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Reifel birds - September 15 2013

Posted by Liron on Friday, September 20, 2013
On Sunday I headed out to Reifel to spend the morning. A Sharp-tailed Sandpiper had been reporting the day before so I was hoping for it, but though the bird didn't show there were many other great birds around.

I got to the sanctuary a few minutes before the gate opened. While waiting for it to be opened, I took some photos of some spiders webs- very cool! It is incredible that a creature like a spider can create something like this:

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It was quite foggy at this time, which isn't good bird trying to see birds off in the distance, but it wasn't too bad. After the gate open an early morning Great Horned Owl in the fog that was wide awake entertained me:

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I began walking but before I walked for long I noticed a Cooper's Hawk off in the distance. The fog was thick that when you looked that far away, but I used the opportunity to create an abstract shot of the bird in the fog. This one probably won't be to everyones taste, but I like it given the situation. :) 

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Many warblers were around the entrance. Both Yellow Warblers and Yellow-rumped Warbler hopped out into the open to let me photograph them:

Yellow-rumped Warbler:

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Yellow Warbler

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As I walked on a trail headed towards the outer ponds, I noticed a Brown Creeper. The low light made it tough for photos, but it is such a cool and well camouflaged bird:

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I didn't end up taking many photos of the creeper because I heard some tapping behind me. I turned around to see a Hairy Woodpecker fairly close to me pecking on the bark of the tree. During the next minute or two, the bird posed on many different branches, and at some times came very close to me (see the second photo):

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I now came to the blue tower. In the water in front of the tower, shorebirds around included Lesser Yellowlegs, Greater Yellowlegs, and some dowitchers. The Lesser Yellowlegs were the closest, but I also took photos of the dowitchers and of the Greater Yellowlegs:

Lesser Yellowlegs:

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Greater Yellowlegs (in the fog):

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Dowitchers:

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On top of the shorebirds, I also got some views of a Virginia Rail. I got some OK shots, but later on I got better ones. 


I now walked the trail going around the outer ponds. Some birds present that didn't pose for photos included Lincoln's Sparrow, Killdeer, Western Sandpiper (distant), and Marsh Wren, but other birds were happy to pose for me including this Red-winged Blackbird:

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Near the end of the trail, I saw a bird that I have never seen at Reifel before: a Horned Grebe! These birds are most commonly found on ocean water, and are rarely seen on the ponds within reifel. My 1.4x extender that I purchased a month or two ago really helped with photos of this bird:

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I now walked through other trails. Some winter birds have arrived at the sanctuary including Northern Pintails and American Coots:

Northern Pintail:

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American Coot (juvenile in the back):


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Other birds in the area included a Purple Finch, a Yellow Warbler, and many White-crowned Sparrows.

I now headed back to the blue tower. The Lesser Yellowlegs were still present, and this time, the Virginia Rail was showing even better, frequently crossing over back and forth between reed patches. A Sora was doing the same, and a second Virginia Rail was calling nearby.

Lesser Yellowlegs:

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Virginia Rail:

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Sora:

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It was a real treat to get great looks at two very secretive birds, the Virginia Rail and the Sora, another species of rail. :D 


I now walked through the inner ponds back to the entrance. It had been a great day at Reifel! :)


Thanks for looking...



 

 

 

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