Bryce Canyon National Park, UT.

April, 2014

 

Personal Web Site

Updated: April 18, 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 satisfyng 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 seen on this page are changed frequently. Older posts are archived and listed in the links to the left. The most recent are available by clicking on the Button, "Past".

 

Questions-Comments about this website?

email:rby@isp.com

 

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


 

April 17, 2014

I've been photographing birds at "Sandy Pond", since the urban fishery opened to the public in 2009 by Sandy City, UT.

The location first appeared on the birding community's Radar in 2010 when I discovered and reported Neotropic cormorants (an alien species to Utah) there in April.

Each year at this time of year I've enjoyed a variety of northern migrating birds there such as American White Pelicans...

 

 

migrating Bufflehead ducks,

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Avocets, here in a mating display...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And each year, a pair of Avocets have used the tiny, busy island for nesting

 

 

 

 

 

This year, as always, Caspian Terns appear for a brief time as they migrate northward.

 

Looking for fish!

 

 

 

 

A Caspian's dive yields a fish!

 

But only fleetingly! The bird dropped a sizeable trout!

 

It gains altitude for another attempt.

 

 

 

 

Another migrant bird, the Osprey, shares the airspace with the Tern.

 

 

I'm pleased with the following series of Osprey flight!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bird (facing away) dives for a trout... Did he succeed?!

 

 

 

SUCCESS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So far, so good.. fish still present.

 

 

 

HE DROPPED IT!

 

 

Only to try again!

 

 

 

April 11, 2014

A recent excursion to Farmington Bay produced a long sought-after species of waterfowl, albeit not the best of circumstances.

A lone male Blue-wing Teal was feeding in a flooded field with several Cinnamon Teal... Tough shooting conditions, but, oh.. well!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm hoping to replace these images some day; but it helps to have even a poor example of this teal to explain the forthcoming hybrid teal.

 

 

Imagine the outcome of hybridization between a Blue-wing above, and the Cinnamon Teal below:

 

 

Here is one... A male Blue-wing/Cinnamon Teal hybrid!

 

 

Here, again...

 

 

And a 3rd image...

 

 

Finally, in this series, I post another Teal hybrid!

 

 

 

April 9, 2014

At Sandy Pond, an easily overlooked, tiny Horned Grebe has staged an appearance, bedecked in its Breeding Plumage, (not yet completed!)

 

 

Contrast the above bird with the images below, where the Horned Grebe was in its Winter, non-breeding plumage

 

 

 

Another Winter plumage example...

 

 

 

Again, the current visitor to Sandy Pond in bright daylight...

 

 

 

 

 

Back view...

 

 

 

The next images show the bird stretching, here with its head twisted almost 180 degrees!

 

 

Settling down...

 

 

 

 

 

Preening...

 

 

Earlier, on a rainy day, I captured these images...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now compare the current bird (below) with one from last spring, that was further along in transition to Breeding Plumage...

 

 

 

Last year's bird, from Farmington Bay,

 

 

 

Finally, click HERE for John Crawley's post of a fully transitioned, Breeding Plumage, Horned Grebe, posted on Utah Birds.org, "Birds Profiles"!

Simply Spectacular!!

 

 

 

April 4, 2014

Bird activity is increasing at Big Cottonwood park.

Several pairs of Canada geese can be seen in and around the Pond.

 

 

A male Redwing Blackbird takes an "Audubon" stance for my camera...

 

 

Song sparrows are chiming in with their calls!

 

 

Male Lesser Goldfinch...

 

 

And, several Ruby-Crowned Kinglets, with this one being nestled in the pond area.

 

These birds are tiny, and they only occasionally will 'flash' their 'ruby' crown...

 

 

As seen here...

 

 

 

 

Typically they are seen looking like this:

 

 

April 3, 2014

Big Cottonwood Park...

Now seeing a few new migrant birds!

The 1st bird isn't a migrant.

(I have never seen a California Quail in the Park until now!)

 

However, this bird, a young male Audubon Yellow-rumped Warbler, appears to be in a state: "pre-alternate molt not yet completed".

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compare the above molting bird with a typical Winter male Audubon

Yellow-rumped Warbler.

 

 

 

This male Northern Red-shafted Flicker, sitting among emerging leaves in a Big Cottonwood tree, shares similar colors.

 

 

March 31, 2014

A major loss impacting Belted Kingfishers at Big Cottonwood Park pond this year will be the absence of these!

 

 

 

For several years the pond has supported a sizeable colony of goldfish...

 

 

that supported several Belted Kingfishers until freeze-up time!

 

 

 

The redwood deck was their favorite 'perch', used in sighting and capturing goldfish...

 

 

 

Directly below was a Kingfisher's 'dream come true'!...

 

 

Concerning the Kingfishers,

Last year, in March, I used them to test a new Canon "Point & Shoot" camera and recommended it to birders as a cheap means of good bird images...

(A Canon SX50 seen here in contrast to my larger Nikon system).

 

 

 

In March, an obliging Kingfisher provided the following 3 images that demonstrate the quality:

12X optical magnification

 

100% digital in-camera magnification

 

 

 

200% (50X) digital in-camera magnification!

This male Belted Kingfisher stayed around the pond until the ice appeared!

(The above 3 images are directly out-of-camera, demonstrating the quality provided WHEN the camera is properly adjusted via its "Menu" features!)

 

 

This year, as Winter relaxed its grip, I was amazed to find hundreds of Goldfish encased in the ice, having suffocated due to shallow water in the pond!

Alas, No Goldfishes... No Belted Kingfishers!!

 

 

 

March 26, 2014

An extended walk at Big Cottonwood between rainstorms produced only one nice bird, a male American Kestrel!

 

 

March 25, 2014

Hawks, Waxwings, Robins... is there anything else at Big Cottonwood Park of interest these days of early Spring?

Well, yes...

There is no shortage of FOXES; however, they are very 'camera shy' for some reason!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 23, 2014

The Harlan's Red-tail Hawk has visited Big Cottonwood 4 consequtive days now, beginning March 20, and continuing through today.

Below are 2 images taken on the 20th, with diffuse sunlight.

The Harlan's hawk was consuming a squirrel!

 

 

After lunch, time to launch!

March 22, 2014

Today, yesterday, and the day before, the Harlan's Red-tail Hawk appeared and stayed around in Big Cottonwood Regional Park.

Below are a few "Bird in Flight" images of the handsome bird from today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 20, 2014

A once-in-a-lifetime rare bird was provided to me by "Deborah D." yesterday at Big Cottonwood Park!!

We were both at the extreme ends of the park, not aware of each other's presence.

Deb located a "leucistic" American robin!, a predominantly WHITE bird!

Deb stated to another viewer that she wished I was around with my camera, and was told I was also in the park, at the other end!

Deborah hurried a considerable distance to find me, then had me follow to the precise location where I had the great pleasure of photographing the bird!

Leucistic American Robin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had been teaching bird photography to "Maryella" at the time. She was busy photographing a Cooper's hawk, so I left her, telling her I'd contact her via Cell phone if I was successful.

I had successfully photographed the bird long enough to stop and try to contact Maryella!

Her phone was TURNED OFF!, so I hightailed it back to her hoping the bird would stay put.

It had moved, but Maryella was successful in finding it again, on the edge of a tiny stream, drinking!

We all had a day made greater by Deborah D.'s discovery!

Thanks again, Deborah!!

 

The image below:

Courtesy, Maryella Cundick

 

 

 

March 14, 2014

A slow recovery of bird species has barely begun at Big Cottonwood Park, with the opportunity to again, photograph the Harlan's hawk in full sunlight; and to include a composite flight series of the bird showing its underside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A fine specimen of Cooper's hawk provided the following images...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bird was vocalizing big-time during this photo-shoot.

 

 

 

A small flock of Cedar Waxwings appeared, this time in full frontlit sunlight, with this one being the best marked!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other Waxwings were also fine looking birds.

 

 

Nice, sharp detail, excellent coloration, and a 'catchlight' in its eye!