Friday, June 06, 2008

Got water? Got birds!

Wow! Until an hour ago, when I looked more carefully at my folder of water bird pictures, I was not aware that I had managed to catch a pelican in flight. As you can see, the timing could have been better; his beak was definitely not holding more than his belly can. Yes, we're back in Louisiana for this post, and while some of the same birds might be found at our local lakes in the right season, there are several I've never seen before! BTW, praise be for the 12x zoom on the Canon; otherwise, you wouldn't be seeing most of these pictures.

The laughing gull, it turns out, is an easy bird to photograph. He's quite aware that food is to be had where there are humans. Pieces of bread. Popcorn. Potato chips. All the good stuff that your mother warned you about.

We saw a lifetime worth of gulls while waiting for a ferry to carry Sson's vehicle across a waterway. With cars accumulating, food was being tossed left and right to a large crowd of wheeling and dealing birds.

Snowy egrets (above) and cattle egrets (below) were plentiful in and around the bayous.

At one site, Sson and I frightened a large flock of cattle egrets .

Not sure, but this looks like a great egret landing.

The zoom was stretched beyond its limit to capture this stilt and his reflection. Not a single one of the stilts came any closer than what my LH used to call bird distance -- a careful spacing that keeps all birds the same small size for the observing birder. A very frustrating critter to try to photograph.

Now this is a lovely bird that does not appear in any of my books of Western birds -- a little blue heron. Yes, we have great blue herons at every pond or watering hole that is an acre or so in expanse, but the pretty bird above was a new experience.

As was the white ibis crowd we found in a dead tree on one bayou excursion. Again --I've seen many black colored ibis locally during fly-through season, but never one of these spectacular critters.

One very lucky day, Sson and I spotted a flock of roseate spoonbills in a crawdad pond. The birds were stirring up the water to feed by moving their amazing beaks back and forth. Just take a look below; no question where the name originated.

This guy must be a juvenile heron of some sort. But ... no idea of which sort. Yes, that is him below, too.

Linkage: Warren at TouchWind has found an amazing bit of totally misguided desert landscaping down in Tucson ... Rich is offering an interesting group of surreal Prescott prints for sale at a new site.


Anonymous said...

GJ, nice bird shots. The telephoto is the best thing for those long shots. I only have a 7X and I'm envious.

Anonymous said...

The white ibis is amazing, Granny J.

Your Sson sure knows where to take you to find the best photos!

~Anon in AV.

Artful RV Adventurer said...

Nice pics Grannyj... yes, praise be to 12x zooms and image stabilization.

Granny J said...

steve -- my Canon will go beyond the 12x optical, but things begin to get pretty at that point. Besides, I have a hard enough time holding the camera reasonably still at 12x!

anon av -- the ibis and the spoonbills were good luck -- Sson was as excited as I was...

mark -- praise be indeed!

Karen of Scottsdale said...

I've seen those cattle egrets sitting on cows in the field. It's an odd sight to behold.

Granny J said...

Karen -- we did see one pasture where every cow seemed to have her own egret, but I don't recall any sitting up on top of a cow. We were going too fast to stop for pix, unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

Great bird pics, I love the pelican. It's nice to see birds from another area.

Granny J said...

dagny -- glad you like the pelican -- one my favorite birds from my youth! In fact, I just authored a letter to my Alaska granddotter about the pelican & thus have pulled together enuf stuff for a pretty good post. In a couple of days...I'll wait til her letter arrives up north.

Lucy said...

What a wonderful collection, I think the roseate spoonbills are my favourites.

I try to resist the temptation to go beyond the 12x optical into the digital, as it doesn't really do much more than cropping and sharpening, though I sometimes take it to about 17x to frame a shot... it's about as good as you'll get without a DSLR, isn't it? Powershots rock!

Granny J said...

lucy -- I seldom go past 12x, largely because I can't hold the camera steady enough to make a difference! However, these birds are The Reason I bought the Canon. As for an SLR, carrying all that glass is a drag!

meggie said...

I never get tired of seeing bird shots. Those Spoonbills are amazing.

Granny J said...

meggie -- aren't they just! I guess that we were very lucky to come across them.

Lane said...

Oh so very marvelous! It lifted my spirits just to see/feel that sense of flight! FNFM

Granny J said...

FNFM -- it lifted my spirits to actually get a few bird pictures that I didn't mind showing to folks on the blog!!!

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