Saturday, January 19, 2013

Just Great Birds!

Before the cold snap, the blizzard and the following cold snap, I got out birding quite a bit. There doesn't seem to be a let-up in the cold temps on the horizon, so I am staying indoors. Unless, of course, something really amazing on the bird front warrants venturing out.

This lull in active birding affords some time for passive birding through reviewing, deleting and sorting lots and lots of pictures. Many of my pictures do not make it to this blog, because there always seems to be some pressing story or rarity that filters its way to the top of the list.
Today, I have chosen a collection of images taken this year to show just how uncommonly special the common birds are. As I walk around the ponds, I am seeing more and more hybrids of domestic ducks and ?. The end result are birds that are really very unique and stunning in their own right.
In the glow of morning light, even the most common ducks are really quite amazing.
Then, there are the amazing mixes that just steal the show, like this unusual (mallard hybrid, I think) duck. Each time a different or colorful bird appears, I find myself stopping to simply admire it and snap a picture or two. The presence of birds, any birds, keeps the sport fresh and exciting. However, they don't always keep me warm.

This picture of a juvenile Bald Eagle was shot through my sunroof. I was driving out of Topsail Beach when I spotted the bird sitting atop a power pole. I opened my sunroof and inched my way under it. It stayed just long enough for me to fire off three shots. This brief moment eradicated the disappointment of not seeing any sea birds off shore in the area.
One of the most queried birds on my blog and when meeting people is the Northern Flicker. This bird is so handsome and so prevalent, it attracts a lot of attention and sparks curiosity among many who see it for the first time. 
Every time I see one up close, my appreciation of its handsome shape, strength and color is renewed.

Then, there is the stunning Evening Grosbeak. They are not a bird I see everyday, even though they are relatively common at this time of the year. I am aware of only one report of the EG in town over the last week. The bold colors of this male seem to defy nature. How does it hide from predators?
At Bowring Park a pair of Mute Swans remains in the pool year-round. I wonder if the pairs in the cage rotate out or is it just the one pair that remains free all winter. The size and elegance of these swans add a special ambiance to the winter splendor in and around the pool.

With all of the special birds about, I rarely go home disappointed. There are so many opportunities to find, watch and appreciate an abundance of birds up close and personal.

No comments:

Post a Comment