Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A rather productive day


Here are the bird photos that I got today from the few hours we spent at Patrick's Point SP. I usually go to the same handful of spots to take bird photos around here, so this was nice for a little variety. It's only a 25 minute drive from our place - not really sure why we don't head up there more often!
Right when we got there, we saw a few Townsend's Warblers mixed in with some Ruby and Golden-crowned Kinglets. It's been a while since I've taken any warbler shots, so I was pretty excited about getting a couple Townsend's. Head on pictures of birds always make me laugh for some reason. Just a different view I guess, I like it. The kinglets love to taunt me to no end. I'm still getting used to the monopod and the heavier new camera, and given the fact these birds are insanely hyperactive, well...I do get frustrated. Not the cleanest shot of the Golden-crowned, but it's the best I've got of one so far.
We saw a Hutton's (no picture though)!!! Aw, I miss my little Hutton's friends, so that was another happy moment of the day. Zac and I are actually in the process of submitting our first (hopeful) publication and the subject is Huttons.
We hiked down to the rocky beach next and saw some Black Oystercatchers from a distance. I did some field work in the past with American Oystercatchers, but for whatever reason, I rarely see Black Oystercatchers. And since I've never photographed them before, I booked on down to the slippery rocks to get closer to them. This took a while, because a) i had to take my gloves off for camera purposes, so my hands were basically frozen b) the rocks were sooo wet and slippery and sharp and c) there were some monster waves that needed dodging on said slippery rocks. So, anyway, I managed to not hurt myself (shocking, really) and landed a few shots that made me happy.
While I was down running from waves on the rocks and stalking the BLOYs, I practically stepped on a Song Sparrow. This little dude was acting bizarre, going on a feeding frenzy, and paid zero attention to me. I stepped closer to him and got within 5 feet. His face was stained red from some serious berry eating and he was currently busy eating whatever seaweed type stuff was on the rocks. I must admit, I've been a little bored with the Song Sparrows (i'm sorry sparrows!) but this picture was too cute. * I realize now he was probably drunk from eating an excessive amount of overripe berries*
We hit up a different trail after that, and came across about 8 or 9 Wrentits. Man, those guys are itty bitty and hard to photograph (for me at least), but I love how ridiculously cute this first one looks...

Last one of the day was this Hermit Thrush who took a moment to pose nicely. I had been seeing them all day, but they would be buried in the brush, so I was okay with this guy being in the open for a split second !
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11 comments:

Roberta said...

I would say it was a productive day! You have fabulous photos here.

Sally in WA said...

I think I saw some oystercatchers a few weeks ago. I didn't know what they were but they sure looked the ones you posted. Those bright orange beaks.

JRandSue said...

Fantastic collection,great to see.
John.

mick said...

That's a very interesting series of photos. We have a black oystercatcher out here in Australia also - but we call it a Sooty Oystercatcher and its legs are a brighter pink than the ones in your photo. btw I read your sentence - about taking off your gloves - a couple of times before it clicked that even though you were at the beach its COLD over there. LOL

Larry Jordan said...

Awesome photos Jill! The Black Oystercatchers are fabulous and the sparrow looks fat and smashed ;-) The straight on head shot of that Townsend's is really cool looking too. I agree, birds, other than raptors, look pretty weird when you see them straight on like that.

I love Kinglets and agree that they are little bundles of energy (isn't that why we like them?). Nice capture of the Golden-crowned.

The Wrentit shots are amazing, especially the one with the spread wings! And the Hermit Thrush is a nice bonus. Patricks Point really paid off didn't it? I bet it was freezing though.

Johnny Nutcase said...

Thanks, guys!
Mick-ha, yup, the beach here is not for swimming! even in the summer, it's pretty cold (i think!)
Larry- fat and smashed indeed. second time i've seen a drunk bird (other was a guan in Costa Rica) - they let you get SO close! PP is a pretty cool spot. No one was there that day either, which made it even more appealing - all to ourselves!

Kelly said...

Oh my gosh....you're little drunk Song Sparrow is adorable. I've seen Catbirds stained red from blackberries, but never an over-imbibed Song sparrow! I love head-on shots--they always seem to tell some sort of story, and that kinglet shot is priceless. Your Townsend shots are beautiful....

Bob and Cynthia Kaufman said...

A productive day, indeed! The townsend's shots are gorgeous!

Scott said...

I wandered over from ‘I and the Bird’ and have been perusing your blog. I am definitely enjoying your collection of photos.

Amber Coakley said...

Hi Jill, I'm here visiting from IATB as well. You've got a great lineup of pics here - I think those oystercatchers are fascinating.

What a great job to be working in such a beautiful, outdoor setting!

Jan Axel & Gloriela said...

Wow, amazing pics of the Townsend's Warbler. They only occur as vagrants in western Panama. Great post!