Thursday, November 5, 2009

Rufous-crowned Sparrows up close


Earlier this week I stopped by the Tunnel Drive Trail area to take advantage of the beautiful Indian summer fall we have had this week. Because the Tunnel Drive area is located as the mouth of the Royal Gorge canyon, which serves as a funnel that makes for strong winds, birding here can quite nasty when the temps are cold. Since there wasn't any construction happening in the parking area, I decided to check out what they are doing and look for Rufous-crowned Sparrows.
I was in luck--the Rufous-crowned Sparrows apparently have found the disturbance from the mud & rock slide a few months ago plus the city's construction of a catchment area for future slides to their liking. One bird popped up less than 15 feet from me and though it quickly flew on I was able to refind it in a few minutes and got these nice pics. These are the best photos of this species I have taken in all the years I have followed them in this area. In fact these (taken handheld) are almost as good as the pics I got of this species in the Texas Hill County last spring when I used a tripod. SeEtta

Monday, November 2, 2009

Residents: Am. Kestrel & Brown Creeper

Unlike the Cedar Waxwings which come and go during the irruptions, and the migrating Hermit Thrush, both American Kestrels and Brown Creepers are year-round resident species in the Canon City area as well as much of Colorado. I photographed this Am Kestrel on the grounds of the Canon City Abbey, apparently a favorite hunting area for this bird as I have seen it there a number of times in the past few week. The Brown Creeper was foraging actively at the Canon City Riverwalk in the company of a second creeper, an association that I often see with this species in the fall. SeEtta

Yummy juniper berries for waxwings

I really like the top pic as it shows not only the juniper berry in the Cedar Waxwing's bill, but also a little of the inside of bird's bill and a nice view of it's pretty eye. I added the bottom pic because it shows off the crest that has been flattened in my other pics. SeEtta

Cedar Waxings again

This morning I went looking for Cedar Waxwings to check out what they are feasting on. I found Cedar Waxwings in an additional location in Canon City today--that makes three different locations so far with two locations far enough apart there evidently at least 2 flocks in town. As shown in the top pic, juniper berries were on the menu again.
Most photographers only show pics in which the bird's head is seen and I tend to be the same way; however, I thought the bottom pic provided an interesting back view that shows the wings and tail quite nicely. SeEtta