After The Freeze


This morning we finally woke up to a partially sunny sky.  Warmer temperatures, too.  Quite happy with an opportunity to get out after being house-bound for three days, we dressed, had a quick cup of coffee, and headed for Rosa’s to pick up some burritos.  From there we headed to Spring Creek Park to do a little birding.

The birds were happy, too, as we were well rewarded by the days end.

But to begin with, at first we thought the birds weren’t going to be active.  But as we progressed to an area where we usually don’t bird, they came alive.  A lot of Robins, Meadowlarks, and Yellow-rumped Warblers.  But the highlight came as I saw a different bird dip into the brush.  I quickly aimed my long lens in to see what it was, and promply fired the shutter for a quick burst.  It was a Gray Catbird.  A very rare specie for this area and first I had seen in a couple of years.

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Gray Catbird

By then we had seen about 25 different species, but not in the way of good photographs.  We thought about heading home, but the day was still young so we decided to head to the park area around Twin Buttes Reservoir.  It had been several weeks since we had visited there.  First we saw a Red-tailed Hawk in a distant tree, but it flew before I had a chance to get a shot.

We drove on and flushed a flock of Lark Buntings, most of them female.  I guess the males will be along later.

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Lark Bunting, female

Then a Curve-billed Thrasher appeared high in a tree.  The height was no problem, but I usually don’t like shooting at an upward angle.  I almost always end up with some kind of butt shot, but this one turned out acceptable.

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Curve-billed Thrasher

A little American Kestrel was atop a small tree, and the wind was blowing him a bit.  I tried to get a shot before he headed for a new location.

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American Kestrel

But we weren’t done.  After we got to the lake, and marveled at how large it was getting, we noticed about a hundred American Pipits in the large parking lot.  Also there was a good helping of Killdeer, plus a handful of Western Meadowlarks.  We turned around to had back and saw this beautiful Pyrrhuloxia.  This may be my favorite photograph of the day.  I can’t identify what he had in his mouth, but I feel he wasn’t about to give it up.

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Pyrrhuloxia

We finished the day with a total of 41 species.  I happily got a few keeper photos.  That is what is important to me.  W also added two more to our “Big Year” total.  We are at 101 now.  Since the weather is going to hold nicely for the weekend, we will head back out tomorrow and Saturday to see what will surprise us.  Boy!  Ain’t birding fun??

So for now, that’s it.  But tune in after the weekend for another episode. I will bring you up to date with our weekend findings.

Until then……HAPPY BIRDING!!!

5 thoughts on “After The Freeze

  1. A Gray Catbird! Gotta get me one of those! I have a thing for gray cats, so this stands to reason! And the little kestrel just thrills me; you and Ann did good! Thanks for the post. hugs

    • Just like other cats the Gray Catbird won’t come when will called. After I got the shot, he flew. I tried calling him then with our bird app. Never saw him again. Glad you liked this post, Beth. 🙂

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