Tuesday, March 26, 2013

BIRDS NOT OF A FEATHER

Bitter cold temperatures, wind and blowing snow kept everyone away from the river this morning.  I put the boat in but, didn't stay on the water long.  After loading it back onto the trailer, I moved from boat ramp to boat ramp near the river to see who I could find who might be brave enough to get on the water on a day like this.  Even the critters, it seemed, stayed in their nests and burrows while the wind whipped the powdery snow in circles above the water.  A very few feathered friends made a stop off along the shoreline where I was.  There weren't many but I was glad they came.  It brightened up the morning.

This red bellied woodpecker stopped by an pecked at the wood of an old rotten log.  I couldn't photograph him while he was moving as my shutter speed was cranked down to a tenth of a second at times.  I'm using the 150 - 500 mm lens.  I only took "safe" shots when the birds were stopped and stationary.  By the way; the photos are labeled incorrectly as Red Headed Woodpecker.  He is a red bellied woodpecker.  Thank you Janet.




 He took off for parts unknown and another pretty little guy showed up. He is a cardinal.  I took great care photographing him because the dark, bright red color often takes on a liquid appearance - a florescent hue,  if the light isn't just right.  Its hard to explain.  I did the best I could.  Remember that these shutter speeds are like an eighth of a second or close to it.





Then the swamp sparrow came.  Sparrows are very difficult to distinguish between species.  There are a lot of them in the bird books.  Months ago I miss named one of these little guys and called him a chipping sparrow.  Wrong!  The state ornithologist straightened me out.  Look in your bird field guide and see what I mean.  Most of these little brown birds look very similar to each other.  



There now - I'm probably boring you with all the repetitive shots of the same birds.  We all know what the next bird is, don't we?  No explanation needed - is there?  OK then I won't give one.


The next fellow landed right in my sights so I thought - what the heck and snapped him.  Well - hes pretty too.
 


Another red headed woodpecker showed up.  There are many, many of these along the river.  I imagine there is a lot of dead wood floating and otherwise along both shorelines.  I tried to catch him in different positions.  His head moved and that's about all.




I was just getting ready to pull out of the lot when this cardinal showed up.  I don't know if it was the same one or not but he presented himself in a different photographic environment.   I thought I'd stuff him into the camera too.


 Cardinals appear to be wear brilliant, red pointy hats or, chocolate, Hershey kisses dipped in cherry juice an molded to the tops of their heads.

And lastly - the red tailed hawk that I have seen in the tree on the hill all last year was perched on his favorite limb.  He made it through the Winter.


Two more photos follow.  I wasn't going to post them because the grebes were so far away.  What the heck?


Not a lot happened today but its always possible to find something to photograph no matter where I am.  The weather is warming up after tomorrow and I've wiped down both canoes with soft rags several times this week.  The Gheenoe batteries are fully charged and shes ready to go.  Come on warm weather!