I Learn Something New Every Day!
I have seen the Greater Yellowlegs hunting only for bugs and worms when wading along the shorelines at Delta Ponds. So I was surprised to see this one had caught a fish. On checking the Internet however, I see some sites mention that The Greater Yellowlegs does hunt fish, so I guess it isn't so unusual after all! One way to tell a Greater from a Lesser Yellowlegs is the manner in which they hunt for food. The greater Yellowlegs hunts aggressively, moving rapidly back and forth along the water's edge, while the Lesser Yellowlegs hunts in a more leisure manner.
The water is getting very low in the Ponds and a lot of birds seem to have left for better hunting grounds. A few shorebirds remain, along with the ducks and geese plus my old friends, the Great Blue Herons, who stay here year round.
The Secret of Male House Finch Coloration Exposed
I got a photo of a bird this morning at Delta Ponds that I can't ID. I don't see anything in my "Birds of Oregon" book. Seems I read somewhere about a type of finch that turns greyish with pinkish color on the sides of its head and throat. Now I can't find it. It does seem to have a beak like a finch. Would appreciate help with the ID.
Thanks to the great feedback, it is pretty much confirmed this is a male house finch! Also, I found the inforation I was looking for regarding house finch colors. Also, I found photos of house finches online that were the same.
This is from WIKIPEDIA - "Male coloration varies in intensity with the seasons and is derived from the berries and fruits in its diet. As a result, the colors range from pale straw-yellow through bright orange (both rare) to deep, intense red. Adult females have brown upperparts and streaked underparts."
Too bad I couldn't get a better image of it. Without the extreme zoom of the P900, I could never have got a shot. It was so far away I couldn't see it with my naked eye. I saw it fly in and land is the only reason I saw it. Even with the P900 I had to crop to get the bird at a decent size. As a result, the image is not all that great. But I was excited to see what I got and hope to get a positive ID.
Looking for Lunch
The osprey (also called fish eagle, sea hawk, river hawk, and fish hawk) is a fish-eating bird of prey. This one was gliding over Delta Ponds looking for fish.
Average life span in the wild:30 years
Size:Body, 21 to 23 in (54 to 58 cm)
wingspan, 5 to 6 ft (1.5 to 1.8 m)
Weight:3.1 to 4.4 lbs (1.4 to 2 kg)
Did you know? The osprey is one of the most widespread birds of prey and can be found on every continent except Antarctica
I saw this tiny spider on a flower petal on my walk this morning. It was pretty small on the flower which filled most of the picture frame, so I had to crop a lot away. I couldn't get any closer because the yard was fenced and I was right up against the fence. The result of such a big crop was better than I thought it would be for a file from a P&S sized sensor, though far from equal to what I would have got from my DSLR. I was impressed with the jewel-like appearance of the spider.
Our Friend, The Damselfly
Yes, for very good reason the Damselfly is our friend. What is the reason?
From Wild-Facts.com: "imagine you and your sweetheart are enjoying a nice romantic picnic when all of a sudden you are bombarded by mosquitoes and blackflies. Of course this isnít very pleasant but Damselflies are doing their best to ensure that your picnic isnít taken hostage by natures annoying insects. Okay, so maybe they are just hungy and enjoy eating those pesky little bugs, but the end result is still the sameÖ.less mosquitoes and blackflies to bother us." See - http://www.wild-facts.com/2011/wild-fact-553-the-picnic-saviour-damselfly/
Photograph made in Delta Ponds.
As I approached this gas station and noticed the great looking old Chevy pickup, I had my camera on the ready. Seeing that, the driver, who was beginning to pull away, gave me a wave. I thought it was the perfect touch, a great old pickup and a friendly driver. What more could I ask for? :)
The Sweet Face of Kailey
I went downtown with two granddaughters for a shoot the other day. I posted a shot of Mikayla in her Comic-Con costume. This is a photo of Kailey in front of some glass blocks below City Hall. I like those blocks for a background, except today they have some things under the stairs. Oh well, I still like the photo!
A Happy Accident
Today was one of those days that saw clouds, rain and sun. When we got a cloud burst I stepped out in the carport to see what the sky looked like. The sun started peeking around the clouds and cast some beams at various spots in the sky. I wanted to catch that, the sun, the clouds and the shafts of light. The tree was there, so it had to become a part of the scene. I got everything I was trying to include with the added bonus of the ring of light, a very happy accident. I am sure it was flare caused by that direct sunlight coming from the center directly into the lens. I love it, it gave the picture the focus I wanted! A little rain in oneís life can be a real blessing,
A Challenge From One Old Coot to Another
It looked like this American Coot was challenging me to try standing on one leg as long as it could. I didn't accept the challenge! No way am I going to embarrass myself by a not so graceful fall on the Delta Ponds walkway! This old guy just isn't that steady on his feet anymore. :) They sure do have interesting feet!
"American Coot Adult - Thick greenish legs and very large feet, Black head and neck, Pointed white bill"
Old Farm and Windmill
I always liked this old farm along McKenzie View Drive for some time, but never stopped to get a photograph of it. It is not an easy place to stop, as indicated in the photo. The road passes right by it but there isn't any place to pull off the road. I parked a ways back from the bend in the road and walked along the road to what I considered a good spot. This is the result. I love that old windmill. The modern road and wires were likely not there when the farm was new, but they are part of the landscape now, so I prefer to leave them. They show the encroachment of the modern world, so that the farm is only a remnant of what it once was.
And Now There Are Three!
On the 13th, I posted the first flower on our Amaryllis belladonna, the Naked Lady. The bare stalk had again come up this year, after first appearing as a volunteer a few years ago. Now there are three beautiful flowers at the top with another bud ready to come out. It is so beautiful I can't resist taking pictures! It rained today, so was nice to have the rain drops on the flowers.
Crow Buzzing Peregrine Falcon
Crows are very aggressive birds. They will go after just about any other bird, especially as a flock. I have seen them go after Great Blue Herons, Egrets, Turkey Vultures, and this Peregrine Falcon.
One reason for the crow's aggressiveness is protection of their young, true of most wildlife. When crow babies are fledging and leaving the nest, and can't fly well. So they are vulnerable to predation. They hide in the trees and the parents are very protective of them. They will attack potential predators. But I have seen them individually go after other birds throughout the year.