2013 Project 365

Project 365/127 – Yet More Yellow!

Spring migration is slow this year in Maryland, but it hasn’t stopped me to keep trying to keep adding to the list for my Big Year.

Those who have been following me for a while have probably wondered why all of sudden tons of birds have appeared. Well, I must confess that as a novel birder, I had decided this year was going to be my big year in birding.

Granted, I should be traveling more to see a wider variety of birds, but I’ve been having great fun on these quiet adventure hunts for these amazingly beautiful birds that I never knew even existed. I’m also discovering some hidden nooks and crannies in my county that are natural treasures that I never would have known were there if it hadn’t been for the birds.

Since today has been pouring rain, I wanted to share with you some of the golden nuggets I found yesterday at Patuxent Ponds Park. I had heard of a Hooded Warbler, and I really wanted to get a good view of one. With my little iBird app on my iPhone, I began playing his song. Quickly responding, we began singing alternately. He came in for a view and fluttered around high in the trees. This was the best I could get.

Hooded Warbler

Hooded Warbler

In a stretch of lower scrub brush, I spent quite some time stalking several bird songs that were beautiful. I had heard that a Prairie Warbler was in the park, so I began playing his song. Quickly appearing and quite inquisitive, I was able to get some great views of this stunning migrator.

Prairie Warbler

Prairie Warbler

I’ve been finding White Eye Vireo in several places, and they just love to sing their hearts out.

White Eye Vireo

White Eye Vireo

White Eye Vireo

White Eye Vireo

I even was able to capture an Eastern Kingbird, which I had seen at the barn a couple of weeks ago. Once I found one, I thought it would be the only time I would see one. But I happily was able to enjoy this Kingbird who sat high on a tree after chasing off an American Crow.

Eastern King Bird

Eastern King Bird

But the real treasure for the day was this incredibly beautiful yellow Warbler known as the Prothonotary Warbler. This required extensive stalking of the marsh for a half an hour, playing ping pong songs with him. He finally drew in closer to see who was visiting. A brief moment, hand holding the 500mm lens, I was able to capture him through the trees.

Prothonotary Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler

These images were shot in misty conditions with my Canon 60D, and 500mm f/4.0 L IS lens. When I came home I thought all those little dust bits were just that dust. But after checking the lens today, I realized the bits are actually the mist. I’m not crazy about the Canon 60D when it comes to how it handles noise. The ISO setting for these images were 1000 and 1250. A little negative compensation exposure gave me faster shutter speeds.

Hope you enjoyed these little treasures as much as I do.

38 replies »

    • Well…the better pics story, you know that one. With your new kit I expect great things. The Prairie warbler is really inquisitive to the calling. Others, not so much! I don’t use the call back all the time though and do it only briefly. No need to stress the birds out.

  1. Beautiful. I adore watching the birds, haven’t had the chance to try and photograph them yet. These photo’s are stunning.

  2. Thank you again for showing us some very cool birds! I’ll have to see if there is an Android bird call app! 🙂

  3. I join you in your passion for bird watching. Only this Monday bank holiday just gone (6th May), my husband and I visited the wonderful Arundel Wetland Centre in West Sussex, where we live, and we discovered some beautiful new birds we’d never seen before, including the reed warblers, and there was even a Red Kite flying over our heads, which are unusual in this area! We spent 2 magical hours there and intend to go back soon.
    Your photos are amazing, as always. Please, keep sharing. 🙂

  4. Oh my how cool and I thought I was the only one! Love the photography, these shots are amazingly clear and with great poses. I call out to our birds, both cardinals and flycatchers and they too come swooping in settling in the trees overhead and then we go back n’ forth. It’s a lot of fun – I don’t usually tell about my unusual calling card (lol).

      • Makes me sound a little odd doesn’t it, but I hear them every day all day long. I figured out which bird is calling and it means. The birds know when I’m outside and they get pretty close to me – especially when I’m in the garden. I learned to listen for their warning for when snakes are around – amazing, the birds have saved me on a number of occasions.

  5. Great bird images! I’ve been practicing my bird IDs/songs the past few weeks for the upcoming survey season. It’s so fun when they talk back and come down from the trees for a visit! What a wonderful group to add to your collection.

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