Tuesday, April 5, 2016

First of Season Early Birds Are Not Shy

                                                              American White Pelican

                                                                    Turkey Vulture

                                                                Male Wood Duck

                                                                   Great Blue Heron

                                                                  Brown Thrasher

                                                                Eastern Meadowlark

                                                          Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

                                                                 Savannah Sparrow

                                                                    Canada Gosling

                                                                    Savannah Sparrow

0720-1035 hrs./55-73 degrees F/sunny/light and variable winds to 22 mph gusts

These are photos from the past two days, some of which are first of season or first ever made.
As an example, the Wood Duck was up in a tree, which I knew that the hens raised their young in
a tree, and they literally jumped in the water from the tree for their first water voyage.  However, I
did not expect to see a Wood Duck staring down at me.  Due to the bright sunlight, I tried to get the best shot that I could, and this was passable, even though it was a good distance away.

The Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was the first of season(year), and was in the company of another male,
which he got for me to view.  These are birds that I have known from last year, now all grown up, and I suspect that this was two from the nest of seven that I found last year and photographed.  Birds
usually return where they were born, which makes me believe that this was the case, and if fact, some
of these birds practiced their flight in this vicinity.

The Canada gosling was one of five.  Mother and father goose met me on a bank to show off the first born of the season, a strapping young group, I might add.  Don't you think?

This Turkey Vulture was waiting for me at shortly after sunrise over the berm on the southeast side
of the lake on the north end of the Southern Cove.  I shot this bird from both front and back, each
photo equally as good.

Believe it or not, this Savannah Sparrow was feeding in the same area where I met the Lark and the Vesper Sparrows a couple of weeks ago.  It makes sense, as they all like short, savannah-like areas.

The Brown Thrasher is one of a family of three born here two years ago, and they are staking out their claim.

This American White Pelican has been here on-and-off for the past several weeks.  He is a young
bird, and he has been doing a lot of preening, taking care of those new feathers that are coming in.  His clothing is a bit old and worn, but as new feathers come in, he will look a lot better, and remove those old juvenile feathers that he was born with.

Most of the Great Blue Heron are at the rookery, but Buddy is an older bird that I have known for the past five years.  As an incidental, three Great Egrets came through the area yesterday, so we should
be in for a nice surprise.  It will be interesting to see what youngsters are born here the year, as we have had both a Little Blue Heron last year and a Snowy Egret from the year prior to last.  If the Little Blue Heron makes it back this year, he will be in a pied coat, which is a mix of blue and white.

The Eastern Meadowlarks are courting, and I observed some rare mating rituals.  This photo was
a meadowlark that actually was walking up to me, a lovely male.  There are two pair here now.