Ahhh! Finally it feels like spring! We have finally had some sunshine and warm weather:-) Everything is so beautiful with the colors of spring, and the birds at my backyard feeders are certainly enjoying the wonderful weather. I have never seen so much action as I have the past few days. The Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are really enjoying hanging out. There were 10-15 of them at the feeding stations tonight. I also had three Baltimore Orioles eating grape jelly. Of course there are lots of other birds, but the grosbeaks and orioles are very unusual visitors for me.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak Female
Rose-breasted Grosbeak Male
White Crowned Sparrow
Spring is finally here. The grass is green, the flowering trees are blooming, there are violets, bluebells, tulips and daffodils. Just being outside brings a smile to my face. This afternoon I just couldn’t resist an opportunity to enjoy our beautiful spring weather. So after work I grabbed my camera and headed out to see if I could get a few bird photos.
High up in the trees was a group of four turkey vultures. They have to be one of the ugliest birds there is, but I am so fascinated by them. They are so creepy, but there is also an amazing beauty to them.
There were lots of small birds feeding on the ground and in the low brush. I was really excited to spot a new-to-me bird. This clay-colored sparrow looks like any other sparrow from a distance, but the beautiful tans and browns really stand out in this photo.
I can’t wait to get out there again!
It was a beautiful day here in the mid-west, and I couldn’t resist getting out to enjoy the weather. I decide to explore a new spot, the Morrison-Rockwood State Park in Morrison, Illinois. It is about a 50 minute drive from my house, which gave me an opportunity to reflect on my work day as I drove there. Finding the park was a bit of a challenge, but once I got there I was pleasantly surprised by the large lake and both woodland and prairie areas to explore. I definitely will have to come back when I have more time to see what the park has to offer. While I was there, I was excited to get a shot of this cute American tree sparrow. This is a new-to-me bird, and another sparrow to check off of my list.
I recently took a trip to New Mexico. One of the things I wanted to do was go birding, and I was lucky enough to meet up with a New Mexico birder! Through our blogs I met Kelly, and she was gracious enough to take me into the mountains to visit two of her birding spots. First, we met in Cedar Crest, New Mexico and traveled up to a secluded spot in the mountains.
Red Crossbill Male
The next day my friend Peggy and I went to the Albuquerque Botanic Garden. It was a wonderful area with lots of beautiful flowers. In the garden I was able to photograph several different bird species. I also was able to get a good photo of a house sparrow, to up my sparrow photographs to seven different species.
Black-crowned Night Heron
On Sunday Kelly was kind enough to take us on on another birding adventure and her beautiful dog Scarlett joined us.
This time she took us to Petroglyph National Monument. It was so much fun hiking in this dessert habitat. Not only were we able to spot some interesting birds and a few rabbits, but we also viewed some amazing petroglyphs.
I also captured sparrow species number eight.
Before leaving Albuquerque Peggy and I took a quick trip to the Rio Grande Nature Center. It was very hot and buggy, so we didn’t stay long. On the last trail we took I was able to capture a photo of a yellow-breasted chat.
As we were driving out of the area we spotted this beautiful roadrunner. I stopped the car and grabbed my camera in hopes of getting some good shots.
I had a fantastic time in New Mexico. One of the best things about the trip was meeting my new friend Kelly! I hope that one day we will meet up again. Until then, I will be following her on her blog New Mexico Birder. If you haven’t seen her blog, you should check it out!
Kelly and Me
The past week has not been very nice around the mid-west. We have had a lot of rain, cloudy days, and cool temperatures. It has been so nasty that I haven’t even been out with my camera. Instead, I have stayed close to home and gotten my “nature fix” in my own back yard. These little beauties have been hanging out at my feeders. As mentioned in my last post I have challenged myself to see how many how many different kinds of sparrows I can spot; I am now up to five.
I was very excited to get a photo of this beautiful lark sparrow! House sparrows are very common in my area, and can be somewhat annoying, so most people don’t give a second thought to sparrows. However, a couple of years ago I spotted my first “not a house sparrow” and have been fascinated with sparrows ever since. I really enjoy spotting the subtle differences and find that all sparrows are beautiful in their own way. I must say, I think that lark sparrows are stunning;-) I think I am going to see how many different sparrows I can spot this summer; lark sparrow #1.
While I was out and about today I also spotted some of my old friends. There is nothing better than enjoying God’s gifts on a beautiful spring day!
Nikon D5300 | Tamron 150-300mm | @300mm | 1/100| f/9 | ISO 400
I am always on the hunt for a new sparrow species to photograph. These little guys were spotted at Prairie Park in Geneseo. They were hiding in the long grass near several evergreen trees. When they heard me, they flew out of the grass and then bounced around in the tree that was closest to them. They were very active and seemed annoyed by my presence. I decided to sit in the grass hoping that I could photograph them at a lower level. Field sparrows can now be added to my collection of sparrow photographs. I wonder what species of sparrow I will find next?
Field Sparrow Information