Sunday, February 22, 2009

More Birds 'n Stuff

The park opens at 8:00am. We figured we'd be there just as it opened, it would be quieter and maybe the new ducks would be less shy. Of course, we waltzed through the gate at 9:15am with this character:

She does not attract birds, to say the least. She has such a great time, though, I don't have the heart to leave her home. Look at that last picture; that is a happy dog! We did take her walking separately, so we could each spend some time on shore without the dog taking pictures. It worked a little better than yesterday.

This is all wrong from a photography standpoint. You're not supposed to have so much junk cluttering up the pretty mountains. I don't care, I like this shot. This is the sun just barely hitting the Spring Mountains. You can't see Mt. Charleston itself because of the clouds, but it's back in there.

Mallards are so common, it's easy to forget how pretty they are. Also, they are not shy. This fella was sitting practically at my feet, so I couldn't resist him.

I wish I'd spent more time chasing this guy. We saw him fly up, I snapped a couple shots, then didn't think too much more of it when he landed in a tree. I had ducks to get to! Turns out, this is a Black-crowned Night Heron. As the name implies, they usually hunt at night. I guess it's not unheard of to see them in the day, just considerably less common, so I passed up a good opportunity.

The rest of the post is Mergansers and Cormorants. A pair of Cormorants came close-ish, so we did get some better shots of those. Incidentally, the bird books reveal that Cormorant feathers are not entirely waterproof. Seems like a design flaw, no? Anyway, in a couple of these you can see how low they get when they are swimming.

Check out the 'do on the guy in the middle!

I did not take these, but I think they probably turned out the best of all the Cormorant pictures.

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