, it would land on branches within 2-3 feet of us! This picture is just about life size, without enlarging it to see detail....cute!!

You may need to click on this picture to enlarge it and see the sweet little Common Yellowthroat Warbler in this picture. It was hiding among the reeds and the grass, but belting out a song! Since this was the only one I saw all day, it's nice to give it some recognition. Like many warbler's, the Common Yellow Throat is quite small - much smaller than their voice. They seem to be the Ethel Merman's of the bird world!

Another warbler here. If you guessed this one's name to be "Yellow Warbler" you'd be right! There were lots of these flitting around, this one held still long enough for me to get a picture.

This guy has been getting a lot of local attention, among the birder's in the area. Leucistic Vermillion Flycatcher's are pretty rare, and often mistaken to be albino's, which they are not. An albino would have 'pink' eyes (absent of color, so appearing pink). This little guy has black eyes! While this is not the best picture taken of one of these, it's my picture - and I was really pleased to have gotten to see it and photograph it!

This last picture is of Dean with our friends, Jenny and Frank. Jenny and I work together and we had a great time introducing them to Sweetwater! Fieldtrips, like this, are always fun to share with friends!


David A. Harvey said...


Very Nice work! Those yellow warblers and kinglets are tough subjects - you did a great job!

The Brat.

Anonymous said...

love the vermillion flycatcher photo.excellent composition, color, and depth.