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Tag Archives: Bird photography

I love to watch and listen to the Common Loons when I camp in the Highlands. For me, they represent a certain wildness that is not often present in my daily life. They are exquisitely beautiful birds with haunting calls. If a Bald Eagle approaches a lake with a pair of nesting loons, the birds will call back and forth to each other, as if keeping track of the arch predator, warning each other of the potential danger. Sometimes, it seems they call for fun or to welcome the morning sun or the end of the day. When other loons arrive on the lake, they call back and forth, perhaps in greeting?

I was lucky to see two loons on nests, one visible from a road and the other from my boat. They are sensitive to disturbance so I kept my distance from them.

Loons spend a lot of time preening to maintain their waterproofing and to line up their feathers. Read about that here. The most recent North Central Washington newsletter has articles about banding Common Loons in Ferry and Okanogan Counties. You can read that here.

More winter birds hanging around our place. Pine Siskin. American Goldfinch. House Cassin’s Finch. Evening Grosbeak. Red-winged Blackbird. Bald Eagle. And my favorite of this group, White-breasted Nuthatch.

We often see Bald Eagles from our house flying by or perched on trees and snags down below the house or along the river. So when my friend from out of town noticed an eagle perched on a snag in the yard, at eye level from the dining room table, we just thought it was an immature Bald Eagle. We had about a minute to watch and I made a few photos through the not very clean, window with the closest camera I had before it flew. While examining the photos last night, I kept thinking, that is not a Bald Eagle. In fact, it’s a Golden Eagle! Ken saw it perched below the house later yesterday so maybe it’s sticking around. I’ll be watching every eagle more closely now!

Last week we identified 114 bird species. It seems like a lot but we missed an awful lot of so-called ‘common’ birds – all the owls, all the grouse, Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers and the list goes on. And we saw no real rarities. It was pretty fun birding with lots of birds singing and we worked on learning and re-learning the bird songs and calls. It’s a challenge from year to year to keep them in my head. Some stick with me; for instance Rock Wren and Willow Flycatcher. Others – well let’s just say, it’s going to take many years for me to learn the few warblers we have in our region and remember them.

I managed to get a few photographs of birds. I didn’t really try too much bird photography. It is time consuming and we were really focusing on seeing and hearing a good variety of birds.

 

Hooded Merganser female at Lost Lake

 

 

 American Coot adult and chick

 

 

 

 

 

Spotted Sandpiper chick along Maryanne Creek Road

 

 

Spotted Sandpiper adult

 

 

 

We spent a day visiting Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and the Six Mile Cypress Preserve. Both places were full of wildlife and exotic (to us) plants and trees. They also feature boardwalks for safe and dry walking conditions. Also lots of good interpretive material to teach us about this exotic place. Much of Florida is developed for human habitation so these preserves represent small islands of what Florida used to be.

 A Red-shouldered Hawk, related to, but smaller than Red-tailed Hawk

We saw lots of kinds of turtles. I think these two are cooters

Watch out for this guy

Lunch?

Somehow the turtle escaped!

I think he was giving the wildlife watchers the evil eye because most of us were rooting for the turtle.

I need to find out the name of this snake. We saw several black racers but this one has a pattern on its face so it must be some other species.

Butterflies are so hard to photograph

I loved seeing the air plants and bromeliads in their native habitats!

Wood Stork

Green Heron

There were lots of kinds of fish. Some are introduced species, dumped out of people’s aquariums.

Another kind of turtle whose name escapes me. Ken will remember.

I think this one is a painted turtle like the ones that live here.

Lizards were always rustling in the brush. Also hard to photograph.

 

Little Blue Heron

Common Moorhen, similar to an American Coot

Yellow-crowned Nightheron

Small alligator, less than three feet long.

The egret in front was chased all over this pond by the other egret and a heron. We couldn’t figure out why its presence was not appreciated.

Glossy Ibis, very similar to White-faced Ibis

Coming in for a landing

Anhinga

The Anhinga uses its tail as a rudder underwater

White Ibis

Anhinga and turtle in the late afternoon sun

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