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.