June 14, 2004

I don't think a beginning birder should use the term "lifer" until he reaches at least 200 or maybe 300? I prefer the term "first". I had a couple of "firsts" in the past week. Actually, they were both on Fri., June 11 - a Swainson's Thrush and Solitary Sandpiper. Being a photographer, I only count what I can see so the list grows very slowly. I also saw the fluffed up crown of the Orange-crowned Sparrow for the first time. OK, tell the truth. How many of you have seen it?


Patience rewarded? No, I was just watching a couple of Orange-crowned warblers from my bedroom window last week when the orange-crowned bird popped out. It didn't seem to be showing off or claiming territory so I didn't ask why. Good thing I had digital as the sun had just set. I raised the ISO to 1600 and was able to shoot hand-held at f9, 240th sec.

I was surprised to see a flash of brown dive into my elderberry bush a few days ago. An empty-taloned and disappointed Cooper's Hawk emerged. Fortunately, all my feeders are fairly well protected.

Who needs DVD? Despite the repetition I could listen to the beautiful voice of the Swainson's Thrush all day long.

Spotted Sandpiper fallout? Does 4 Spotted's in 2 days constitute a fallout? I gave up trying to get a picture and was focussing on a baby Red-breasted Sapsucker when I saw the Sandpiper heading towards me. I didn't breathe for 5 minutes as I happily clicked away. It came within 35' of me.

When I first saw the Solitary Sandpiper, I knew it wasn't a Spotted - longer legs and no teetering. Unfortunately, I couldn't get close enough for a decent photo (80'), but I just had to show it to you as it was a first for me and the first reported June sighting on the Island.

Where's Mommy? Baby Red-breasted Sapsucker isn't quite ready for independence yet.

"Poetree" in motion. Doesn't it make you wish you could fly when you watch the beautiful flight of a bird like the Tree Swallow?

OOPS! Ran out of bird photos. You don't mind the Western Tiger Swallowtail do you?