Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Afternoon at the Arsenal

In addition to wondering about the possibilities and prevalence of leucism I saw a good variety of full color birds at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge on Sunday.

The Common Yellowthroat popped into the top of a willow thicket as I walked by and posed while singing for me to take a few shots.

A young Red-tailed Hawk flew along the edge of a wood, and paused for a moment to check me out from the perch it had found. It then called once, took off towards and then over me, before flying on to a more distant grove of trees. I guess it wanted a closer look.

Another young bird, this one a juvenile Snowy Egret, moved from perch to perch as I returned along the lake shore. I used my photo processing software to take a bit of the edge off the mid-day sun. In its altered the photograph shows the key indicator for the age of the Snowy, its bi-colored legs. Eventually the legs will darken, leaving the yellow feet at the end of long black legs. The trademark of an adult Snowy Egret.

As I was leapfrogging the Snowy's perches I was accompanied by a pair of Belted Kingfishers. They were more secretive, preferring to remain on the far side of leafy trees, but their calls give them away. At one point the foliage broke, giving me this view.

Just as I reached the dam road I spotted this flight of Double-Crested Cormorants using some concrete as a communal perch. The two in the back were playing king of the hill with the lone remaining perch, very entertaining.
While scanning the lines I did pick up Bank Swallows as well, which was a new species for me. The back of one is visible in the picture at the top of the previous post.
2009 Count: 168
Lifetime: 178

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