Sunday, June 12, 2011

House Wren Nesting

I'd given up hope, but there is a house wren that is trying to nest in my nest box. He's missing a tail (any ideas?), but there was a female around earlier in the day, and they've both put sticks in the box. Anyway, he was singing constantly today, and I got some good pictures.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Shaw Nature Reserve

On Monday my dad and I went out to Shaw Nature Reserve, which is run by the Missouri Botanical Garden. We saw a Prothonotory Warbler and A Yellow-Throated Warbler, both of which were life birds for me. We also saw a young male deer, which is interesting because you mostly see females (at least in my experience). Also there were Yellowthroats, Summer Tanagers, and Indigo buntings, so we were only lacking a green bird to finish the rainbow. The only good picture I got was when we walked by a flock of chickadees, one of which was eating a caterpillar.
These next two are from way back in April, at Powder Valley Nature center. The bluebird was very cooperative, and I think the gnatcatchers are nesting in the area where I found them.
A couple weeks ago, I went back out to Powder Valley, but there wasn't much going on, so I tried to find Emmenegger Nature Park. I found it, but I spent 15 minutes trying to locate a bird up in a tree, and then walked into the woods, where I was greeted by mosquitoes. After crossing a bridge, I came around a bend to find this copperhead sunning itself. I left.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Florida Part 2

On the first full day in Florida, my dad and I went out early to Wakodahatchee Wetlands and Green Cay. There were lots of great birds at Wako, including palm, pine, and yellow-rumped warblers. There were also many other people there with large lenses, although this year I was able to hold my own in that respect, with only a few 500 f4 lenses to dwarf mine. Unfortunately, I didn't see a purple gallinule, which I had last time. On the other hand, there was a painted bunting pair at Green Cay, which is one of the most amazing birds I've seen.
We went to the West Palm Beach Zoo, and there were white ibises everywhere. This one's at a more natural setting in Green Cay.
One of my favorite things about Florida is that I get to see these neo-tropical migrants before spring. This blue-gray gnatcatcher was very cooperative.
I took this little blue heron right as I was leaving Green Cay for the last time. I certainly hope to get back to Delray Beach next year.
Most of the photos in this post have been entered in the Green Cay photo contest, and I think I should know April 27th how I did. It's snowing here right now, but I got lots of nice pictures because the birds are eager to use the feeders.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Florida Part 1

First off, here are some Sanderlings from the beach-they were very tame, I suppose because the beaches in south Florida are never empty.
I lay in the sand to get some of these shots, and I liked the eye level angle. I have to say, I envy those who live by beaches, especially in Florida, since it was bright, so I was at iso 200, and it was very possible to get great images of these birds without too much work.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary

One of the major attractions of this area are the wintering Bald Eagles. They are reliably found here, and I don't think I've ever not seen a couple (although this time a lot of the water was frozen over). These two were taken below a dam, where there were many photographers, including some, believe it or not, with even longer lenses.
I had actually just put my camera back in the car when this guy showed up. Fortunately, I was able to get it out in time. I'd still like to go back and get some more shots, though.
There were sparrows all over the place here. Song, Eurasian Tree, American Tree, White-Crowned, and Savannah.
There were also Horned Larks! I really like these birds because they look so funny with their little tufts. There was a big flock of them around the visitor center feeders, and I had to crowl for quite a ways on my belly to get this shot.I've seen a lot of shots like this this winter, and I think it's because of their flight habits. Northern Harriers cruise low over the fields, which lets you get a nice brown background. This is a fun site to look at, because it often has many very nice pictures, including many nicer harrier flight shots.
These guys were in a big flock foraging around the visitors center. Due to an embankment leading up to it, I was able to get many nice eye-level shots. That embankment is hard to describe, but basically the entrance to an office building was below ground level, so I could crouch over a snow drift and be at the birds level.

I'm going to Florida on the 17th, and besides the warm weather, I look forward to Wakadahatchee and Green Cay, and Fishing on lake Osborne. Look up Peacock Bass. Hopefully I'll catch one, and I remember the photography at Wako/Green Cay was amazing, and that was even before I got my new lens!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Great Backyard Bird Count

Just A reminder that this is coming up. I've done it the past couple years, and this year I anticipate being in Florida!