Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Showcasing birds

Newly Fledged Robin
I spent most of Sunday afternoon (July 16) at Daniel Webster MA Audubon sanctuary in Marshfield, MA. I was hoping to photograph birds and I did. I spent a lot of the afternoon in the South blind, not gazing at the pond which had limited activity but at the shore and a defoliated tree outside the right windows. In doing so I ignored (for the most part) the comings and goings of the resident Barn Swallows, who were busy tending to nests of young birds.

These first few photos are all of recently fledged birds, the American Robin above is still a bit speckled and certainly isn't as dapper as mature robins are. 


Gray Catbirds usually look sleek and polished, this has to be a young one. It wasn't very happy down there either, and parents kept visiting. I didn't realize exactly what was going on until I looked at my photos later. The colors are right, but all that fluff?


This young Barn Swallow looks a bit unfinished, certainly not as sleek looking as its parents are. Since there were several nests in the building with non-fledged youngsters this one may be from an earlier brood.


Some of my other bird photos from Sunday. 


This is a Female Baltimore Oriole, she isn't bright orange like her mate, but I think she is still a pretty bird. There were some Honeysuckle bushes with berries near the Blind, she was probably on her way to visit them.  


I believe this is an adult Gold Finch, probably female from the coloration, it didn't hang around long, so this is my best photo.

Female Bobolink

Daniel Webster is one of the remaining nesting spots in state for Bobolinks. They build their nests in the grasses that are allowed to grown in the fields at Daniel Webster. Thankfully they wait to mow until the young Bobolinks have fledged and left the fields. But I have heard horror stories of parent birds looking for their nests after a thoughtless farmer has mowed a field early.

The above bird is a female Bobolink. She wasn't happy with me, even though I was on the mowed path. I have a feeling either her nest or some of her young ones weren't too far away from me.

Male Bobolink in flight

Male Bobolink in flight, it wasn't my intention to make a flight photograph. I had been photographing a Redwing blackbird, and when I checked the display to see how the photo looked I noticed a bird just a bit beyond the blackbird sitting on some wire fencing. I was trying to photograph the bird on the fence wire, but it took off just as I snapped the shutter. Thankfully I was using a fast enough shutter speed that the bird is mostly in focus. By the way the male is still in breeding colors.


The not very good photo above is a Lesser Yellowlegs, it was just about at the limit of what I can photograph with my current lens. There were also a couple of Killdeer in the same general area, but they were a bit too far for me to make a good photo. The photographs of them were good enough to ID the bird but not to post.


The final photo is a view from Fox Hill of some of the property at Daniel Webster. I had a really good day with Birds Sunday, hope you enjoyed a look at some of my best photos. Please note that I have added links to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds web site for each species above if you are curious to learn more about them.  Per usual comments are welcome.