Monday, January 11, 2010

Cold Weather Birds

With the recent cold weather large flocks of Lapland Longspurs, Snow Buntings, and Horned Larks have gathered in the wheat fields with remaining heads of wheat poking above the snow or alongside the highways. I found one field that the birds were foraging in and tried one afternoon to get some photos, but my four year old helper really didn't help that much. Sunday I tried again without the help and managed to get a few photos.

They were difficult to get close to. The single birds were uneasy when they were by themselves and took off way too soon, and the flocks always seemed to have one bird that was less tolerant and would get the rest of the flock to join them in flitting just out of good camera range. Then there were the times that they all seemed to just decide they needed to be someplace else and the whole flock would rise up as one and head off to the north. After a while they would return to the field in front of me in small groups from all different directions.

I never did manage to get any photos of the Snow Buntings, but the long weekend is coming up!

Later on I went back to the area where the Rusty Blackbirds (now apparently down to one bird from the four or five I originally found) had been foraging. I found this bird working around the water's edge.

Common Goldeneyes circled around me and headed back down the creek to find a place to land.


Clare said...

Take good care of my birds John, and send them back soon. I'm missing them.

John Carlson said...

Whenever I see a Lapland Longspur anymore I think of them as your birds that I get to borrow for the winter. Thanks for sharing. Hang in there - I will send them home as soon as they can.