Posts in Category: wildlife

Common Yellowthroat

The Common Yellowthroat is indeed common. It has a range that covers all of North America and the Caribbean except the arctic shield and its loud whichity-whichity-whichity song is part of the sound-track of thickets and tangles throughout. It is more often glimpsed than properly seen as it skulks deep in those thickets and tangles. This one, seen along the boardwalk at Magee Marsh during the Biggest Week in American Birding, sat still long enough so that I could maneuver for a clear line of sight through the tangle. Eventually it even turned its head to give me a classic Common Yellowthroat portrait. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.

Catbird, catbird

There are always lots of Catbirds coming through Magee Marsh during the Biggest Week in American Birding, and they are always entertaining. This one seemed to find the birders equally interesting. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.

Magnolia Warbler

There are many beautiful warblers at Magee Marsh during the Biggest Week in American Birding, and the Magnolia has to be among the most beautiful. It is also quite likely to be feeding at eye-level and close to the boardwalk. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.

Kirtland’s Warbler

The Kirtland’s Warbler is kind of the holy grail of warblers. They breed in rapidly disappearing young Jack Pine forests with grassy openings mostly in Michigan, and winter in the Bahamas. They are also subject to cowbird nest predators. Numbers dropped as low as 500 individuals in the 70s, all breeding in a the single remaining six square mile patch of Jack Pine…before an aggressive recovery plan was developed to both protect nesting birds and increase the available suitable Jack Pine forest. Every year a few come through the Erie shore of Ohio during (before and after) the Biggest Week in American Birding. A few of those are actually seen. When one is found the word goes out on the birding grapevine (twitter, facebook, ebird, etc) very quickly. This year, for whatever reason, there have been at least 4 sightings in as many days. Yesterday there were two (actually three as there were two at one site) seen at the same time a few miles apart. When I got to one of the spots, a residential area right up against the lake shore, the bird had already been showing for over 2 hours, and was still happily singing in a tree right over the road with about 30 birders in attendance. It was my first Kirtlands and it was almost too easy :). Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.

Black-throated Blue Warbler

It does not get any better than this. We were watching this Black-throated Blue Warbler feeding in the foliage a few yards from the boardwalk at Magee Marsh on the Eire shore of Ohio, during the Biggest Week in American Birding, when it popped up onto the trunk of a big tree just a few feet from the rail of the boardwalk. I had to zoom back from 600mm equivalent to fit the whole bird in the frame. 🙂 It was fast and hopping all around the trunk, looking for bugs in the crevices of the bark, so it was not easy to catch. Lucky for me (and the other dozen or so other delighted photographers and birders) it worked the trunk for a good five minutes, during which time I shot off a hundred or more frames. Bound to have a few keepers. 🙂 Sony RX10iv at 490mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.

Ruby-crowed Kinglet

Though the weather has been dark and dismal, Ruby-crowned Kinglets totally “own” the boardwalk at Magee Marsh on the Eire shore during the first few days of the Biggest Week in American Birding. You could almost walk across the marsh on their tiny backs. They are feeding everywhere…mostly at or below eye-level. And the males are displaying their name-sake ruby crown. Kinglets are hard to photograph. They are constantly in motion, landing only long enough in one spot to be tempting…but moving on incessantly enough to be frustrating. You end up with a lot of empty frames, but occasionally you catch one. 🙂 Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.

Palm Warbler

I am not sure what to think about this year’s migration yet, here at Magee Marsh and The Biggest Week in American Birding. I have only had an hour or so on the boardwalk, but the mixture of warblers is odd, to say the least. I saw very few Yellow-rumped Warblers, and several Cape Mays. Yellow-rumps are early birds, and Cape Mays are late comers. And yet it is early in the week yet. Of course, everything might be different today 🙂 This is Magee! This Palm Warbler was holding court about midway along the boardwalk, practically underneath a roosting Screech Owl. Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.

American Redstart

I am not finished with my photos from the Dry Tortugas but I am already on the shores of Lake Erie for the Biggest Week in American Birding and that means warblers!!! This is very much a working trip for me, but I got out to the boardwalk for an hour or so on a rainy yesterday, and it did not disappoint. This American Redstart (male) was feeding just a few feet off the boardwalk at eye-level. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.

Magnificent Frigatebird

Of course one of the main draws of any visit to the Dry Tortugas, is the only nesting colony of Magnificent Frigatebirds in North America. On our Wildside Nature Tours trip we had the advantage of the ship’s dingy to make two trips out as close as you can get to the rookery in the late afternoon/early evening when the light was just right for photography. This shot is from our last and most productive visit. Nesting season is coming to an end, but at least this one male was in full display. This is a heavy crop of a 600mm equivalent image…so we were not close. The park has the area in front of the rookery marked as no access, and the water there is often no more than ankle deep anyway, so can’t get closer in a boat…and no foot access is allowed at any time. Still, can I say “magnificent”! Sony RX10iv as above. Program mode with my birds in flight and action modifications. Processed in Polarr.

Black-whiskered Vireo

The Black-whiskered Viero breeds in extreme south Florida and the West Indies as far south as the offshore islands of Venezuela. We found this one on the Dry Tortugas, inside Fort Jefferson. For most on our Wildside Nature Tour, it was a life bird. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.