Monday, January 19, 2009

Bird Photography Weekly #21

Yesterday I spent the afternoon out on the front patio hoping for a Pine Siskin or some other irregular visitor to show up at the feeder. It never happened. But the light was gorgeous, so instead of wasting it, I got a few pics of a Chestnut-backed Chickadee to share on the Flickr group Birdshare which was one of their top 10 most wanted... surprisingly!

Too find out more about that, see this post on the Round Robin blog, the blog for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. I'm happy to help, and it's a two way street. I've shared a California Towhee and Rock Pigeon and soon I'll share a Starling once I review my pics to see if there are any quality ones and already I've tripled my views at Flickr... not the comments though, so I guess they're not striking enough. Oh well, it's a goal to shoot for.

But this post isn't totally about that. It's really for Bird Photography Weekly and this week I'm sharing a VERY common bird at our feeders, the Lesser Goldfinch.
With winter absent for us in California this year, the birds are almost in their breeding plumage! I saw one that was very bright yellow, but it was in the backyard and never came out front.

I was amazed at the individual feathers that you can see in this one below. Its face is blurred from the depth of field, but those olive-green feathers of this female sure came out.
This next one is a female that I captured last February back when there was hardly any light. I think it was a slightly gray day, but most of all our neighbors still had their giant storage bin out in the driveway... two and a half years after they said it would be only a couple weeks... harumphf.
I also took this one last February. I call it "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" although none of them are truly ugly. The bad is obviously the one in front with his bandit mask :)
These two were my favorites until I took the top photo yesterday. The one on the left was last March when I was taking pics of spring flowers with the neighbor's palm as a background, and the one on the right was taken in June in the backyard. I still find it hilarious :) I call it "Bad Hair Day".
So, here was my VERY common birds to share. But for those who live anywhere else but the Southwest, I guess it is new to you :) Come to California... enjoy our winterless winter! Now's the time because come June or maybe even May this year we'll have smoky skies since we're going to be in a dangerous drought.

Go check out some much less common birds at:


Lynne said...

This is another great post Red. As soon as my hand heals up I'll have to give it a try. Thanks for th helpful email. I've saved it for my try!

Natural Moments said...

It's crazy hair may be all the rage this year. It may be going for a certain look. I also like your top photo with the bird in contrast to the hummingbirds. I'm excited, I may be going down to California soon to visit my parents and take some photos in your winterless realm.

Bob and Cynthia Kaufman said...

Lesser Goldfinches are indeed common here but they are always fun to watch and always a great phot subject.

mick said...

Your common birds are definitely not common in other parts of the world! Nice photos showing the birds in all those different poses.

Red said...

@Lynne... thanks! Perhaps you'll be feeling up for it on a visit to Hasty Brook :)

@Bernie... thank you :) I wish I could say I planned that shot with the hummingbirds... I need to put more forethought into my photos, but I do like being surprised when something cool just happens. You're parents I'm sure would be happy to see you... come down... get out of that cold wet stuff they call snow!

@Bob and Cynthia... They certainly give us all plenty of opportunities :)

@Mick... very true. I was surprised to find their distribution only covered the southwest part of the US and Mexico. Thanks!

Mary C said...

Red - better quality shots at the top. Different lens? Love those little lessers! They're so fun to watch at the nyjer feeders.

Red said...

Some are with a different lens than the top two, but the biggest difference is the skills I've developed in the last year.

Bevson said...

I saw my first Lesser's in Anza Borrego Desert State Park. I was so excited. Heck I would still be excited. I really need to get back out your way. My favorite of the lot is the bad hair day one, that just cracks me up.

Red said...

Thanks Bev! Ah, Anza Borrego... Tried to make it last March on my wildflower trip, but never got that far south. I think the wildflowers were past-peak by then in that locale anyway.

Neil said...

Common for some Uncommon for most people.

Red said...

You're right Neil :) I shouldn't take them for granted.

animtreebird said...

Very beautiful bird. Nice photo. :))) Good luck in saving Acorn Woodpecker. :)))


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