Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Fun and Frustration of May

Birders will relate that May is one of the most fun and frustrating times of the year. It flies in the face of the adage, "When you are in a hole, stop digging!". As birders, we head out to see all the goodies that are migrating through to their northern breeding grounds, each day offering new potential arrivals. As a photographer, blogger, skier, camper, hiker, and person who still values the friendships I have with non-birders - those urges to catch migrants passing through can really cut into other activities I enjoy.
Even so I have been heading out on my lunch breaks, further deepening the pile of unprocessed pictures I have, and some developing blog topics that are a bit deeper than my typical, 'I went here and saw these birds today' posts. So, rather than insightful writing, here is some of what I saw when I walked along Big Dry Creek on a cool cloudy afternoon Tuesday. Above is one of two incredibly cooperative Western Wood-Pewees.
I had started the walk with a flyover Snowy Egret, which I snapped a few frames of from my building's parking lot, before realizing I had not yet inserted my memory card back in the camera. I then had distant shots of a yellow-shafted Northern Flicker, Bullock's Oriole (first a male, then later a female which I believe was distinguishable from a female Western Tanager by her yellow tail - correct me if I'm wrong here), and finally this slightly blurry Western Tanager male.

They are such cool looking birds, but somehow I rarely get crisp shots. For a better look check this one. I kept moving on after the Western Tanager had moved back into the trees, and had a Yellow-rumped Warbler eyeing me from some streamside vegetation.

Then I caught site of the Pewee show, and camped out for a bit at the entrance to an underpass.

The two gave a great show, occasionally exploding from their perches in pursuit of unseen insects.

More good stuff from yesterday, no phenomenal pictures that jumped out at me, but some swallow flight shots that are at least good for IDs, a Chipping Sparrow out of the bath, and a Swainson's Hawk eating a stay tuned!

Updated counts after all CFO trips entered in eBird.

2011 Count: 197
Lifetime 276


  1. I love those Pewee shots! They are about as cute as birds can get!

  2. It was great to have them working from perches so close and low, usually I find myself looking up at them. Thanks for the comment.