I subscribe to the 4 F's of bird photography; Find 'em and Focus Fast before they Fly away!
Saturday, September 12, 2015
Here it is, September. Time for the fall migration and Beckham Bird Club's Breakfast with the Birds. So we pulled in at Beckley Creek Park at 8 am for a cloudy, windy, chilly morning. It's the first time I've used the word "chilly" in some time, but my single sweatshirt really didn't feel like enough before the coffee arrived. It was nice to have some new folks join us. I must admit that fall migration isn't my all time favorite time to go birding. Some of our friends are excited to see warblers coming through again, but I've always had trouble seeing little warblers in the leaves, let alone recognizing their fall plumage.
Down through the wetlands, to find a small group of "mutt ducks" on the pond, put there, so someone heard, to help control the duck weed. Yeah, right. Marching on to Floyd's Fork, where the action starts to pick up. A Green Heron flew beneath the bridge, landing on the rocks beside the river. Funny how hard he was to find for the folks who didn't see him fly there in the first place. A quick jab into the water and he comes up with a small fish to snack on.
A little farther down the river a Great Blue Heron preens his feathers standing in the shallow water.
About this time, the expert sharp-eyed and sharp-eared birders in the group started finding lots of littler warblers. Turn on the screech owl recording and let's see how many we can draw in! Well, I didn't find many of them, but this lovely Yellow-billed Cuckoo sat on his branch long enough for me to see and get a photo of it - my first! A Redstart looks like a mini-Oriole but wouldn't sit still like the Cuckoo.
The standard little birds flocked in - Downy Woodpeckers, Chickadees, Nuthatch and Titmice. They are the tough little guys who stay all year long.
Beckley Creek Park reliably has Red-headed Woodpeckers along Floyd's Fork. Today we even saw a little juvenile with a black head chasing his parents around for a handout.
You know how it is - I see a bird and try to get a photo of it whether I know what it is or not. At this time in the morning, they were calling out Tennessee Warbler and Nashville Warbler, along with Chestnut-sided Warbler and several kinds of Vireo. I'm not sure what this guy is.
But when I couldn't find the target bird, there were always thousands of yellow wildflowers. It's funny that they are all the exact shade of yellow, no matter what the species!