Monday, April 24, 2006

More Spring Birding Adventures

Got out early again this morning to take advantage of the perfect light and to steal the souls of some songbirds with my digiscoping rig. Did not get much in the way of images, but did soak my shoes and socks in the morning dew, which makes me feel as though I've started the day off right.

Here are a few to share with you....

The day's first victim: a white-throated sparrow in perfect light but imperfect shadows. I love the look in his eye.

Not a great house finch photo, but this was the most purple-finch-colored house finch I've ever seen.

Slightly better version of my male blue-winged warbler. I'm hoping he'll let me get closer to him over the spring and summer.

This male prairie warbler is back on his old patch on the hill behind our fire circle. He sings the chromatic scale better than any opera singer, but he does not like to be photographed.

This evening I met a pack of Cub Scouts and their parents at our local wetland park for a bird walk. We got a grand total of 6 species in the spotting scope: American robin, great blue heron, Canada goose, tree swallow, red-winged blackbird, and a save-the-bird-walk osprey soaring overhead. The scouts oohed and ahhed at the large raptor as he circled 100 feet overhead, occasionally hovering over a possible target fish in the wetland's shallow pools. The osprey did not dive, but he obligingly flew in tight, lazy circles in perfect light as I told the slack-jawed scouts about the osprey's recovery from the effects of DDT in the ecosystem.

We were operating under the 3-seconds-at-the-scope rule. You may hog the scope until the count of three, then you must step aside.
Millions of questions, such as: "Why do they call them tree swallows?" Me: "Because they swallow trees. Next question!"

The Amazing Mr. Osprey.

We had a good time. And I hope this experience will help heal my scars from getting kicked out of Cub Scouts in 1974 for pointing a museum cannon at Mrs. Reynolds, my Den Mother. She did not believe me when I told her I was practicing for my artillery badge.

Everybody got good looks at the birds today.


At 9:25 AM, Blogger Rondeau Ric said...

Cannons? Cannons? You got to play with cannons!
I find that hard to swallow.

At 7:24 PM, Blogger LauraHinNJ said...

That's a lot of little boys for just one scope!

We've done bird walks with huge groups of people (most of whom don't have bins - who goes on a bird walk without bins?) and few scopes - we're always glad for those big stationary wading birds that save the day!

Sounds like a fun trip!

At 9:04 PM, Blogger Susan Gets Native said...

How in the heck do you keep all those little boys calm and quiet enough to see one bird, much less six???
The answer to the tree swallow question:

At 9:47 AM, Blogger Gwyn said...

Gotta love those little Blue and Golds! I'll have to keep that three second rule in mind when working with my little charges.


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