Thursday, May 28, 2009

Red racer/coachwhip snake up a tree-again

Last summer I posted pics of a red racer/coachwhip snake I found up in a tree. Yesterday in Pathfinder Park in Florence, CO a California birder I was talking to spotted the red racer snake in these pics. As we watched, the snake watched us back and soon slithered down the tree and vanished in the vegetation much to the astonishment of the birder's daughter, Marissa.
click here to go to the pics I posted last summer. SeEtta

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Better pics of Red-throated Loon near Canon City,CO

I went back out to Brush Hollow Reservoir before Memorial Day week-end to try for some better views and photos of the Red-throated Loon that is far south of where it should be at this time of year. I was rewarded with closer views, only 2-400 feet away, as the loon preened, stretched and did a little diving when there were fewer fishermen on the shore and in boats to chase it into the middle of the lake. This allowed me to get pretty good pics with my telephoto lens combo (totally over 600 mm eqivalence) when I cropped and lightened them.
This loon appears to be in adult non-breeding/Definitive Basic plumage. The bottom pic shows the white spots on the back that is most prominent in Basic plumage than Alternate plumage. There were some dark smudgy areas on the front part of the loon's neck, possibly indicative of the beginnings of it's molt into Breeding/Definitive Alternate plumage. SeEtta

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Least Flycatcher, an uncommon visitor

Least Flycatchers migrate through eastern Colorado during migration. I found this bird on the Canon City Riverwalk, a little far west of where they are usually seen.
I heard it singing it's repetitive and loud "chebek". Since it sang almost continuously, with head raised up, there was a minimal time to foraqe. However it only stayed one day before continuing it's trip north. SeEtta

Monday, May 25, 2009

Local warblers

The past several days have been quite cool and rainy--what is most often the weather around Memorial Day. The fronts that have brought this weather also brought more waves of migrating landbirds including a number of warblers like the two in these pics that I photographed yesterday.
Though not common during spring migration (they are very common here during fall migration), Wilson's Warblers breed in the more mountainous areas of Colorado. I caught the male Wilson's in the top two pics as he flew between branches while engaged in very active foraging.
The bottom warbler is a male Common Yellowthroat that was foraging in some deciduous trees near the Arkansas River along the Canon City Riverwalk. SeEtta