Wednesday, May 28, 2014

photos as promised

Though I'm still busy working on the painting submission as well as a proposal I could do no more today due extreme tiredness. A darn squawky pain in the ear male house sparrow woke me at 5:30 am. Now as it takes hours to drift into sleep at night an early awakening I could do without. Seems we have three species vying for the same dead stump, a single wren whom is attempting to sing in a mate is provoking two nuthatches whom have cleared out a hole with a front and back entrance by going in and out of their construction site, and a damn introduced foreigner; the house sparrow. I admit we spend a lot of time chasing the house sparrow away as I refuse to give ground to the aggressive beasts. As for the nuthatches and wren, well they will have to decide who gets the nest site. Last year the nuthatches nested first then the wren, but this year the wren has showed up earlier.
But this post is really about birding in Irricana AB, so on we go.



I would think this is a yellowlegs but the strongly defined eye ring has me confused.

Yellow-headed Blackbird, male.
Yellow-headed Blackbird, female.

Yellow-headed Blackbird landed on a fence post right beside the truck gifting me a wonderful close-up pose.

Then a Meadowlark flew in, and seemingly took no notice of my big lens peering out the truck window.

Male and female Brewer's Blackbird.

American Avocet, this wee blue legged bird is smaller than I initially realized. Another than I was able to capture without leaving the truck-blind. She was foraging in the ditch right beside the road and took no mind to us at all. This photo is not cropped, she just fits in the viewfinder. You may wonder how I assume female as both gender look the same? Well, the female has more pronounced recurved bill, a bent beak.

I spotted this wee leggy one and called out for Gerald to pull over. As the pond was right beside a rail track he stopped up the road while I walked back, and being so focused on this fella that I missed seeing one in between us it till it flew, hence this one left with it. Note to self; do better scan of an area before proceeding. I do try to leave quite a bit of space between myself and the birds with concern not to add extra migratory stress, but I blew this time.
If anyone knows which shorebird this is please do tell, as I am not up on the shorebirds yet. It seems as though the bill is yellow with a black tip.

A vulture scouring the treetops. 

A vesper sparrow. These birds are so tiny I have to use manual rather than spot focus to capture them.


  Wings level, check.
 landing gear out, check.

And we have lift off.
I love the that in one day I was able to capture a Mallard male landing on a pond in front of me as well as later in the day capture a Mallard lift off from a pond. The lift off was a treat, its as though he jumped into the air and was air born, absolutely amazing.

A sure sign of spring, the warblers are back.
Yellow-rumped Warbler, Myrtle, male. Don't you just love his lone ranger mask.

Yellow-rumped Warbler, female showing her yellow topknot. Notice her coloring is softer compared to the male.

Two snipe flew over my head landing in the marsh, and I could not see them till I looked through my 300m prime lens. I would love to have a binocular but man-o-live a good one is way out of my price range, so I will continue using my camera as a spotting scope.

And again, Snipe.

More to come, so stay tuned.


john said...

Late Summer is a time that I sometimes dread because that is when fledgling Magpies are moving about and begging loudly to be fed, starting at four or five in the morning. They have an unbelievably annoying screech. If you have Magpies in your neighborhood, then you know.
I believe that the first photo is a Cordilleran Flycatcher. It is certainly one of the Empidonax Flycatcher group. I saw them often when I lived in Arizona.
The second one is probably not a Willet. Since I cannot estimate its size or the length of its legs, a positive id is tough. I believe that it is either a Long-billed Dowitcher, or a Godwit, (female Hudsonian?)
The yellowlegs is a nice prime breeding, Lesser Yellowlegs.
The other questioned shorebird is almost certainly a Solitary Sandpiper.
I cannot tell which sparrow the unidentified sparrow is. Too many possibilities to choose from.

Red said...

You had a very good day for seeing some interesting birds. I'm not up on shore birds either.