Mom was walking along, focusing on something else when she spotted this guy moving through the reeds:
If he hadn't been moving, or if he'd been at a different angle, she never would have seen him! God gave this guy GREAT built-in camouflage!
She got so excited when she saw this tiny bird at close range that she forgot to extend her lens!
There were a handful of different species of shorebirds there! Representing that category is this next birdie:
Some of our Summer residents are starting to appear, like this irridescent-feathered beauty:
Cool beak, too, don't you think? Speaking of cool beaks, this guy is really showing off how delicate his curved beak is:
In addition to the Shovelers we showed you, we saw lots of other ducks! Take a look at some!
|Greater Scaup, a Ruddy Duck, and Buffleheads|
Lots of the birdies are in their "breeding plumage" -- which basically means they're wearing their Sunday best to look nice for each other! Ruddy Ducks aren't in breeding plumage for very long, but Mom was hoping to be able to see one as such! She saw a handful of them! Check this guy out!!!
|Ruddy Duck in breeding plumage!|
Don't you love his bright blue bill and deep-rust body?!!? Mom just went ga-ga over-----
|"Hey! Hey, Camera Lady! Don't forget about me!!! Aren't I your fave??? Check out my tail feathers!!!"|
Sigh. Well, yes, she went crazy over the male Ruddy Duck, but her heart still belongs to the Northern Shoveler. Whatever.
(Come on, girls! Is that not the most charismatic, handsome, adorable duck EVER?!?!)
Do you see what we have to put up with here?
Anyway, we saw lots of Blackbirds, Red-Winged and Yellow-Headed! Check these out:
That was about it ...
Usually, Mom takes the lens off her camera as soon as we leave the refuge, and puts all of her equipment in the back of the vehicle. For some reason, she decided to keep it on her lap for a while. As Dad was driving home, down one of the little highways, Mom looked into a field and had one of those moments when she said, "Wait. What in the ... OHMYGOODNESSPLEASESTOP!!!" Fortunately, there wasn't anyone behind us, so Dad pulled over a bit and stopped. (There was no shoulder on the road.). Mom had spotted THREE of these:
Mom had never been that close to Cranes and oh, boy, was she excited! She was so thrilled to see them and get a few shots off without disturbing them. (She later said she was surprised she didn't drop the camera!). It was an incredible experience! She was thankful Dad was able to pull over, and so very thankful God blessed her with the photo opportunity!
We hope you enjoyed our birdie pix! Back to normal programming tomorrow!
Cam and Mags
PS: If you'd like to see a whole bunch more photos from our trip, please click here to visit our FlickR album; it's a two-pager!