Monday, May 28, 2012

Mr. Wilson!!!!

Greetings all!  I have enjoyed your comments this weekend.  I'm back again after an exhausting 4 days.  Tomorrow morning I'll catch up with all again and look forward to your posts.  Like the picture of this squirrel suggests, I had to get hopping over to the Sweetwater Wetlands to find the Wilson's Phalarope and while there, I was hoping to capture the Wilson's Warbler as well.  It was a day of finding the Wilson family:)
So I MOVED!!!  My last experience with the Phalarope family wasn't a good one.  I consider only excellent pictures to count as a bird sighting.  And while I spotted the Red/Red Necked Phalarope, they weren't close enough to see in the pic.  So I hoped to get better shots of this particular Phalarope.
While scanning the only basin of water, I captured the Black Neck Stilt, the Glossy Ibis, and a couple American Avocets......and then, in the far distance, I saw 5 spinning circular motions....indicative of the Phalarope family.
But I hadn't counted on 5 of them!!!!  Just to be sure I walked around the basin as best I could to see if I could get better shots.....
At first I thought I had counted wrong, but alas, the other Wilson Phalarope joined in.....
.......creating the group of "5".  I hoped to get closer to these interesting birds but a fence prohibited me from crossing. And to be honest, it wasn't so much the fence as it was the law that kept me out:)  I could really get some great shots if I could just cross the line:)  So playing detective paid off today....
.....and I did get better shots than those of the Red/Red Necked Phalarope. As for the Wilson's Warbler??
There was too much Blackbird "noise" going on, but I was able to locate and hone in on a Warbler "voice".  It was intermittent and high above the trees.  One would think it would be easy to identify this hot number.  I kid you not, I stood for a half hour refusing to go home until I found that bird!
Eventually I found it extremely high up in the Eucs bouncing around.....but it wasn't the Wilson's Warbler, it was the Yellow Warbler.  The difference?  Both are yellow, but the Wilson's Warbler has a black swatch on the top of its head.  I'm lucky that I was able to even get this shot.  My neck hurt after this outing. 
Eventually the little guy flew off and I moved onto my owlets.  Look closely at the picture and you'll see the parent and two owlets.  One is looking directly at you:)
Sometimes I wish it were as easy as Dennis the Menace calling out, "MR. WIIIIIIILLLLLSONNNN!" and getting his attention.  But like Mr. Wilson, he would hide from Dennis just as the birds like to disappear from me:)  But with an ear for bird sounds and movement, I am beginning to use my other sense to help me find the birds.  It has been mostly with my eyes, but now I am using the ears.  I will be even more successful once I can replicate the bird sounds with my voice.  If I can speak Spanish, I can also learn to speak bird. I've seen it done and it's quite magical.  More tomorrow.....


  1. Beautiful images..Nature is so beautiful

  2. Yes i see the owlets, but that squirrel which we don't have is so cute. Last weekend i was able to get a shot of the oriole, although my lens don't allow a very sharp one! I will post it too anyway! haha.

  3. Lovely photos, Chris. The one of the blue dragonfly is just magical. Good luck with bird songs and calls - it will add an extra dimension to your birding. Hope you had a great weekend away.

  4. I admire your ability to ID birds from their sound. I can only recognize a few that way.

  5. Glad you made it home --even if it was exhausting. Can't wait to hear more!!!!

    Loved Dennis the Menace and ole Mr. Wiiiiillllllsssssson. ha

    Happy Memorial Day. Let's never forget those men and women who gave their lives for us and for our freedom.


  6. I am becoming thoroughly fascinated with bug wings.
    I wonder if the colors and intricacy are natures vanity or have a purpose.

  7. Great post, I have only seen one Phalarope and it was way too far away for a photo. It would be cool to see 5 at one time. Lucky you! The Yellow Warbler is pretty and is one warbler I can id by sound now. The warbler neck does hurt doesn't it? Looking forward to hearing about your trip, have a great day!

  8. I've been trying the same thing ... using my ear to locate. Still have a ways to go. Love that yellow warbler!

  9. I'm glad you're so dedicated to your birding and that you share your finds with us.

  10. Ooh, I love that Yellow Warbler!


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