Monday, December 14, 2009

Hey there, Avocets.



I have a fondness for American Avocets. Pretty cool shorebirds, I think. Watching them forage is always entertaining too. These pictures are from three different spots. The first three (my favorite) are from Leakey, Texas. This guy has been stopping here (a particular spot on the Frio River) for the last 4 years. I took those photos in late April this year, alternate plumage. Had to include the head on shot...because who doesn't love it?
This one below is from Mountain View, California in June 2008. I had only had the old camera and the 500 mm lens for less than a month at that point. There was a crappy filter on the lens, which is why it's not all that sharp. I still really like that photo though, I call it Avocet Yoga :) This one looks like he's most likely a juvenile.
The last one I took yesterday, but I'm not too thrilled with it. The light was bad, the bird was far away. Whine, whine whine, right? Yes. Also, I like their alternate plumage more than basic. I was already frustrated because I couldn't get any good bird photos yesterday. Since I couldn't get a great photo, I decided to try the video on the new camera. I've never been much of a taking videos kinda person but well, it's hd video so I had to at least give it a go.

I had to shrink it a ton to get it to upload, so it doesn't look quite as snazzy now. Full screen though it's totally clean, I was impressed. I guess a tripod would be very beneficial for the video stuff. You can tell even with the monopod I had issues not shaking the hell out of it. But anyway, here's a really short clip of the avocet foraging. You can see the utility of the upturned bill, which is used for agitating the water and snagging invertebrates and other tasty treats. Click here for more watery themed posts for watery wednesday. And here for outdoor wednesday.

video

26 comments:

Martha Z said...

Great shots of the avocet. We see a lot of them at Mono lake each summer but they are too far from the boardwalk to get good shots.
I know Crooked Creek, 20 years ago I did some relief cooking there and at Barcroft. I went shopping at Smart and Final and then hauled it all up the mountain. It was a great experience.

Johnny Nutcase said...

you were at Barcroft? that's pretty cool! I ate reallllly well at Crooked Creek, tasty food!! I had so much fun when I was there, playing with the Bristlecones (my fav!) all day!

Kelly said...

...I loved your post on the Avocet and all the photos (funny, I thought, "Avocet yoga" before I read your description!), and the video is great. I've never photographed one....I hope to this coming year. Wow....you have tons of cool pics on your site. Love all those sea creatures!

Della said...

I love your photos. Really great.

Marie Höglund said...

An awesome bird and lovely post. Thanks for sharing :-)

Bestemor Drillo said...

What a lovely pictures ! Have a nice WW

Kitty said...

Avocets are the definition of "endless legs"! Gorgeous birds!

Photo By Manka said...

Great pictures of the bird.

/Magnus

Jane said...

Lovely shots Johnny, I like the video too. Thanks for sharing:)

@nemonen said...

Love them all.

ewok1993 said...

oh what a cutie. if i have legs like that id be showing them off too.

eileeninmd said...

Your Avocets are just wonderful. I always enjoy your photos. Well done!

J Bar said...

An interesting looking bird.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Judy said...

What an incredible beak that fellow has!!

Quilt Works said...

What a cute bird! Great photos

Dominic Gendron said...

I always like to see images of this awseome bird! Your images of it are just great ;)

Chie Wilks said...

cute birds in this awesome shots...

mine is here

chubskulit said...

My first time seeing avocet, thanks for the video.

Missing the lake

Joops said...

Beautiful!

My watery wednesday

Light and Voices said...

Indeed, the avocet bird is really something.
Joyce, IL, USA

Martha said...

I love the "yoga" pose -- It's a beautiful bird!

Hootin' Anni said...

Fabulous!! I love bird watching myself since I live on the shore of the Gulf....and the photos you've shared are super...love the reflections.

My Wednesday post this week, is "Sleigh bells ring---snow is glistening". Come by and view my snow village if you can find time.

HANNIBAL said...

Wow! Excellent photography of the Avocet! What brilliant colors!

Zuzu said...

These are beautiful birds! You may not think that your shots came out very well, but I've enjoyed seeing them immensely!
Zuzu

Helena said...

Great photos! I've never seen an avocet before... they look like very cool birds.

Lori E said...

What a funny bird. I am sure they can entertain for hours and the probably like to pose.