Tuesday, May 31, 2011

In lieu of a list

Many birders keep lists of the birds they have seen; I don't. Half the time, I don't know what it was I saw, just that it was beautiful; half the time, I only saw a smidgen of bird, anyhow. Was that a wren? Or a sparrow? Or maybe a mouse?

My lists would be made up of "maybes". So I am sure that the black-headed grosbeaks we saw on Sunday were not lifers; I'm sure I must have seen some before. I just didn't know what they were. Now I do, and I know what their song is like; "a drunken robin", says my guide book, and that describes it perfectly. Next time, I'll actually remember! (Thanks to Hugh, who does know these things.)

So here are two grosbeaks, and a handful of other delights from Sunday's outing at Reifel Island, in no particular order:

Black-headed grosbeak at a feeder. Male.

Another one, overhead.

Brown-headed cowbird.

A manky mallard, or just a male losing his breeding plumage?


Reflections in shallow water, with bird seed.

This Canada goose was standing guard near a large gathering of goslings and parents.

I love those "socks"!


A mallard duckling struggling up a dusty bank.

Tree swallow atop his house.

Not a bird.

Wood duck pair. Look at that purple head!

Reflections in still water

Fluffy cattails

Sparrow. House, I think.

Cedar waxwing. I cheated here; in the original photo, the top of its crest was cut off. I cloned the bit that was missing, plus some leaves for the background.

Cow parsnip, against the light.

We missed seeing the sandhill cranes; one of the paths is barricaded, because they are raising their families in that area. We'll have to go back soon, to see the chicks when they start wandering.

1 comment:

  1. those are all beautiful photos! popped over to read about manky mallards too. :)


If your comment is on a post older than a week, it will be held for moderation. Sorry about that, but spammers seem to love old posts!

Also, I have word verification on, because I found out that not only do I get spam without it, but it gets passed on to anyone commenting in that thread. Not cool!