Yesterday was a great day to get back out and do a little birding, plus try for some photo opportunities. After so many days of being cooped up inside, I was anxious for some excitement.
As we entered Spring Creek Park, we first spotted a large white object out on the river. Ann at first thought it to be one of the large Mute Swans that frequent the area. As we got closer, we realized that it was an American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos). We were surprised to see only one, as a larger flock of 20-30 had been seen at another location a day or two before. But it seemed unconcerned as it swam leisurely along. Since it was moving steadily, I had to re-maneuver my car several times to get a good position for a shot.
After getting several images of the pelican, we moved along to another area. One of my favorite spots is along one of the park perimeter fences. There is a lot of dense brush along and intertwined with the fence. I like to just creep the car along that fence, just at idling speed, and maybe about 10 feet from the brush. If I do it silently enough I can hear the tiny birds within. It is great fun, as you never know what turns up. Yesterday, I got lucky, spotting a tiny colorful bird flitting around in the mesquite. I realized that I was looking at a Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus). The first that I had seen this year. I readied my Canon EOS7D with 500mm lens and 1.4 tele-converter, and waited patiently for the bird to make an unobstructed appearance. The trouble with this type of photography, is the dense brush that must be tolerated. I usually just use the main center focus point so it easier to “aim” between the branches. My patience paid off and I managed to get several images when it sat momentarily on a twig. Of course, as I have to do with almost all of my tiny bird photographs, the image is cropped extensively.
I was excited with these finds, but as we were leaving the park, another opportunity presented itself. Again, there was some heavy brush near the entrance, so I ventured close to it, as I had when I saw the Carolina Wren. This time I saw a Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii). It wasn’t into the brush as deep as the carolina, and much closer. I was able to use the 7D with my 100-400mm lens. It made the job easier by hopping into the clear for me for a few seconds. It felt nice to see two wrens, and photograph them both, in the same day
This was fun day, and I hope to have many more to share with you. Click on any image to see an enlargement.