Spring is near

I almost feel guilty since I have many other, more productive, things I should be doing.  Almost but not quite.  The time is getting short as we prepare for our first trip to Costa Rica.  Lots of things to organize and set straight before departure.  But I always seem to find a bit of time to visit our local park, Commonwealth Lake Park, that is only about 3 miles from our house and on the way to virtually every store I visit each day.  The last few trips have rewarded me with over 20 species of birds… some very common and some less so.  A Green heron or two have been fairly frequent and I never tire of photographing these little, but charming, birds even if they always look like they are grumpy.  I watched as one hunted, standing still as herons do and then striking.  I expected to see a small fish and was quite surprised when I saw what I believe to be a large bullfrog tadpole in the birds beak.  I’m always amazed at how big an item a bird can swallow.  GULP!

20140130_141413_DSC_4743

 

Species that I can almost always count on seeing as I walk around the 0.75 mile loop include Great egret, Great blue heron, mallards, Amerian wigeons and American crows.  Most common birds are given short views by most folks since their familiarity and frequency seem to diminish the amazing details and character of the feathers and eyes.  Few people stand long enough to watch a bird behave.  Most people don’t make the time a priority but I’ve learned that pausing for 10-20 minutes to watch a Song sparrow perch, sing, feed and jump around can be a lot of fun and educational.  My quiet times are sometimes interrupted by someone who wants to know what I’m looking at.  Some scratch their heads when I say “a Ruby-crowned kinglet” or “a Yellow-rumped warbler”.  Others just nod and then tell me not to miss the “… fill in the blank, here…..” as I move on.  Occassionally I see another person with a camera and a few with binoculars.  I’m an anomaly since I usually carry both.

Every once in awhile I get a photo that is pleasing and I share it on Google+.  I thought it was time to catch up on the blog a bit and share some of my favorite images of varied species at our local pond.  Maybe you’ll think twice about how busy you are and stop by your local park for a stroll.  I hope you do and I also hope that you’ll take time to approach a bush near the water and just stand still for several minutes.  You never really know what you’ll see or hear.

Double-crested cormorant
Double-crested cormorant

 

Common merganser
Common merganser

 

Golden-crowned sparrow
Golden-crowned sparrow

 

House sparrow
House sparrow

 

Green heron
Green heron

 

Yellow-rumped warbler
Yellow-rumped warbler
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4 thoughts on “Spring is near

  1. Wonderful reading. I really enjoy the thought you put into your writing and the outstanding birds that accompany each story. Take care and wishing you great light on your upcoming trip!
    My best to you and Di- Susan

  2. All excellent photos, Bruce but it is the thoughtful approach that stands out – few people do watch behaviour nowadays and it is a) enjoyable and b) makes you a better photographer. I spend hours sitting outside the house looking out over the greenery towards the sea. Sometimes I see a lot, sometimes pretty much nothing. Except the behaviour of the common birds. Coffee and a book help pass the time. Its good to slow down and watch.

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