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Best Of The Year! February! Bird Is the Word’ Blog #76

Get ready for February!!
February!

Best Of The Year! February! Bird Is the Word’ Blog #76!! Continuing from last week’s theme, we turn the page of the calendar to the next month of photos: February! I like this month especially because as it turns out three of the four pictures are from my favorite birding spot, my local Salt Marsh!

This was the place that transitioned me from curious party to legit birder. That credit goes to their knowledgeable and awesome staff! In addition, they are so nice to me despite all my millions of questions, and millions of requests for ID’s, usually from my less than stellar photo’s! If you guys ever read this, you know who you are!…and Thank You! Witnessing my progression from knowing nothing to sometimes thinking I know everything has to have been kind of a funny thing to witness!

The first photo for February was the one picture not taken at the marsh. That is of the Eastern Screech Owl that resides at a nice trail by a stream that I do enjoy very much! As a matter of fact this trail has at least two Eastern Screech Owls, this one, the red morph:

 

Eastern Screech Owl (red morph)

 

and this one, the gray morph!

 

Eastern Screech Owl (gray morph)

I’m not sure if they are a pair or not, although a gray one and a red one have been seen together on that trail. If they are a pair perhaps they like some space as these two reside about a mile and a half from one another! I always go each winter to see them. Once the leaves are on the tree’s the gray one can be very very hard to see, the red one is in an easier spot thankfully! Here’s a few more pics of the red morph Eastern Screech Owl, she got a visit from a Blue Jay while she was resting just outside the tree cavity she lives in and it get her all riled up!

 

Before the Blue Jay visit, and…

 

 

 

..And after!!

 

Cute little Gremlin is a highlight of the calenday month of February!
Cute little Gremlin

 

Next up is the Tricolored Heron. A rare visitor to my area for the most part, though their breeding range can expand to as north as me and beyond. It is an exceptional treat to get one at my local marsh! This one stuck around for awhile too! It made many birders very happy!

 

I took a lot of pictures of this bird at various times, but none of them came out all that great. It is such a fantastic Heron though! It had to be included!! Here’s a few B-roll shots!

 

These pictures were from a bright hot day, definately not in February!

 

 

 

The next photo, I’m particularity happy about because it really was a “photographer’s shot”. Usually I walk around where the birds take me, and where I hope they’ll be. Yeah, I try to get the sun behind me if at all possible as that really helps out the quality of the photo’s. That is one of the cornerstones of taking pictures! Get that light behind ya if you can!!

On this picture I actually sat down next to this snag, a dead branch coming up from out of the marsh. I simply waited and hoped a bird would land there. By being in position and very quiet this Barn Swallow landed just mere feet away with little to no care of my presence! That allowed me to be much closer than I would have been able to if I tried to approach the bird after it had perched up there. Most likely the Barn Swallow would have flushed from that spot before anyone could get this close!

 

Barn Swallow

 

 

 

These photo's also were not taken in February! Whoops!

 

What a stunning subject! Just a real treat to try to get a real ‘calendar’ photo of this bird! My camera really does best when you fully zoom on the subject, even when it is quite close. It ‘bokehs’ the grass into that nice pea soup background and tends to take a pretty high quality image. That was a rewarding experience and a lesson that patience can certainly pay off!

 

Finishing off February is a Common Yellowthroat Warbler. We are lucky enough to be in their breeding range. As most warblers are flying through and past me to get up north, some of them stay put to spend the spring and summer to nest. I see them at the beach, the marsh,at the local parks and ponds. The Common Yellowthroat, especially the male was a bit of a nemesis bird to me. That is due to the fact that they are generally well hidden in the underbrush, and quite ‘skulky’ as we birders say!

In the fall, they are less numerous as most have begun traveling south for the winter, so when this bird posted up on a branch next to me as I walked the salt marsh trail on a dreary fall day I was really excited! It stayed for quite a while and I managed a few decent shots. I did what I could with my settings and did my best to combat against the lack of natural light! It was great moment that I’ll always remember fondly!

 

Common Yellowthroat

 

This is the photo that made the calendar, and below are a few bonus photo’s as well:

 

 

 

 

 

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