September, Nebo Scenic Loop, Utah

 

Personal Web Site

Updated: September 16, 2014


Links to other pages...

 

 

 

 

This site reflects my current passion for photographing birds.

I have been photographing for over 50 years; and am now retired from a satisfying profession beginning in Biochemistry, and ending in Biomedical Photography.

Below are links to my most recent nature photography. Hopefully you will find as much enjoyment in viewing it as I do in creating it.

 

Please Note: the photos on this page are changed frequently. Older posts are found by clicking the rectangular "buttons" on the left side of this text.

The most recent posts can be seen by clicking on the Button, "Past".

 

Questions-Comments about this website?

email:rby@isp.com

 

 

From Another Life...

Aside from Biomedical and Bird Photography,

I was a biochemist, Research Faculty at the University of Utah,

College of Medicine, during which time I authored papers on:

The Basic Mechanisms of Action of Adrenal and Gonadal Steroids.

For any interested, click (HERE) for links to a few of my publications that are available online.

 


 

 

September 16, 2014

ODDS AND ENDS REGARDING FLYCATCHERS IN BIG COTTONWOOD PARK at present...

 

Flycatchers are my nemesis... I don't mind admitting it.

In recent days I have photographed a number of them, with one outstanding discovery (an Ash-Throated Flycatcher!)

My ability to I.D. flycatcher is dismal... therefore I'm posting them, most without identification.

(Have fun you expert birders!)

 

My favorite discovery for this year at Big Cottonwood... meet

my Ash-Throated Flycatcher... a handsome bird if I say so myself!

 

 

Another 'pose'...

 

 

Here's a confirmed "Gray Flycatcher", Big Cottonwood Park...

 

 

I'm fairly confident that this is an "Olive-sided Flycatcher"

 

 

Here it is, launching into flight to capture flying insects mid-air!

 

 

Here's an Olive-Sided from another day.

 

 

My guess regarding the following birds is: Western Wood-Pewee.

 

 

same...

 

 

again...

 

 

I got carried away while photographing this one, since it was so obliging (a series..., with this bird being in deeeeeep shadow!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I suppose Western Wood-Pewee...

 

 

Likely another...

 

 

Haven't a clue... (Willow?!)

 

 

 

The following 2 images fascinate me... Cool bird!

 

 

There! That's all for Big Cottonwood Flycatchers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 15, 2014

This post is a continuation of images from Big Cottonwood Park until I exhaust a sizeable backlog!

 

But before I begin, here's a challenge to those who dabble in photography, with this example:

A "puffball" often encountered in my walks in the Salt Lake Valley, photographed in a typical way:

 

 

Photographers... consider approaching such an object, seeing from a "bug's eye" perspective... close to the ground, looking up toward the sun!

Easy to accomplish with cameras that have an "articulating viewfinder" (one that twists to allow viewing with the camera held close to the ground).

 

 

Now, on to birds in the park, beginning with a cooperative pair of Downy woodpeckers!

First the male...

 

 

Another perspective...

 

 

And a 3rd perspective... (these birds are really quite small, being our smallest woodpecker at less than 7 inches long!)

 

 

The accomodating female was but a short distance from the male.

 

 

Female Downy Woodpecker...

 

 

One of a huge population of Cedar Waxwings appearing at the southwest end of the park, gorging on Hawthorne berries.

Coming in for a landing!...

 

 

This tree was the recipient of several species of birds for just over a week (after which, the tree had been completely stripped of its fruit).

Adult Cedar Waxwing eyeing the succulent fruit...

 

 

At this time of year we are given the opportunity to see Juvenile Cedar Waxwings as seen here (on the left, with an adult on the right).

 

 

The following are Juvenile Cedar Waxwings in various stages of maturation...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contrasted by an adult Cedar Waxwing...

 

 

 

Other species, such as this Warbling Vireo, were taking advantage of the fruit also...

 

 

 

 

Warbling Vireo...

 

 

A Black-Headed Grosbeak peeks out at us...

 

 

Western Tanagers were plentiful...

 

 

This female type Western Tanager was 'in Heaven', surrounded with so much food!

 

 

 

 

 

Looking at the Western Tanager above, perhaps it makes sense that I'd confuse the bird below to be one also!

 

 

I was informed that this bird, found in Big Cottonwood Park along with the Tanagers, is a Bullock's Oriole!

 

 

The "female type" Bullock above sure doesn't look like this Female Bullock's Oriole from earlier!

 

 

This Western Tanager is beginning to show male coloration (along with demonstrating its choice in food... Russian olive!).

 

 

American Goldfinches, this time of year, are changing dramatically!

 

 

Closeup of the above birds shows detailed molting on the left bird; and the right bird is undergoing "Winter Plumage" transition!

 

 

Concurrently, at this time of Year there are still some male American Goldfinches in their glorious summer breeding plumage as seen below:

 

 

 

 

And, as depicted here, other American Goldfinches at Big Cottonwood park have already undergone complete molting into "Winter Plumage"!

 

 

A final image of American Goldfinches with 3 disheveled males, and a 4th (left-top) in Winter Plumage.

 

 

Let's come away from yellow birds, to see a gorgeous blue "Western Scrub Jay" that pleaded with me to take his picture! He practically filled the 24mp image size!

 

 

2 Spotted Towhees lit simultaneously in the same bare tree, with their Autumn colored plumage!

 

 

Yet, later, in the Park, I located this stunning Spotted Towhee that sported much better coloration than the 2 found earlier!

 

 

 

Blue-black from a gang of Black-billed Magpies...

 

 

Some being juveniles...

 

 

Sparrows... a Juvenile White-Crowned Sparrow could likely spend the winter in Big Cottonwood park...

 

 

While a group of Lark Sparrows are temporary visitors.

 

 

A single Lark Sparrow...

 

 

American Crows are in the spotlight these days, now that they are "legal targets" for hunters for the first time! Big Cottonwood would be a great hangout since no hunting is allowed.

 

 

This bird was vocalizing loudly...

 

 

As was this group one evening recently...

 

 

On September 8, the Waxwing feeding frenzy was over, with the tiny fruit-bearing tree devoid of both fruit and birds.

However, as I watched, the air and trees around me livened up considerably, and birds (all bright yellow) headed into the tiny tree!

Photographing the birds was all but impossible, with them not standing still for even a moment!

I shot lots of images, assuming I would be able to I.D. the birds at home.

The I.D. of many birds eluded me, perhaps because they were this year's Yellow Warblers and Wilson's, I don't know.

So I post the results below, with only a few images marked as to I.D.

 

Early morning backlight rendered a Cassin's Vireo above me.

 

 

 

 

 

Notice the male Wilson's Warbler mid-air stance, about to swallow a flying insect!

 

 

First year Male Wilson's Warbler

 

 

Adult Male Wilson's Warbler

 

 

again...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yellow Warbler

 

 

Again...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Fall Female Wilson's Warbler

 

 

again...

 

 

A "stray" Female type Western Tanager

 

 

 

 

Bird in flight, with the shadow of a flying insect appearing on its body!

 

 

Finally, 2 "Painterly" images (due to backlit out-of-focus foreground foliage), of a 'female type' Western Tanager!

 

 

Many Western Tanagers in Big Cottonwood Park were noticeably bright yellow this year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 7, 2014

Lots of bird images to post!!

But, first, enjoy a scene I discovered while looking into the shadows... a lone Morning Glory, with its out-of-focus leaf illuminated in the background. Sometimes objects like this call to me to be photographed!

 

 

Now on to migrant birds, beginning with a remarkable bird, a NASHVILLE WARBLER that provided numerous images!

 

 

Warblers in general are extremely difficult to photograph, being tiny and always on the move!

 

 

Moving helter-skelter about, foraging along the way...

 

 

Try to maintain focus under such circumstances!

 

 

These birds are tiny, under 5 inches long!

 

 

Seen in Big Cottonwood Park in September each year in varying numbers.

 

 

Grabbing a morsel whenever possible...

 

 

Storing up energy to make the long journey South...

 

 

This particular Nashville Warbler was most cooperative!

 

Bright yellow, with a 'complete' eye-ring...

 

 

providing one last brief look...

 

 

Only to fly away... (Nashville Warbler- September 2014)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 6, 2014

The following post is especially for those who visit Big Cottonwood park regularly, answering questions regarding the foxes...

The foxes are alive and well, often seen running around the grounds there.

 

 

This one didn't like being photographed.

 

 

And "hightailed it" out of sight.

 

 

We have a new, perhaps somewhat permanent (until freeze-up) wild duck on the pond, discovered by Deborah Drain.

It is a JUVENILE MALE MANDARIN DUCK that flew in!

(enjoying a bath!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hopefully the above bird will stay around until it completes its adult plumage as seen on the adult male below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 3, 2014

Big Cottonwood's current supply of MIGRATING Vireos:

Plumbeous Vireo

 

 

Same bird...

 

 

another pose...

 

 

Recognition of "First Fall Plumbeous Vireo", from my post for I.D. help, answered by Tim Avery:

 

 

Cassin's Vireo (following images):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warbling Vireo:

 

 

 

 

Another Warbling Vireo, morning light (following series):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More images to come!

 

 

 

 

August 30, 2014

From photography of migrant Warblers at Big Cottonwood Park came a "Mystery Bird" that I couldn't find under "Warbler", nor "Warbler-like"

birds!

I asked the birders at large for any ideas as to what I had...

 

 

 

One and only one (blurred) image provided an answer to this quirky bird!

As I discovered this image in the gadzillion I have, it was clear that the neck 'collar' is an aberration, only seen on the left side of the bird!

The bird is an unusually marked (likely temporarily) MacGillivray's Warbler! (Thanks, Mark!)

 

 

 

Here is how a 'normal' MacGillivray's Warbler should look!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 28, 2014

Big Cottonwood dwellers,

I have a sizeable backlog of birds from there, beginning with a lovely migrant, a

Warbling Vireo (series of images below)

 

 

 

 

 

There were several for me to photograph...

I suspect this is a juvenile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Warbling Vireo was foraging for insects.

 

 

It did some masterful maneuvering here...

 

 

and successfully captured a sizeable insect!

 

 

 

It was last seen hanging in a very precarious position!

More to come...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 27, 2014

I went back to the site of the Ash-throated Flycatcher shortly after I posted what is below.

I now have included more images of the bird toward the end, having new 'poses' and locations.

Several women arrived, excited about seeing the accomodating bird!

One woman was happy to now have a sighting in Salt Lake County!

Again, see the new images below the first set.

 

August 26, 2014

Having just now come home from my routine walk in Big Cottonwood Park, I'm hastening to post a special bird from today.

Also, I want to inform my 'readers' from Big Cottonwood Park that I have a large backlog of images that I'll now be posting as they are made ready to post.

So, keep posted for my posts (LOL).

 

But first and foremost, my special 'find' from Today, a rare bird for Big Cottonwood for sure! an

Ash-throated Flycatcher!

 

This is the first Ash-throated Flycatcher I've ever seen... it's amazing to find one there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Game over... the bird went high into the tree... I had about 2 minutes with it! Hopefully it will stay a few days for others to see/photograph!

 

 

 

More images from my 2nd visit:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have many more images, but I'll stop here.

I wish to emphasize to non-birders that this is a rare treat for Big Cottonwood park. This bird is "out of range"!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: I now have a presence on Flickr... See it (HERE).