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Nature in it's glory

Nature in it's glory

May 21, 2010

Sandhill Cranes

It was the most amazing event, stretching out for roughly two weeks, when my attention was drawn by large numbers of birds flying overhead.  Their vocalizations were deep, and carrying, somewhat reminiscent of Ravens but somehow much deeper as they flew above me.   However these birds were much slimmer and bigger, their wings spanning to at least six feet.   At first I only managed to get pictures of them very far off in the distance, but because weather conditions were windy and cloudy, and I only had my small camera, the pictures were unclear.

Sandhill Cranes in V formation

May 14, 2010

Horned Grebe

Oh happy day!!!

I visited a place I had never been before today and not only did I see two species of hawks hunting the area, I also got many pictures of small birds which are totally unfamiliar to me, and baby geese.  The highlight of my day however, was the sight two Horned Grebe, aka Slovenian Grebe. They have been granted  other names over time, among them devil diver.  They are remarkably beautiful,  especially when displaying their breeding plumage.

Horned Grebe pair
When you first see them from a distance, the Horned Grebe seems  to stick out only  due to its  brownish color and because they tend to disappear  beneath the water.   However, a closer view of this bird  shows just  how striking its features are.  I was lucky enough that both birds were relatively close to me when I first arrived on the scene, and that neither seems to be shy of humans, as they were not bothered in the least by either my presence or the sound of my camera.  In fact they continued to come closer as I stood there taking these pictures.

May 5, 2010

Golden Eye Duck

Male Golen Eyed Duck in flight
The Golden Eye duck is a tiny diver that is much smaller than the Mallard duck and has very distinctive black and white coloring.  As usual there is more than one species of this beautiful little duck and they are not easily identified, although it is easier to distinguish a Buffelhead from a Common, or Barrow's Golden Eye.

Golden Eyed Ducks

May 3, 2010

Lesser Scaup

My apologies for being tardy in my posting of late, but I have been busy almost every day with birdwatching, taking my opportunities in bits and pieces as it were, eager to spot something new as usual.  Lately I haven't seen anything that I haven't seen in the past several years.  Also, unfortunately, opportunities to go to new locations in search of birds,  have not yet presented themselves to me. However, my pictures are turning out to be better,  so I have decided to share pictures of the Lesser Scaup that I have recently taken.

Lesser Scaup Female
It is difficult at best to distinguish between the Lesser and Greater Scaup; a diving duck, but because of the curve in the neck of this duck, it's amber eyes, and due to the fact that they are frequenting this fresh water pond, I have concluded that this particular duck is the Lesser  Scaup, as the Greater Scaup apparently prefers salt water.