Friday, October 1, 2010

Pine Grosbeak

 The Pine Grosbeak belongs to the same family of birds as the recently featured Pine Siskin. This species can be found throughout the year in Newfoundland and is very striking with its red and gray coloring.

I first came upon this bird on the Bauline Line Extension road where it was eating the salt on the side of the road. Those pictures didn't turn out. I later saw it again during the winter sitting atop some very high trees. Those pictures didn't turn out.

It is such a tease when this great bird about the size of a robin flies in and I can't get a picture of it. It sings loudly and distinctly. It is very easy to know when they are in the area even when they are not visible. When I heard them, I pulled off the road and waited. Within minutes they would show up, but always seemed to be too far away or in poor lighting conditions.

 In Spring when walking the trail between Second Pond and Third Pond I came across a beautiful Pine Grosbeak in his full Spring attire. Unfortunately, there were too many leaves between him and me. Those pictures didn't turn out.

Recently, I went on a bird tour to the Southern Shore. We were birding Bear Cove Road and up pop two Pine Grosbeaks, not too far away. However, the sun was rising behind them and all I got was a silhouette.

 Finally, about two weeks ago, I went to Cochrane Pond Road for a morning of quiet birding. The woods were "birdy." I saw about 15 species that morning, including this great Pine Grosbeak. I was just sitting in my car photographing some late warblers through the window when I saw a flash of movement on the other side of the car. I looked up and there he was. The light was good but unfortunately it was about 40 feet away. Nevertheless, I started clicking the shutter. These shots were the outcome. They are undoubtedly the best shots that I have of this bird so far.

It is a great feeling of accomplishment to finally capture a shot of a sought-after bird. I continue to be awed by the number of species of birds that can be seen in Newfoundland. I have profiled over 100 species in about five months and I still have many yet to come.

If I run out of species to profile, I will continue to upgrade the quality of the photos.

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