Archive for the ‘birds’ Category

Although when in the sleepy pod the first day I saw them these American pelicans looked, with the exception of their exceptional beaks, completely white, on this day they were showing off their underlying black decorative touches.

“Life is better in black and white!”
― Avijeet Das

“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls!”
― Ted Grant

Does this count for birds, too? Stretch those wings!

“The most colorful thing in the world is black and white, it contains all colors and at the same time excludes all.”
― Vikrmn, 10 Alone

Little photo bombing snowy egret in the background.

Photo bombing again, but in aggressive cormorant black. Doesn’t the middle pelican look as if it has its proverbial hands on proverbial hips in annoyance?

It’s also Pearl Harbor Day here in the U.S. as well as my mom’s and good friend’s birthdays. Can you imagine living in California and having your birthday on Pearl Harbor Day? Not the best birthday my mom ever had!

by the seat of our pants these days. Some of us just do it more easily and naturally.

for Six Word Saturday 11.14.20

Yesterday I finally ventured back to the Preserve in weather chillier than that in Chicago and Philadelphia. There weren’t too many people, but there were still lots of birds. I saw what I thought was a group of egrets huddled together. Turns out they were pelicans, a first for me!

The woman I was standing near asked me what a group of pelicans was called. I said a pod because it sounded good together and lo and behold, I was right! The group can also be called a pouch, a scoop, a squadron or, if they are fishing as a group, a fleet. In science-fiction movies, you should never, ever go near a pod, especially slimy one. However, this pod was benign, but chilly.

As the sun came out, heads began to rise.

Ahh, feels SO good to stretch and yawn. My, what a big mouth you have!!

I’m happy to report that I’m finally almost back to normal. What a relief! Seeing ducks like this always amuses me so I thought it might be a nice way to start the week after the tension and animus of the last months. It’s not as easy as it looks to keep your derrière in the air! Their little webbed feet go like crazy to maintain that position. 🙂 After this last week, I personally am looking forward putting bottoms up to a nice glass of wine!

I’m loving these pied-billed grebes…except SoyBend just pointed out that it’s a ring-necked duck. Thanks. He’s still handsome, though.

Tuesday I shared the excitement of seeing my first roseate spoonbill at the Preserve. Those in charge put out a map (I still don’t know which lake is which number) with a list on the back of all the birds that might be/have been seen there and indicating whether or not the bird is there year-round and how rare a sighting is. “A” is the last, rarest sighting designation for “accidental”, meaning it’s very unusual and that’s what the spoonbill is.

Even though I would have considered my day complete with that sighting, I had yet another surprise in store. As I wandered along a small back path, another hiker told me that back and just across the path was a falcon. I hustled over, finding the spot easily by the several birders with binoculars, long lenses, or fingers all pointed in the same direction.

The “falcon” turned out to be an osprey, another bird that’s been on my mental list of birds I’d like to see and this handsome fellow with the piercing gaze didn’t disappoint. He seemed happy to pose for us on a nearby branch. One birder was unhappy not to get a shot of the osprey in action while another regaled us with the description of a photo he got of an osprey catching an enormous fish. Me? I was thrilled to add this to the spoonbill sighting! Quite the looker, isn’t he, even though not rare or unusual here.

P.S. I’d love to see a falcon one day, too, and they have been seen. 🙂

Several weeks ago while I was walking at the Preserve on the lookout for something interesting and unusual, a birder with the requisite long-lensed camera hurried up and asked me if I’d seen the spoonbill. I had to tell him no, but instant spoonbill-spotting envy struck. Unfortunately I didn’t see hide nor hair of one . Maybe beak and feathers would be a better phrase.

Today I reversed my usual path and although it was a lovely, cool morning, I didn’t see anything exciting until I stopped at one of the little open areas along one of the lakes where I often see egrets, which by now are usual. I did see an egret…and then by golly, a roseate spoonbill! And I was the only photographer in the area. 🙂 Oh, yeah!

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