Thursday, July 29, 2010

More super close up pics of Green Heron

I was able to get these super close-ups by using my car as a blind. The heron was less than 20 feet away but undisturbed as I was very quiet and moved slowly and stayed in my car. I took the pics with my Canon Xti with a 400mm lens,a 1.4 extender--as the camera is not full framed there is another 1.6 multiplier that nets about a 1000 mm equivalent--plus I cropped the photo but only a little.
I really like the deep chestnut color on the plumage of this young heron. SeEtta

Super close-up of Green Heron

Yesterday I was delighted to find this Green Heron on a farm pond at my friend's near Canon City,CO. I have seen adult Green Herons at this location every summer for the past 5 or so years and can't believe they would keep coming around this area unless they are breeding near here. This is the first evidence of local breeding since I saw a Green Heron carrying nesting material in the middle section of the Canon city Riverwalk which is about 2.5 miles away. This heron is in juvenal plumage but still has a few pin feathers which would indicate it is pretty young. More pics to come. SeEtta

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rocky Ford Mississippi Kites

My last stop yesterday was in Rocky Ford which is one of the towns along the Arkansas River with Mississippi Kites. I only saw 3 kites including the one in this pic. As it was early evening I was also treated to the chittering of foraging Chimney Swifts flying above. SeEtta

Blue-eyed Darner dragonfly

I caught this beautiful dragonfly in flight at the John Martin Res State Wildlife Area. It was patrolling some emergent wetlands and about 75 feet away, in a tree, was a singing male Dickcissal! Not far away in one of wooded areas of this SWA I heard a Yellow-billed Cuckoo call. Though it called 3 times I wasn't able to spot it and I didn't want to spend much time as I was being devoured by female deer flies (the females need blood meals to lay eggs just like marsh mosquitoes) and mosquitoes. For super close-ups just double-click on each pic. SeEtta

Monday, July 26, 2010

Black-necked Stilts in yucky water

Yesterday I birded in the lower Arkansas Valley during a very unusual cool spell (usually close to 100 in this area but lower 70's yesterday). I found these Black-necked Stilts in the yucky water of a stockyard wastewater pond in Ordway,CO. Also enjoying the yuck were some American Avocets and a few Franklin's Gulls. Like other yucky places, this pond is a big hotspot for lots of birds species so I always check it when I'm in the area. SeEtta

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Young Mallard chicks, all alone

I spotted these 7 very young Mallard chicks swimming in the Arkansas River near my friend's place with no sign of a parent bird. As these no more than a few days old, their chance of survival was not good. I had hoped that some Canada Geese upriver might adopt them but though they swam towards the young siblings, they soon moved away. The chicks did survive that night as I found them still swimming together the nest day. I hadn't been back for several days and though I looked for them today, there was sign of them. Makes me wish I had a very long-handled net to scoop up these needy birds. SeEtta