Monday, May 31, 2010

Bulletin #112 – Spring Migration #7 misc birds

David McDonald Photography
Friendswood Texas

May 31, 2010

Bulletin #112 – Spring Migration #7 misc birds

Hello friends,

Here are the last of the photos from spring migration.

The first is the Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus). This of course isn't a migrant, but a resident bird all year round. However, it is another of my nemesis birds and this is the first time I have seen this bird since starting photography in 2006. I have spent hours looking for one to photograph, and as luck would have it, one of the people who receive these bulletins happened to email me that they had a male in their backyard. I was invited to go over and immediately I jumped at the opportunity. Thanks Jim.

The bird is IDed by the black and white facial pattern.

Some young birds are already out of the nest here in SE Texas. Here is a juvenile Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis). It is likely a female as there is no red on the breast. Notice that it is a juvenile by the black bill.

I also am interested in injured and or sick birds when I can find them. I have several photos of birds with injured feet. Here is a Swainson's Thrush (Catharus ustulatus) who was holding his right foot up.

As you have observed flocks of birds on the beach or on wires, they usually face into the wind. I assume this is to keep their feathers unruffled. Well sometimes, they get turned around. Here is a Tennessee Warbler (Vermivora peregrina) that appears to have a collar of feathers.

There are 6 vireo species that we find during spring migration. These are Red-eyed, White-eyed, Blue-headed, Yellow-throated, Philadelphia and Warbling. The Philadelphia and Warbling Vireos, at least for me, are the rarest and this year I saw 1 of each, but some years I don't find a single bird. These 2 also pose the most difficult ID problem for beginners.

Here is a Philadelphia Vireo (Vireo philadelphicus). Notice that it has a yellow throat. The black line extends through the eye to the beak, so that the lores (the area between the beak and eye) is dark.

In contrast, the Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus) has a white throat. The dark line just extends backwards from the eye. The lores are light. Here are a couple of photos of the same bird.

After the above photo, the Warbling Vireo flew to a branch by the drip (LaFitte's Cove). However, there was already an Indigo Bunting on the branch and they got into a squabble.

I managed to photograph the whole episode, so you can see the 7 photos and outcome in a slideshow here. Set the delay to 1 to speed it up. The photos are about 1/3 second apart in real time.

I will be leading a 9 day bird photography tour to Costa Rica in conjunction with Lillian Scott-Baer of Baer Travel March 3-11, 2011. We have worked out an itinerary to visit La Selva Preserve, Savegre Mountain Hotel in the central mountains for Resplendant Quetzal and other montane species and Wilson Botanical Gardens (Las Cruces). We have also retained the services of local guide Rudy Zamora to accompany us and locate and ID the birds for us to photograph. We will also have beautiful flowers and hopefully some mammals - tamanduas, monkeys etc.

I will be giving several talks in the evening on bird photography, Photoshop etc.

The price will be $1960 double to $2380 single. This includes hotels, all meals, guide, transportation in Costa Rica etc. The only other cost will be airfare and personal purchases (alcohol, souvenirs etc) . Space is limited to 10 persons to maximize our opportunity to see and photograph the birds. I have birded in Costa Rica previously. It is a wonderful country to visit and the bird life is exceptional. I hope that you can join us.

Here is the schedule of payments for the trip.

$ 25 reservation fee (not refundable)
$ 575 due April 30, 2010
$ 600 due July 30, 2010
$ 740 due January 15, 2011
Please send deposits to:

ScoBar Inc.
34 Galway Place
The Woodlands, TX 77382

Note - we will try to pair up singles and triple would be $1890 per person.

There are only 2 spaces left for this trip as of today, so please email me, if interested.

All comments and suggestions are welcomed and appreciated.

Happy birding and photography,

David McDonald


photos copyright 2010 David McDonald

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