The Day the Birds Stopped Co-operating

We just had a day of fun birding, seeing a good variety of species, but for the photography, it was somewhat of a bust.  I missed shots or they were to far away to get good close-ups.  But I am not complaining.  A bad day birding beats a good day of sitting in my office at the computer.

At one point, we spotted a Cooper’s Hawk high in a tree, about 65 feet off of the ground.  It’s back was toward me.  As I was maneuvering my mobile blind, AKA my Ford Escape, I startled a Great Horned Owl in a tree branch right in front of me.  I hadn’t seen it.  It instantly flew off, and that startled the Cooper’s hawk, and it, too, left the scene.  I missed two great opportunities there.

But not to be discouraged we drove on.  We stopped and parked near the water’s edge where a Gray Catbird had been seen previously.  We spent about 15 minutes just sitting and watching.  We never did see the Catbird, but just as we were about to leave, we spotted a splash of yellow about 125 yards across the water in thick brush.  With our binoculars we discovered at Common Yellowthroat flitting around.  I put my super zoom camera lens on it, but it was really to tiny and too far for a decent shot.  But, doggone it, I am going to show you what I got, anyway.  Look very close, and you can see the Yellowthroat in the center of the picture.

Common Yellowthroat

Common Yellowthroat

At one point, Ann was looking across the water, and said she could see an owl.  I scoped out the trees over there and I couldn’t see it.  I moved the car along and had another look.  Sure enough, after a few minutes of carefully scanning the trees with my binoculars, I finally saw it, too.  How Ann was able to spot it so easily, is beyond me.  I stopped the car, and turned off the engine so I could steady the camera better.  It was about 175 yards away.  I was able to get a fair shot of it.  At least, it made up for the previously missed owl photo.  Here is the heavily cropped photos.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl

Also, again across the river, (what is it about all of the birds appearing across the river) we spotted a Belted Kingfisher.  Just a dot of white until we put the binoculars on it.  I decided for another long range shot, this from about 150 yards.  Not bad.

Belted Kingfishe - female

Belted Kingfisher – female

Again, at another location across the water, we could barely make out this Black-crowned Night Heron.  I am so thankful for my long Tamron 150-600mm lens.  I am really giving it a workout today.

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron

Some photos along the water came out much better.

This Wilson’s Snipe was not doing a great job of hiding from me.

Wilson't Snipe

Wilson’s Snipe

A Pied-billed Grebe glides silently and happily on the water.

Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe

A Great Blue Heron rest on a log across the water, but at a much closer location.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Back into the more wooded areas we caught a few smaller birds.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Pine Warber

Pine Warbler – female

White-crowned Sparrow - juvenile

White-crowned Sparrow – juvenile

I hoped you enjoyed this post.  Click on the images to see enlarged photos.


Happy Birding!!

16 thoughts on “The Day the Birds Stopped Co-operating

  1. Those are still pretty great shots, Bob! May be the birdies were just having fun with you. Now they know you too well, that you will capture them no matter what. 😉

    Loved your post.

  2. The Yellowthroat is a pretty little bird. Even with all the challenges, you did good. I am sure the birds you have trained will show up and pose for you and Ann!! yea right….you work hard for your photos. hugs

  3. Great shots Bob! We really love the Common Yellowthroat shot, that one is still on our most wanted list. We got some decent shots of a Yellow-rumped Warbler and a beautiful Nashville Warbler a couple of weeks ago, both are firsts for us and both were captured in the same location. Ann has a sharp eye for spotting birds in heavy cover, glad to see ya’ll back out and at it!

    • Thanks, Doc. Those Yellowthroats are difficult to see. They love to hide in reeds a brush down near water, and they are constantly on the move like a warbler. Glad you liked it.

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