Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bird Photography Weekly #18

It's awesome to see how steadily growing this meme is. I love it and hope more of my blogging friends not only check it out, but participate. You all have great photos to share! This means you all Mom, Mary, Lynne, Ruthie, and the other birders whose blogs I have listed over there on the right. Make it a new years resolution! An easy one to keep, no?

This week, my submission is the Marbled Godwit Limosa fedoa.

They seem to be somewhat common on the shores of California. Although I've never seen large numbers of them, I have seen them in the spring, summer, and fall in various locations. I don't know about winter because I've never been to the beach or wetlands in winter - and I've only had my camera for a year anyway, with my 100-400mm lens for only 9 months.

This picture above is by far the best of the godwits, but also in my top three of 2008 and lifetime. I've been scouring my birdpics for the best of '08, but haven't had time to finish that job. I guess I'd better hurry considering tomorrow is the last day of 2008!

The two pictures above were taking at Morro Bay in March. I guess this was just before they left to breed. It seems their typical breeding grounds are in the Northern Plains of North America with some in Alaska.

It eats worms, mollusks, crustaceans, and insects. It was probably going for all of the above here at Moss Landing in late July.

Well, what do you know? The early bird caught his worm! I say early, because it must have been an early returnee from the breeding grounds.

According to a fun fact I noted on my new iPhone app* "it often inserts its entire bill into the mud, and it's head is totally submerged at times." Well, here at the Mountain View Shorline Park, this godwit proved true to nature. Note the lack of the orange on the bill. All that mud made for a slightly longer time identifying this particular godwit.

Incidentally, from this same app, "a group of godwits are collectively known as an 'omniscience', 'pantheon', and 'prayer'." Now I'm really wondering who named this bird and why? And who named its groups?

* new iPhone app: iBird Explorer Plus After reading a review my mom sent me from the BRDPCS blogger Bill Schmoker, I was intrigued. And seeing as how I LOVE my iPhone and it's everything I ever wanted, and I'm addicted to apps, I broke down today and couldn't resist it's $19.99 price. It's awesome! If you like birds, and have an iPhone or iPod Touch, you MUST get this. You won't regret it. It's not like you can have too many guides, right? Plus, any updates are free, and you can't get that in a print version. It has made my iPhone ever MORE useful and I didn't think that was possible.

Don't worry publishers... I like and buy books still too :) They don't give me thumb cramps.

And if you have it, or do purchase it, please use it responsibly. Don't overdo the bird sounds out in the wild. In fact, it's best to put one earbud in your ear so you can hear the sound and then compare to the live bird with the other ear. This way you won't disturb or confuse the birds.

However, if you have cats... torture them with the bird sounds to your hearts content. I do! Of course, if it's in moderation, they continue to be fooled. Too much at once, and they'll figure it out and never react again.

One more thing! I've enabled a new comments feature on my blog this week where it is embedded in the post rather than done using a pop-up. If you have any issues with it and wanted to leave a comment, please email me at hannanfanATgmailDOTcom. Thanks :) Hopefully you won't have a problem as I've been to other blogs that are using it and I did fine. If you're not already logged in, click preview and it will take you to your login page.


Arija said...

Love your Godwits and I too wonder at the name!
My lens only goes to 300mm, drat!

Lynne said...

OK Red, I'll join! Is it a certain day of the week? Do I link back to somewhere (like i and the bird)? Would you please shoot me an email and explain? I'm kind of slow thinking today....


Love your Godwit BTW. Lifer for me. What were they thinking when they named it a Godwit?

Red said...

Welcome Arija! 300mm is often enough :) My mom rented one for her trip to New Mexico a month ago and based on the images I notice there probably wouldn't have been a significant difference between the 300 & 400. Although, an extender might make a tremendous difference. I haven't bought one of those yet.

Lynne, I'll email you! But if anyone else has the same question, it's available for the entire week, but is posted on late Sunday night. And you link right back to Birdfreak's Bird Photography Weekly where she gives you the logo and the code right in each post. Click on the logo at the top of my post here and it will take you directly to this week's meme.

Red said...

Correction, it takes you to the category on BirdFreak's site listing all the BPWs. But the most recent is at the top of the list.

Red said...

they (BirdFreak team), not she... lol, I knew that ;)

i did, really, when i was posting the blog, but in the comments i slipped up.

Mary C said...

I've been meaning to participate, but I've been trying to get all of my New Mexico photos posted first. Other excuse is I don't have my bird photos categorized as you do. Hopefully, I will do that now that we have started a new year.

Sparverius said...

Nice BPW. I've been absent for a few weeks, but hope to get back on the bandwagon soon.

Red said...

@ Mom, it seems to be a good idea... plus it will help develop a list. Glad you did it this week though! See, your posts don't need to be in complete order :) You can always slip a new one in.

@Sparverius... You've probably been quite busy with the holidays and the snow and such. It'll be good to see your regular posts again.

RuthieJ said...

Oh Red, most weeks I can barely keep track of what day it is (sigh). I'll just continue to enjoy all of your great bird photography posts.


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