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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Nerdy Birdy: Huntington Central Library

I woke up this morning and looked at a long list of things that I imagined needed to be done before my in-laws arrived and then I promptly tore it up and went birding. I doubt they are going to care if the garage is swept, if the car is freshly washed or if those last two loads of laundry did not get completed. Instead of stressing I relaxed, a great treat for myself.

I decided to visit Huntington Central Library today. Let me tell you it was a TREASURE TROVE of beautiful walks and wonderful birds. The day also ended up being super nice. I thought to only go birding for a few hours but I had such a good time I was there until the sun went down.

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I opted today to try a different approach to birding. Generally I go all over the park and spend a little while on each bird. Today I decided to find birds that I did not have amazing shots of OR ones that I had not seen yet and spend a ton of time on that one bird. You know what! This new philosophy PAID OFF. Not only did I manage to get incredible shots I ended up getting incredible shots consistently. It was by FAR my best photo shoot ever.

Of course there was one tiny bee in my bonnet, the owls rumoured to be behind the library were not there today. I was however assured that they are there often so I will just have to keep trying.

The first bird I came across that took my interest was a mated pair of Western Bluebirds. After about three hours spent with them they allowed me to get so CLOSE which of course gave me excellent shots.

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436.WESTERN BLUEBIRD

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436.WESTERN BLUEBIRD

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436.WESTERN BLUEBIRD

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436.WESTERN BLUEBIRD

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436.WESTERN BLUEBIRD

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436.WESTERN BLUEBIRD

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436.WESTERN BLUEBIRD

After the bluebirds I located three Hooded Orioles. I was really excited because this is a new bird for me so I will be crossing that off my bird list, see the list here http://www.theroguewoman.com/2009/07/bird-brain-list.html. I stayed under that tree for two hours but the birds would NOT come anywhere near the ground. The best I got were some nosebleed images but now I know where to go to look for them next time.

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578. HOODED ORIOLE

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578. HOODED ORIOLE

I then made my way to the lake where I found about 5 swifts. The swift is the fastest flying bird and I thought with my new mad skills http://www.theroguewoman.com/2010/03/nerdy-birdy-hummy-huntington-gardens.html taking photos of flying hummingbirds I would attempt to catch the swifts. I failed MISERABLY. They are just TOOOO FAST. I did however to my surprise catch one of the Vaux swift’s on a branch for one moment. This particular swift was working on the next generation with her little other swift friend and was pausing to take a breather. It is ALMOST impossible to get a swift landed. They don’t generally perch, their feet are just not made to roost so I was SUPER lucky to grab this shot.

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303. VAUX SWIFT

When I left the lake I met up with some fellow birder photographers who were off to the hummingbird garden, SCORE this place has a garden specifically geared to attract hummingbirds. It’s like cake, triple decker, double chocolate chip, quadruple fudge cake. I managed to get a ton of cool shots including a Black Chinned Hummingbird another to cross off the list, see list here.

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312. BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD

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Lastly although I finally captured the Yellow Rumped Warbler in its breeding plumage which is significantly more bold than the drabber winter plumage that I have photos of. See a photo of the drabber plumage here http://www.flickr.com/photos/roguewoman/4121640116/ .

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YELLOW RUMPED WARBLER

And then always there is that ONE BIRD. The one that alludes me and I do not have enough information to correctly identify it. If you can figure it out let me know.

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MYSTERY BIRD

You would think after 9 hours I would have been tired today, or more inclined to get some of those last minute things done. But that was not the case. With three new birds found today (something I was super excited about) and with a bird walk in an area I had not been to before I decided to go birding again today. More tomorrow on the Irvine walk.

Happy birding.

3 comments:

Jessica said...

You did get some absolutely fantastic shots darlin! Love the flying hummingbirds!

Cheryl said...

oh my... the shots were terrific! good job kelly!!!

paul peggy zeus said...

Great shots! I think your mystery bird is simply a female Goldfinch.

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