Cloudy Sunday; Irresistible Subjects

Some mornings just bring the right set of elements (or birds) together for photographs. The one element I’m always wishing for—the Sun—decided to hide behind the clouds. But there were a number of birds that just had to be photographed.

It has been a few days since I processed pictures, so there are two here that are from a few days ago, but the other five were from today’s walk.

You can click on any of these images to see a larger image. (Comments follow the image gallery.)

The Eastern Towhee was the first one I encountered this morning. He landed and posed so close to me, I had to give him a session.

Soon after, I saw three Black Vultures circling near me. The sky gave strong contrast, but after some adjustment, you can see the white wingtips. I was thinking about how Black Vultures can be mistaken for Bald Eagles and talking to a friend, when she pointed out the Black Vultures again, behind me. I turned to look at them, then noticed a fourth that wasn’t flying like the Vultures: a Bald Eagle! This one seems to be mid-molt, also, the darker tail causes me to wonder if it’s a younger eagle. They take about 4-5 years to come into their full black and white plumage.

The Red-shouldered Hawks continue to add to their nest. The female was pulling twigs off nearby trees and bringing them back to the nest.

The Barred Owl was back in its same old tree. I must have dozens of pictures of it now, all looking about the same. But every time I see it, I can’t resist the urge to take a few more.

The great lighting and corresponding shadow tells you the White-breasted Nuthatch photo wasn’t taken this morning (it was taken last Sunday). Nuthatches are the only birds that walk down trees.

Finally—also taken last Sunday—is a Myrtle Warbler, showing off quite nicely why some birders affectionately call them “Butter Butts.”

[Unusual species from today’s walk: Black Vulture, Bald Eagle, Great Crested Cormorant, Barred Owl]

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