Sunday, December 26, 2010

Red letter day

Lots of bird photos today, courtesy of a morning and early afternoon spent at Mom and Dad's, so I'll just jump right in.

I was very pleased to get a picture of a Cardinal and a Blue Jay sitting this close together:

Browsing through the fallen seeds:

One of my favorite shots of the day:

Keeping with the color theme, a Red-breasted Nuthatch:

Although most of the usual suspects stopped by my parents' feeders at one point or another, the truckload of Common Redpolls that descended upon their yard in the last 24 hours or so were my main photographic focus today. And I do mean truckload—by my count, there are 44 Redpolls in this shot I took of the area underneath the seed feeders:

Happily for me, they also loved the thistle feeder, giving me a chance at lots of close-up shots of the birds in action. However, I'm going to start with this fairly static shot for a couple of reasons. One, I love the pattern on their backs created by their wing and tail feathers when they're at rest. And two, I'm pretty sure this particular shot includes three different Redpolls. The top bird with the slightly golden coloring is a first year female, the bottom left bird is an adult female, and the bird on the bottom right is a first year male:

I suspect the lone Goldfinch there on the bottom right is feeling a bit out of place:

I liked the outstretched claws of the bird coming in to the feeder:

Meanwhile, most of the Redpolls seemed more than happy to browse the many seeds their compatriots were dropping as they fought and jockeyed for position:

I'm pretty sure this is a pair of adult males facing off beak-to-beak:

Counting the two tails I can see peeking out from the other side of the thistle feeder, there's a dozen birds in this shot:

Taking a moment to chill out and relax:

And back to the fray:

Another two-shot just to break things up a bit:

And back to the action:

I count thirteen visible Redpolls here, and I'm almost certain there's at least one more on the back:

Lots of stuff going on in this last group shot:

I took this picture midway through my run, but saved it for last because I knew I'd probably never come up with a better parting shot:

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