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Archive for September, 2009

“We like to praise birds for flying.  But how much of it is actually flying, and how much of it is just sort of coasting from that last flap?”

Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey


Just returned from a one week photo trip to Southwest Oklahoma – with the destination being Hackberry Flat Wetlands.
The wetlands area includes several canals which draw in shorebirds & ducks. The wildlife department has done a nice
job of leaving tall grasses between most of the canals and the road, which makes viewing easy from your auto.

The grasses also make a nice blind for photography.  I was very happy to come away with half way decent shots of those listed in
the title…and a few more.

  • Avocets
  • White Faced Ibis
  • Black-necked Stilt (It had a broken wing.) :-(
  • Dowitchers (Long Billed or Short Billed or Both. I still have trouble telling them apart.)
  • Sandpipers (Least, Western, Semipalmated & Pectoral)
  • Egrets (Great White, Cattle, Snowy)
  • Yellow-crowned Night Heron (Juvenile)
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Yellowlegs (Lesser & Greater – I think) ;-)
  • Pied-billed Grebes
  • Ducks (Including Blue Winged Teal & Green Winged Teal)
  • Northern Harrier
  • Red Tailed Hawk
  • Prairie Falcon
  • American Kestral
  • Meadowlarks
  • Scissortail
  • Killdeer
  • Red Wing Blackbirds
  • Cliff Swallows
  • Doves (Mourning & Eurasian)
  • Loggerhead Shrike
  • Quail
  • Turkeys
  • Vultures

If you enjoy birding , I suggest you visit the Hackberry Flat Wetlands. Migration season is upon us and now is a good time to see some unusual species. I’m just as sure that Spring would be a great time to visit.

Dowitchers: I believe they are the Short-billed, but not certain.

Long-billed Dowitchers

White-faced Ibis (Juvenile)

White-faced Ibis (Juvenile)

And if you’re looking for a place to camp while you’re in the area, Great Plains State Park dishes out a fantastic sunset. :-)



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Well, seems the Teabaggers are certainly all worried about Our President’s czar appointments…..

Perhaps they need to read this.

Uhoh, Teabaggers…time to find something else to use as a scare tactic.

Oh, and – You might want to stop spending so much time on FOX news.

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What is it with Night Blooming Cereus anyway?!?
What do they have against blooming in the daytime?

Cereusly!

These were taken last night. The plant belongs to our neighbor, but
he’s on a trip and left them in our care….so I crawled out of bed after midnight –  to shoot a couple of photos for him.
Safe travels, Mr. Wang!

(They really are amazing and gorgeous blooms; don’t you think? And their scent is so, so sweet.)

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Have you ever noticed how many bird sayings there are?

  • Strictly for The Birds
  • Bird Brained
  • Birds of a Feather
  • A Birds Eye View
  • Free as a Bird
  • A Little Birdie Told Me
  • Wise as An Owl (I like that one!)

I’m sure that’s not all of them, but you get the picture. And do you know why there are so many bird sayings?

Me either. But here are some birds got our attention on yesterday’s road trip to Salt Plains State Park.

  • Black Necked Stilt
  • Bald Eagle
  • Little Blue Heron
  • Greater Yellowlegs
  • Semipalmated Sandpiper
  • Avocet
  • Least Sandpipers
  • Stilt Sandpiper
  • Roadrunner
  • Northern Harrier Hawk
  • White Faced Ibis

Yesterday was a day that was strictly for the birds!

American Avocet

American Avocet

Roadrunner

Roadrunner

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The Beach Boys have a ‘county fair’ song? Who knew!

I wish I didn’t.  Seriously.

Beach Boys – County Fair – 45rpm


I believe it would be fair to say the Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D in my camera bag has not been getting a fair shake. So I took it to the county fair and it turned out to be the fairest of them all. I love that little lens. I hope it will forgive me for ignoring it for the last nine months.

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I would. A return trip to the Arkansas River last night proved that. There were over a thousand gathered & resting along the banks – such an amazing sight. And today, on a drive to a nearby city – some 70 miles, many more were observed in a large rural, road side pond.  There had to be over a thousand on that pond and hundreds more in the sky, who had rested and were moving on. I’ve read reports that there are over 30,000 at Great Salt Plains in northwestern Oklahoma. Sounds like a trip over there is in order very soon!

The American White Pelican, one of two species of pelicans in North America, is one of the world’s largest birds.  They can weigh as much as 30 pound and have wingspans that can reach 110 inches. Adult birds are primarily white except for its black-edged wings that are visible in flight. It has a long neck, a long, flattened orange bill with an expandable pouch and short orange legs with big webbed feet.

It was an incredible day of bird discovery and sightings. Some of these we normally only see on the Texas gulf coast.

  • American White Pelicans
  • Ibis (White Faced I think)
  • Several Sandpipers
  • Osprey (!!) In a tree top in a rural area among fields…no water for several miles. Completely fantastic and strange sighting.
  • Cormorants
  • Snowy Egrets
  • Great White Egrets
  • Various Ducks
  • Red-headed Woodpecker
  • Kildeer
  • Plus the normal doves, sparrows, blackbirds, etc.

Seriously an incredible day of viewing…and that wasn’t even the goal for the day.  But it was the icing!

Plethora, I tell you…..plethora!

A few of the thousands of American White Pelicans ascend from a pond in north central Oklahoma, on September 16, 2009.

A few of the thousands of American White Pelicans ascend from a pond in north central Oklahoma, on September 16, 2009.

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The pelicans have arrived in Oklahoma. Make that the American White Pelican. There were somewhere between 600 – 1000 on the Arkansas River (below Kaw Dam) yesterday, joining forces with hundreds of Great White & Snowy Egrets. It was a feeding frenzy on the river. I filled a 2GB card with around 400 images & will go back this evening to see what else is happening. Stand by for updates.

"Listen up, birds...just duck your head in the water like this & come up with dinner. Got that?

"Listen up, birds...just duck your head in the water like this & come up with dinner. Got that?

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