Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Oatka Creek Park • May 16

American Crow. I enjoy the challenge of getting decent pictures of these all-black birds.

Yellow Warbler

Herb Robert. With the fledging of the nearby Hairy Woodpecker brood, I could now take my time and get my picture of this flower. Now, if I hear anything at all from the woodpeckers in this area, it is just a quick chatter, presumably to alert the unseen fledglings to stay hidden!

Scarlet Tanager. This was a remarkable encounter. First, a couple of males came through the area and passed quite close to me, singing loudly the entire time. Of course, things weren't *that* easy, as they were careful to maneuver so that they were between me and sun, making them hard to see even when just a few feet away. At the same time, a Yellow-throated Vireo started singing very close at hand! Now, I had to make a choice between a difficult picture of a Scarlet Tanager and possibly my first "keeper" picture ever of a Yellow-throated Vireo. Since I couldn't see the vireo, but I could see the tanagers, I chose the latter, though I agonized for several heartbeats.

Scarlet Tanager. Then the most unexpected happened when this female Scarlet Tanager popped up in front of me, twenty feet away, eye level, and unobscured. I had never seen a female tanager before, though I immediately recognized it from studying field guides. I struggled to recover from my startle and get pictures. The tanager popped up a bit into the foliage before I could press the shutter button, but I did get these pictures.

Scarlet Tanager. And then she was gone. I wonder when the next time will be when I spot a female tanager in Oatka? 

Yellow Warbler

Song Sparrow. I had my first fledgling Song Sparrow today! I'll tell that story when I post its pictures. I also saw today another Song Sparrow with nesting material, so the next brood of the season may be started soon.

American Toad

True Forget-me not

Common Yellowthroat. These birds prefer to skulk in the understory, making photo-ops infrequent and usually challenging from a photographic perspective.

Eastern Bluebird

Blue-winged Warbler. This is a rare foray out into the open for this species. Of course, it made sure it was completely backlit.

Blue-winged Warbler