Saturday, June 15, 2013

LEAST BITTERN present again at Holcim Wetlands in south central Colorado

I photographed this LEAST BITTERN this morning at Holcim Wetlands which is about 25 miles east of where I live in So Central Colorado. I thought I spotted one diving down into the large area of cattails in the center of these wetlands. This morning a Least Bittern was found 3 times as it flew and kind of hopped low in the cattails.

These are all the same photo but the the middle one is cropped and the top is very tightly cropped to show the head and neck of this small bittern better. The bottom pic is uncropped--but is the view produced from my Canon dslr 60d camera with a 400 mm lens and a 1.4 extender--with the 1.6 multiplier due to camera not being a full frame this combo provides approx 900 mm view or 18X enlargement. SeEtta
Post note: if you can't see the LEAST BITTERN in this bottom photo just click on it to enlarge then follow the arrow (that isn't as obvious as I thought it would be)

Friday, June 14, 2013

TRICOLORED HERON, a rarity here in Colorado


This morning I found this adult TRICOLORED HERON at Holcim Wetlands about 25 miles east of Canon City. This species is a rarity here in Colorado. It was foraging actively in the shallow water. I also found a Green Heron and 3 Black-crowned Night-Herons this morning at this very productive wetlands that were created from an abandoned gravel pit that was likely in one of the old channels of the nearby Arkansas River. SeEtta

1st spring male American Redstart singing away


I heard this American Redstart singing it's heart out this morning on the Canon City Riverwalk. Not visible on these pics was the peach coloration on it's side below it's throat. It does have dark lores as found on this age and gender of this species. Though a 'yearly' (as termed in Birds of North America online, that same reference states that despite their female like plumage they are sexually mature (noting that only 50% reproduce "due to shortage of mates." This species has nested less than a hundred miles north of here. Since it is breeding time I wonder if it found a mate would they nest here. SeEtta

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Royal Gorge Wildfire: DC10 plane dropping fire retardant


I was shocked when I first saw this DC10 plane flying near the Royal Gorge Wildfire--I couldn't believe they were allowing a passenger jet to get so close. Then it circled the fire and later dropped fire retardant on it. I heard later that they now use these passenger jets that have been modified to hold gigantic tanks for the fire retardant.

As I photographed the fire this plane flew directly overhead. SeEtta

Royal Gorge Wildfire west of Canon City--fire 'blowing up'



Photos of the wildfire west of Canon City when it was 'blowing up'--very angry fire. SeEtta

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Royal Gorge Wildfire just west of Canon City


A serious wildfire broke out around 1 pm this afternoon on the south side of the Royal Gorge across from the Royal Gorge Bridge. It continued working all afternoon and evening with one section moving northeast towards Canon City. I took these photos tonight of the hillside on the west side of the hogbacks. Though there are clearly hundreds of trees burning all over that hillside (it is adjacent to H50 paralleling the hogbacks and where H50 turns west and to the south of where goes up 8 mile hill) it must have been a much worse conflagration earlier as I saw a slurry bomber dump fire retardant on this hill about an 2 hours before I took these photos. In the photo on the left you can see a tree torching. Lights on the bottom are residences, etc in Canon City on the east side of the hogbacks (the dark hill between the city lights and the burning hillside). SeEtta