Four birds

Hmmm, it’s 5:09 AM with the next On This Date post set to go at 6:00. Can I do it?

On a slow outing yesterday, we nevertheless found a few subjects to shoot, and you’re about to see most of them. We’ll start off easy.

black vulture Coragyps atratus not too impressed with scarevulture
I mentioned earlier how little impact the Vulture Effigy program from the NC Wildlife Resource Commission was having on the vultures down at Jordan Lake, and a black vulture (Coragyps atratus) provided a nice little pose with the dead vulture that was intended to convince the live ones not to perch in the area. Maybe if they animated it, or made spooooky noises…

Among the subjects we were after were, of course, the osprey, or ospreys – I think the latter is correct, but you know, English rules are decided by dartboard. And while we saw a handful, there was only one aborted dive at a fish – just not an active time. But one wheeled overhead a few times when the sun was in a good position to do backlighting, so I fired off a few frames.

osprey Pandion haliaetus soaring while backlit
Curiously, the scientific name for osprey is Pandion haliaetus, while the one for bald eagles is Haliaeetus leucocephalus – so what the extra ‘E’ in there signifies I couldn’t tell you. And from experience, I can tell you that attempting to use standard English rules to pronounce any Latin names will likely result in error.

Among the first of the subjects to present itself was a female double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus,) who circled around twice before coming to rest in an old dead tree right at the head of the point where we stood – so, a dozen or so meters away. Of course we took advantage of this.

female double-crested cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus jus after landing in dead tree
Just after landing, she hadn’t settled in yet, perhaps assuring herself that our shifting around underneath her posed no threat, but she did at least pose fartistically along the lines of the branches, so I’m good.

Later on, she’d settled in, ignoring us, but continued to survey the area, though what she was looking for I couldn’t say.

female double-crested cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus with head craned back oddly
… or maybe she simply had water in her ear.

Eventually, not finding other subjects, I shifted position and used the leaves of a much smaller tree nearby to do a little framing, because there was nothing else to work with, but while doing that, she gave an enigmatic pose while looking skyward.

female double-crested cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus surveying the sky
Best I could say is, she got separated from another, or a flock, and was watching for them to reappear. From time to time, other birds cruised by, including a black vulture joining her in the same tree, but she paid no attention to any of them.

And finally, another fartistic shot, one of the few that I liked from a pair of great egrets (Ardea alba) that danced around us in the distance. Too much time was spent shooting almost directly into the sun, washing out the sky and the colors of the birds, but this time it provided some background glitter, so we’ll let it go this time.

great egret Ardea alba crusing low over glittering water
There! Took about thirty minutes to write. Maybe I should always force a deadline and keep my verbosity down more.


« [previous]
[next] »