Sunday, May 1, 2016
The Charge of the Boomer Brigade
Painted Bunting (Male)
Mallard Pair(Full Frame)
(Male- Breeding Plumage)
0700-1140 hrs./49-59 degrees/15 mph to light and variable NW winds/partly cloudy
These photos were taken over the past couple of days, with weather conditions about the same.
The odd thing was, that when I was out early yesterday, it was mostly cloudy, then today it became
mostly cloudy when I was returning from my photo shoots.
Yesterday's shoot was the morning after a low pressure system, and with today still having a chill
and being the second day after the rain, subjects were still slightly extraordinary. Females of the
species are now moving in, and last year's new birds will also be on their way after the females,
which is based on species hierarchy.
The first five photos were from yesterday. It was good to see Green Heron again, and I now know
that the water snakes didn't pluck him from the grasp of the living. Having keen vision for fishing,
he likely discovered either one or both snakes sunning near where one of the heron nests had been located last year and just took a few days to go elsewhere.
Most of the Yellow-rumped Warblers are in their breeding dress, which you will notice from the
earlier photos. The yellow head patch is quite apparent and the rest of the yellow patches on the rump and on the flanks look just as bright. The bird also has bright blue and black upon it, making
this a very striking spring bird, as the wood warblers are.
Today the Cedar Waxwings were coming through in large numbers, which I estimated at 225, which
is stable movement for just one species. Our lake is very healthy with seeds, fruit, and protein, so
this will be another spectacular year. Even though El Nino is bringing us cold fronts as well as a
great deal of unsettled weather, we will be the recipients of the more uncommon birds. If I could only obtain photos of all the species that I see, it would be more helpful for you, but for various reasons, I cannot. When in the deep woods, it is sometimes hard to have good movement in order
to quickly set up my gear. Not only that warblers are fast, and many of them stay in the higher story
of a tree.
We are now in the presence of both Baltimore and Orchard Orioles, and I saw a female Baltimore
yesterday. The beauty of the spring and summer birds is that they can go right to their nesting areas,
which isn't always in the same tree, but it is quite close.
A pin oak is located next to the restrooms on the east side of the lake, and several birds nest there
including the scissor-tail, both Baltimore and Orchard Orioles, and a Warbling Vireo has been
languishing there, as well.
The American Goldfinch has been around for the past couple of day in breeding finery, along with
two Cattle Egret today, one on the northernmost western jetty, and the other on Goose Island on the
east side. Yellow Warblers are galore on the east side, three or four Spotted Sandpipers have been
doing their rocking rock in various locales, and there was a lone White-faced Ibis on the creek, as well as a couple of families of first born Mallard ducklings. There are three Northern Shovelers in the vicinity, and this is an excellent area for many other beauties, too, like the buntings.
Take some time out to enjoy nature. I promise you that you'll not be disappointed, unless you're
allergic to cottonwood fluff. Perhaps I'll locate something new tomorrow.