I took my first bird photo on June 13, 2011. Those of you that have been following me from the beginning (all three of you) know that those first pics were taken with a Kodak Easyshare that I borrowed from my daughter. A few months later a bought a Canon Rebel T3 and then, last Christmas I bought a Sigma 500mm lens. In the past few weeks a friend of mine, John Rodriguez, has been helping me to improve my photography, a Herculean Task if ever there was one. I haven’t seen anything new around here in the past few weeks so I thought I’d take a cue from television and repost a few of my favorite photos from the last year.
This photo of a Curve-billed Thrasher was taken last July with the EasyShare. CB Thrashers aren’t shy and are quite inquisitive, making them ideal subjects for photography
I took this landscape early one morning last September at Fritch Fortress. There is a Great blue Heron silhouetted against the morning light reflecting off of the water. I love the colors in this one.
An Eastern Meadowlark puffed up against the December cold. I have a lot of trouble telling the Eastern race from the Western one. The easist way is by their song, Eastern Meadowlarks have a more plaintive song and the Western Meadowlarks is more melodic and complicated.
A Common Loon at a small pond in Spring Canyon. I was surprised to see him in such a small pond. They are one of the most primitive birds on the planet and have solid bones to facilitate diving. It also makes it difficult to take off on a short runway.
Lake Meredith is a wintering ground for numerous waterfowl and a rest stop for many others that winter further south.
American Pelicans and Double-crested Cormorants arrived at about the same time as the Bald Eagles. I was able to photograph the pelicans on a rare windless morning preening on a sandbar at Fritch Fortress. This Double-crested Cormorant was riding low in the water early one morning at Spring Canyon. Cormorants have feathers that are not waterproof, helping them to dive for fish. After feeding they sit on rocks or sandbars (or on the spillway walls at Spring Canyon) with their wings outstretched to dry them.
I watched this juvenile Red-tailed Hawk floating in the breeze about 10 meters off a cliff at Fritch Fortress one evening. He hung there for several minutes and then dropped down into some weeds and I was unable to get into position to see if he caught anything.
This Northern Mockingbird is performing a display ritual that involves singing lustily and ‘skylarking’–springing into the air and floating back down to the oringinal perch with wings and tail flaired widely.
All-in-all, a very wonderful year for a rookie birder and photographer.