Thursday, May 31, 2012

Olive-sided Flycatcher, still declining in numbers


This Olive-sided Flycatcher was an unexpected surprise on my trip to the Lower Arkansas Valley of Colorado last week. I found it giving it's 'quick free beer' call in the limited forest edge around Lake Holbrook. The top photo is really such a classic view showing it's distinctive dark vest an it's very short tail. The is a species of concern with continuing significant population decline.

The tufts of white feathers on it's rump, another feature of this species though not always visible, can be seen in fluffed up bird in the bottom pic. SeEtta

Mississippi Kite: here's looking at you

This is another specialty species I was looking for when I traveled to the lower Arkansas Valley area last week. I found this kite in La Junta where there were several others flying high in the sky. Though I took the pic from my car as I often do to reduce disturbance it heard the mechanical clicks of my digital camera and looked right down at me. Fortunately it didn't disturb it too much as it went on to scratch an itch as shown below. I suspect those claws do a good job of scratching. SeEtta

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Singing Dickcissel, close-up

This photo was so good I was able to crop it for a very close-up view and like the others is tweak-free (no other editing). It is really nice to see the rufous shoulders that are not always seen on these birds. And what a coincidence, today I heard a Dickcissel singing in a farm field in the Canon City, CO area;however it was so distant I was unable to locate it visually. That was a surprise as this is the far edge of their range so they are not always in this area every summer. SeEtta

Distinctive Dickcissel


I drove down to the lower Arkansas Valley a few days ago to look for some special species and I was successful in finding Dickcissel, a species I truly enjoy listening to. I was concerned that they would have a difficult time finding suitable habitat as they use hay fields since we have converted much of the grassland. And this year due to very warm spring the hay fields were high and being cut sooner than usual. In fact I found many hay fields had already been cut but did find 3 or 4 male Dickcissels still singing their hearts out in uncut fields.

I had such great mid-afternoon light that these photos came out so nice all I did was crop them to enlarge the birds. SeEtta