A Mixed Bag Of Recent Birds

Occasionally I review my recent images and look for photos that I may have missed that hold some interest for me. This is a collection of eight of those images, taken over the past several weeks. Some aren’t perfect technically or visually exciting but each caught my eye for one reason or another.

 

1/3200, f/6.3, ISO 250, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM, not baited, set up or called in

A male Northern Harrier at Farmington. I like the out-of-focus mountain background almost as much as the bird – the colors remind me of the “purple mountain majesties” line in America the Beautiful.

 

 

1/2500, f/9, ISO 500, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + EF 1.4 III Extender, not baited, set up or called in

A male Common Merganser at Farmington. I seldom get this close to the males or this much color in their heads.

 

 

1/1600, f/7.1, ISO 400, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + EF 1.4 III Extender, not baited, set up or called in

A Lesser Scaup at a local pond. I kind of like the pose as he settles back down into the water after rising up and shaking.

 

 

1/2500, f/6.3, ISO 250, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + EF 1.4 III Extender, not baited, set up or called in

A fourth year (notice that the bill hasn’t yet turned completely yellow) Bald Eagle at the Antelope Island marina. I haven’t had much luck with Bald Eagles this winter but I haven’t spent as much time at Farmington as I usually do. Presumably this bird was in the area of the marina and the second bridge to hunt ducks and/or scavenge falcon leftovers.

 

 

1/2500, f/6.3, ISO 800, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + EF 1.4 III Extender, not baited, set up or called in

A male Common Goldeneye threatening another nearby male. I just liked the posture/behavior.

 

 

1/2000, f/7.1, ISO 500, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + EF 1.4 III Extender, not baited, set up or called in

A Rough-legged Hawk taking off from a sign post at Farmington. The bird is a little soft (largely due to lots of moisture in the air) but I always find it visually interesting when I catch a raptor taking off at this “ass over teakettle” angle. The wings are still in their first downbeat so I presume that at takeoff the bird must have leaned far forward before pushing upwards with its feet to produce this body angle.

 

 

1/2000, f/7.1, ISO 500, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + EF 1.4 III Extender, not baited, set up or called in

A male Gadwall with plant material in his bill at a local pond. What struck me here is the unusual colors and patterns reflected in the water – they almost remind me of hundreds of small, strange-colored lily pads packed tightly together. I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite like it in water reflections before.

 

 

1/640, f/6.3, ISO 800, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + EF 1.4 III Extender, not baited, set up or called in

A cold, miserable and forlorn-looking American Pipit at Farmington. I decided to end with this image because the grumpy/sad look of the bird reminded me of how I feel about the many weeks of overcast, gray, dank and miserable weather we’ve had here in northern Utah that has so severely limited my photography.

Starting tomorrow we’re forecast to have five sunny days in a row. I can hardly believe it (and won’t until it actually happens).

Ron

 

30 comments to A Mixed Bag Of Recent Birds

  • Charlotte Norton

    Marvelous series Ron!

    Charlotte

  • All are such wonderful images, but the American Pipit is amazing. That expression says it all.

  • Laura Culley

    I love your mixed bags…always a bunch of serious surprises and just cool stuff. Just THANK YOU!

  • April Olson

    Enjoyable mixed bag.
    I have been going out despite the weather. It has challenged me to use different settings on my camera. I have gotten what would have been beautiful shots if the lighting was good. The birds seem more available in the bad weather with poor light. I will have to think about where to go Sunday. It is Eagle Day at many of my favorite Haunts. Too many people for me.

  • Diane Bricmont

    The “mixed bag” is a feast for the eyes! I love the richness of the Gadwall, but the Pipit is downright adorable 🙂

  • What an awesome set!

  • Patty Chadwick

    What a great feast of birds (backgrounds, wood and water–colors, patterns, reflections)!!!! I love how it begins and ends, too. The last image is a portrait of my soul as it portrays exactly how I feel these days!!! THANK YOU!!! I hope that short string of beautiful days pans out for you…you’re due for a break…..

  • Susan Stone

    I like all of these, but the one that really jumped out at me was the male Gadwall. His coloration is gorgeous, as are the feather patterns. The colors reflected in the water also remind me of orange lichens. The Pipit made me laugh out loud. I have a photo that was available commercially (which was quite popular if I recall correctly) of an “angry” Bluebird, which has the same kind of expression on its face. Life has kind of left me feeling that way lately…

  • Den DiMarco

    Ron, I appreciate your sharing what you enjoy about your photos and I hope you continue to reveal those thoughts. That’s a nice education for me. And of course I always enjoy the photos themselves.

    Five sunny days. I’m envious! 🙂

    • Thanks, Den. Those forecasted five sunny days are far from a sure thing. Based on the track record of those who prognosticate the weather I’d say the chances of them being even close to accurate in their forecast is less than 50/50.

  • David Wilde

    Thanks again Ron!

  • Judy Gusick

    Glad you chose to do the series! Wonderful photos and variety! 🙂 Hope the “water everywhere” doesn’t mess you up – getting ugly everywhere and then the NE getting pounded with winter storms. The reflections are great. 🙂

  • David Wilde

    Hawks are not my specialty and have been trying to learn more, is there a field guide you would suggest.

    • David, a basic (and excellent one) for all species is The Sibley Guide To Birds. One specific for raptors (written by my friend and raptor expert Jerry Liquori) is Hawks From Every Angle. That one is particularly good for identifying raptors in flight.

  • Don

    Needless to say, the above artwork is incredible! How did you go about composing the Northern Harrier? This is my favorite!

    • “How did you go about composing the Northern Harrier?”

      That’s a more interesting question than you might think, Don.

      I centered the harrier horizontally for two reasons: 1, the bird was looking directly at me and 2, there’s an ugly sign just barely out of frame to the left. I have several images of the bird looking to my left but couldn’t easily use them because the best composition with him looking that way would have meant including that distracting sign.

  • Dick Harlow

    Like em all Ron, especially the Gray Ghost since I see more females and young then males.
    Great capture on the Common Goldeneye, very appropriate for this time of year.
    I’m stuck inside due to the storm last night and the massive one coming tomorrow.
    Good luck on those 5 sunny days, we all will be looking forward to your captures!!

  • David Wilde

    Thank you for your love of nature and for birds I look every day and just wanted to say THANKS.