Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Still not raining ...

And more Reifel Island birds ...

Little browns and a redwing blackbird waiting their turn at the feeder

Coot, not stepping on his own feet

Question: Why do great blue herons so often look so downright miserable?


Pintail tail

Not a bird

A couple of families of sandhill cranes had taken over one of the low islets in the outer ponds. We counted four adults, or maybe five, and seven youngsters.  The adults had no interest in humans at the moment, but several of the kids were curious, and waded over to check us out.

Knee deep

Thigh deep

We were on a steep bank, and two of the cranes, arriving at a rough patch of logs and weeds, stayed in the water, watching us through the shrubbery. Another two found a bit of a trail through the blackberry canes, and climbed up, hoping for free munchies. They ended up eating most of the remainder of my seed.

Thanks! Those were delicious!

Water and sky. Microdot birds.

By the exit, one of the black crowned night herons was sitting in full view. A juvenile hid in the branches over the slough; his mottled coat blended in almost perfectly with the mixed greys of the bark and lichens.

One-legged, black-crowned, red-eyed, adult night heron.

A photographer had set up his digiscope equipment just a few metres away from the young heron; great whopper of a scope, tall tripod, camera, bag of accessories ... He was fussing around, adjusting the focus, removing and replacing the camera, making more adjustments.  He was probably going to be able to get a photo of the heron's eyelashes. I confess to a bit of envy.

But it was raining now; we took our couple of quick, iffy photos and put away the cameras before they got wet. As we left, I looked back; the photographer was busy drying his camera with a rag. The spotting scope was still standing in the rain. Maybe I wasn't so envious, after all. We got into the dry car, turned on the windshield wipers and went home.


  1. Wow! Several here that I've never been close to - the Sandhill Crane (love the close-up), the Pintail, the
    Black-crowned Heron.. great photos, not iffy at all.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Carol!

  3. I bought a tripod yesterday. I hope to get some pictures of the birds at the fountain ... come summer and they are bathing again! I also bought a remote shutter release. Next, a telephoto lens!!! I looked at 2nd hand macro lenses ... pretty tempting and a lot cheaper than new.

    We've never been that close to a sandhill crane either! When we've seen them upcountry they are VERY skittish and won't let us near and I've not had a telephoto lens ... I'd need one like Mr. ToBeEnvied to get a decent shot.

  4. Fantastic shots. Truly beautiful. And the diversity of shorebirds there is just incredible.


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